Meeting our Alliance Partners in Hungary

I’m Chris, WCIA’s new volunteering Administrative Officer, and this January, thanks to Taith Wales I spent a week in Hollókő, Hungary, at a training camp by the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations for new placement officers. This was a great opportunity to meet peers in a similar role and career stage, ahead of working together at February’s Technical Meeting in Barcelona. It’s good to be able to put a face to an email signature, and to ensure that each organisation is working to the same standards.

A highlight of the training was a problem solving roleplay exercise where we sat working in groups and passed hand-written ’emails’ to other groups on scraps of paper to resolve issues that might arise while working with an international partner. It was interesting to see how much easier it was to communicate within our own organisation in person, before trying to carefully word our written response to our international partner.

As well as engaging in training, we used our free time during the week to learn a little about eachother’s cultures, sharing popular dances and singing karaoke (my apologies to Nena and Enrique Iglesias for my poor efforts).

I enjoyed my time in Hollókő, and took advantage of some free time before my flight to explore some of Budapest’s landmarks on a snowy Friday. I’m looking forward to meeting some familiar faces in Barcelona next month where I am attending the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations Technical Meeting, another incredibly valuable Taith funded placement. This meeting will be a brilliant opportunity for me as Volunteer Admin Officer to learn from similar organisations and bring lots of new knowledge and skills back to WCIA.