Global justice starts here
Placement Officers Training (POT) 2020
“Global justice starts here” Placement Officers Training 2020 was organized for the SCI Placement Officers in Winterthur, Switzerland, from the 10th till 16th of February 2020.
The participants (both, volunteers who have recently started or will start their projects in the nearest time) from the different branches of the SCI (Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France and Austria), as well as the partner organisations (from Russia, Ukraine, Iceland etc.) spent a week in the former scouts` centre Pfadiheim Breite, where the training took place.
The program of the training was quite intense, however very well-balanced so that to include six 1.5 hour sessions per day, which were divided by 30-minute coffee breaks and a two-hour lunch.
On the day of arrival we spent some time introducing ourselves with the help of a few ice-breaker activities, which were followed by the first dinner we had together as a group. It is important to emphasize, that we had a wonderful team of three volunteers (Pascal, Mitja and Marius) who were preparing exquisite dishes for us throughout the project.
The first day of the training started for us after breakfast at 09:00 with a couple of the organizational seminars, during which we expressed our expectations from this training and discussed the week`s timetable in general. In the second part of the day we got acquainted (in quite an interactive form) with the history of the SCI, creating short performances for our groupmates about the different parts of the SCI history. Moreover, we were then introduced to the popular abbreviations, which are often used in the work of the Placement Officer, and to the structure of the organisation.
After all sessions we had a 30-minute reflection time in groups during which we had a chance to discuss in small groups of 5-6 people all the positive and negative moments of the day, as well as to provide our feedback to the facilitators of the training, Sara and Thomas.
After dinner we participated in the team-building activities that were useful to unwind a bit and get to know each other better.
The program of the second day was concentrated on the role of the Placement officer. Firstly, in small groups (and then together) we discussed how we imagine the ideal Placement officer and his/her responsibilities before, during and after the Camp.
Then we had an opportunity to read the part of the “Practical Procedures” – the official SCI manual, which specifies the area of work of Placement officers in the SCI, as well as their responsibilities – and discuss it, marking the most important points and questions we have.
In the second part of the day we were able to revise all the information we learned about the “Practical procedures” during an interactive quiz. After it we were introduced to the OPS (Online Placement System), through which the process of placement takes place. During that session we had to work with different tasks, which usually comprise the work of the Placement officer, and get acquainted with the interface of the program itself.
As an optional activity in the evening we were able to watch some videos that we would like to share with each other. It was an interesting experience as in some cases we were able to learn something new about other countries or just to have some fun.
On the third day of the training in small groups of about 3 people we continued with the OPS exploration: we were able to create our own camps, publish them, apply for the camps as volunteers and send applications to other branches or confirm the participation of the volunteers as placement officers. During that session Thomas and Sara were there to answer our questions and help with any difficulties we had.
After lunch we continued with a session on Global justice which was organized in a form of a silent exhibition: there we had a chance to watch short videos, read articles and then write down our comments, so that the others could provide some feedback to tour comments or leave their own.
We had some free time on that afternoon, as well as in the evening, so most of the participants managed to explore the city of Winterthur a bit. Needless to say, it was quite a rainy day.
The fourth day of the training continued with the topic of the Global justice and inclusion of people with fewer opportunities. We enjoyed the presentation about the SCI plans for 2020 together with the “100 Actions for Peace” campaign.
Then we had an opportunity to participate in our own “Action for Peace campaign”. After a long discussion we managed to reach a consensus on what everyone would like to do, which was to give a heart with a written on it thought about the different problematic aspects of love or peace (as it was a Valentine`s day) to the passer-by on the street. The action was quite successful and many participants received a positive feedback from the people they talked to.
As an evening activity we were able to watch a Swiss movie “The Divine Order”, the topic of which is women`s voting rights in Switzerland.
The last day of the training started with an Open Space session, where the participants were able to facilitate their own mini-seminars on the topics, which were interesting to the group.
After this session we reflected on what we liked or disliked during this week. And then we as participants evaluated our involvement by giving out the certificates to each other.
The day ended with a Farewell party!
To sum up, it was quite an intense, however an undoubtedly exciting and informative week. The program was diverse and interactive, so it was keeping us on our toes and there was no time for boredom. The information was presented very illustratively and provided in very different ways (games, quizzes, silent exhibitions, world cafe, short videos, discussions etc.), which helped to learn it quicker.
The division in groups helped us to know each other better as well as fulfil some tasks (such as cleaning and washing the dishes or time-keeping and heart-keeping).
During different activities we were able to work individually, in pairs and in groups, which was also useful, as everyone was able to participate and share their opinion. The energizing games that preceeded the sessions helped to concentrate and get started.
I believe that the training was quite productive and was useful not only for the beginners but to the people who had some experience in this area as it still included topics that are not connected directly to the duties of a Placement officer but which are in the SCI`s agenda.
The last but not the least, the facilitators of the training – Sara and Thomas – did a wonderful job with structuring the training and following their schedule, as well as presenting the information during the sessions and answering the questions.