The Caritas Alba Iulia Volunteer Program has reached a new milestone. Years ago, we set the goal of making volunteering fashionable through the Young Caritas movement.
We’ve had activities of different proportions, throughout which we’ve aimed to show that volunteering is not only useful but also important for society, and it can be done with cheer and youthful impulse, together with friends and in an example-setting manner. Several years of hard work have resulted in more and more people joining the volunteer team in our regions. Looking further ahead, we’ve decided that the expansion of the volunteer team calls for the expansion of the small volunteer coordinator team as well. This is how the idea of training mentors was created. The main task of these mentors would be to ensure the professional work of small volunteer groups and to maintain the quality of the volunteers’ work.
The training of both our mentors and the entire volunteer coordinator team was undertaken by the trainers of the Talentum Foundation of Szeged, who have many years of experience in this field, thus having a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on to us. The training had two occasions: the participants on the first occasion were the members of the coordinating team, as well as colleagues who have worked or will work in the near future with volunteers in the Caritas Alba Iulia programs. Participants on the second occasion were colleagues, volunteer team leaders and representatives from our partner institutions, which our volunteers visit regularly to assist and aid the staff of the institution. A total of 47 participated.
On both occasions, in addition to reviewing the static and dynamic elements of volunteer management, the participants have managed to lay the foundations for cooperation between mentors and coordinators, to delimit tasks and responsibilities and to agree on a framework for the joint work. Of course, beyond the hard work, there were also games, useful exercises, intimate conversations, Japanese activity, a photo exhibition and small surprises. Taking into account the facilities provided by the place, we’ve also tried to spend our leisure time with useful programs so that we could enrich not only our knowledge but also our experiences during our time there. One evening, thanks to Father Leander, we had the possibility to visit a church called Kegytemplom. The next time, with the guidance of Béla Bács, we took a small walk to explore local history.
We are expressing gratitude to our trainers, Father Leander, Béla Bács, the Jakab Antal House, the organizers and you, dear colleagues for your enthusiasm and openness, because without you this could not have happened! We are confident that our joint work is really just beginning and that we will be reaping the rewards over time!
Gyöngyvér Fekete, volunteer coordinator in Târgu Mureș
(Translated by: Szatmári-Kőszeghi Asztrid )