Under the theme „We stay at home”, our weltwärts-seminar took place from 16th of March 2020 to 20th of March 2020. During this difficult time, we all have to stick together and get a little more creative. This is why conducted our first weltwärts online seminar, together with weltwärts arrivals, weltwärts candidates and the volunteers of the South-North-Program, in front of the screen. Quite the mix, which could provide very different input. There wasn’t much time for preparation, which is why improvisation, commitment and creativity was necessary.
We started on Monday with the first survey on pleasure and frustration. The participants shared their hopes, anticipation, strengths, weaknesses and fears with each other. The fear of the virus affecting the soon to come journey abroad proved to be a big factor of insecurity with the new weltwärts candidates. Afterwards the participants were asked questions for introduction in which they dealt with their last six months and had to question topics like thankfulness, attitudes, and habits.
On Tuesday we covered the topic of culture. The volunteers of the weltwärts South-North-program dealt very intensely with their own curve of culture shock. Meanwhile, the weltwärts candidates sketched what a potential curve of culture shock could look like. Here, the advantages of a mixed seminar were quite obvious. Together, it was possible to have an exchange on imagination and reality of life in a new and still foreign culture. Our returnee Leonie and our South-North-volunteers told about their personal experiences and adventures. Like this, the weltwärts candidates were able to get a better impression on what it is like to live in a foreign culture in another country. In order to counter culture shock we talked about the so-called emergency umbrella. Each participant had to draw their own emergency umbrella and think of ideas for more well-being in unusual situations and their personal management during a crisis. Here, too, the weltwärts candidates could benefit from suggestions made by volunteers who had already done a volunteer service or were still doing theirs. Afterwards we also spoke about “Hot and Cold Cultures”.
On Wednesday we held our workshop on resources in development politics with our trainee Isabell. Together, the participants studied the occurrence and availability of different resources, the situation in different countries and renewable resources. At the end, each participant had to calculate their own ecological footprint. Until this point, many had not been aware how big their ecological footprint was in reality – they seemed in shock. A discussion took place on the own contribution to reduce the own ecological footprint and ensure resources. In order to conclude the topic, the volunteers got the task of watching a documentary on the topic of minimalism.
On Thursday we introduced the participants to the “Smart Goals”. This method can be used by the volunteers to better phrase their goals and ideas and achieve them. The participants looked very intensely into the Smart Goals in various areas (as for example hobbies, friends, work) in relation to their volunteer service and their time after it. In addition to that, the South-North-volunteers could express themselves through drawing their time as volunteers. We concluded Thursday with a very important topic: fundraising. Through different information, pieces of advice and ideas, the volunteers were familiarized with this topic. Afterwards, we discussed several innovative and creative suggestions on the subject of fundraising.
On the last day we held a workshop on communication in order to prepare the volunteers on communicating in a different culture and a new workplace. This proved to be an especially big challenge online. Our first online seminar was concluded with an evaluation by all participants and a check list for the weltwärts year 2020/2021.
In spite of the sudden change we can say that our first and mixed VISIONEERS online seminar was a real success. We’d like to thank all the participants for your cooperation! See you in the next online seminar.