Pilot Action Verein Multikulturell

In the training of volunteers process carried out by Verein Multikulturell, 8 trainers were involved in the training in order to adopt a methodology for effective training process with volunteers. As regard to the trainers’ background, they had experience of working in the social field and most of them had immigrant background. So, it was easy to create an awareness for the trainers with immigrant background on the needs of volunteers with disadvantaged background. 

The focus of the training of trainers was to provide understanding on cultural awareness and diversity on needs and expectations of the volunteers with immigrant background. (In order to create better understanding on needs and expectations of volunteers with immigrant background in the national and regional areas, the results of national field & desk research and also best practices, good tools and approaches were very helpful.)

The main fields of these trainings consist of these titles, planning, recruiting/ matching the volunteers with volunteering opportunities, support to the volunteers, managing and evaluating the volunteering process.  

Trainers were informed about the definition of a volunteer and the types of volunteers, the needs and problems of volunteers (especially the needs and problems arising from qualifications of the location, Tyrol region). As another issue, the trainers got information on developing their professional needs to respond to the volunteers’ needs effectively.  On this point, the trainers learnt the ways to motivate the volunteers to continue their volunteering and learning process and received information to provide necessary support and different tools to the volunteers (considering the volunteer’s need and motivation level).

Moreover, trainers received information to be able to cooperate with other actors (facilitators, trainers and translator) who could join the volunteering process 

Finally, the trainers were informed about effective monitoring/evaluation of the volunteering process.  In order to ensure effective monitoring process, trainers were informed about problems and conflicts that could be observed within the training such as problems arising from different cultural issues, psychological, social and educational background. 

In total, 21 volunteers with immigrant background were involved in the training process.

Before the training, volunteers were asked to share their point of views on current needs and expectations from the training process, that ensured perfect matching between the volunteers and the job opportunities. The main focus on the selection process was to include the volunteers who had motivation to have new skills and were planning to create a bridge between the skills coming from volunteering process and labor market and wanted to have new contact with people in the society and other volunteers or staff in the organizations. 

As the next step, volunteers were informed about all points related to training such as place of training, the methodology to be used, general volunteering definition for the volunteers, responsibilities during the training process, actors in the training process, objectives of the training.

During the volunteering process, volunteers received the opportunity to develop their skills and competence that they could use them in the future ( such as to be able to work in a team or individually, take responsibility, effective communication, linguistic competences, active participation, creating new contacts and keep in touch with them for future opportunities, better understanding on the local society and needs in the labor market, etc. ). So, they could learn the ways to create & follow opportunities in the local and regional area that they could be equal with their peers. Moreover, During the training process, they received necessary and further support in order to make the process effective as much as possible. 

In order to check the effectiveness of the process, there has been regular assessment and observation to take notice their efforts and progress.

Moreover, volunteers were asked to share their feedback about the volunteering process (the place of training, communication with staff and other volunteers in the organization, the content of volunteering activities, etc.), that was a way to evaluate the training process and identify problems and respond to them. And finally, volunteers were informed about how they could use skills coming from this training in the future (vocational, social and education fields). 

Finally, it was hard to define volunteering program for them and match these volunteers with opportunities. As a solution, more assessment tools  were used and more supportive approach was applied by the facilitators to identify their interest and enabled them to recognize their needs and expectations. 

As a result, we have received positive feedback from trainers, volunteers and also other actors who were in the process. VAI project brought new definition on volunteering in Tyrol region and helped us to increase involvement and inclusion of youngsters with immigrant background by using volunteering. Beyond positive outcomes for the target groups, these training process made contribution to Verein to have new tools on volunteering to be able to use in our organisation in the future and get new contact from local and regional fields. We are going to keep using VAI methodology in the future and support cooperation among the stakeholders working in the volunteering and youth to increase the impact of the project in the future.