pre-departure training

VLM facilitates a creative and engaging pre-departure training programme for its out-going volunteers. We aim to make this interactive and enjoyable for all participants, while also covering the themes and topics recommended by the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice. No matter how many skills or experiences a volunteer is bringing to their placement, this training is still invaluable to them. It gives a detailed insight into the work of our partners in the field and the nuances of the VLM volunteer role. Indeed, the pre-departure training days are an excellent opportunity to meet with the other members of your team and a chance to plan effectively for your work overseas.

‘I found the pre-departure weekend very useful in that it allayed any fears, was very informative and allowed us to bond as a group. Listening to the experiences of those who had been in Ethiopia before was a great help too.’ - Ian Garrigan 2014 Volunteer, pictured here with student of the Vincentian School, Bahir Dar.

‘I found the pre-departure weekend very useful in that it allayed any fears, was very informative and allowed us to bond as a group. Listening to the experiences of those who had been in Ethiopia before was a great help too.’ – Ian Garrigan, VLM Volunteer, pictured here with students of the Vincentian School, Bahir Dar.

Pre-D Training Weekend
(One weekend, early May 2017)
Health & Wellbeing
– Packing & Practical Preparation
– Ethiopia in Context
– Culture & Customs
– Child Safeguarding in a Different Cultural Setting
– Development Education
– Taking Photos & Using Images
– The Vincentian Ethos
– Q&A with Previous Volunteers

Teacher Resource Day
(One day, early May 2017)

– Education in Ethiopia/Ghana
– Classroom Management
– Tips on Teaching English Language
– Suggested Lesson Plans & Resources
– Planning with Your Team

The exact location, date and time of training will be confirmed in early 2017.

It is mandatory for all volunteers to attend training in full before departure. It is VLM’s policy to only send volunteers who have completed the proper preparation and training for their placement.Please ensure that you are available on these dates before you make your application.

"I would say the weekend was full of really fresh ideas on what it is to volunteer. It wasn't the same tired material that is often used. The exercises were really well planned and useful for making you think about what you were actually volunteering for. The practical info was great and I'd say to future volunteers. Listen to what you are told to bring etc as you will need everything that is mentioned from baby wipes to books to read." - James O'Loughlin with students at Atse School

“I would say the weekend was full of really fresh ideas on what it is to volunteer. It wasn’t the same tired material that is often used. The exercises were really well planned and useful for making you think about what you were actually volunteering for. The practical info was great and I’d say to future volunteers do listen to what you are told to bring as you will need everything that is mentioned from baby wipes to books to read.” – James O’Loughlin, 2014 volunteer pictured with students at Atse School.

Returned volunteers who wish to travel again are welcome to join the training days every year, but they must attend at least every two years. Capacity building volunteers travelling over the summer are also expected to attend these training days. For those travelling at other times of the year, training days are arranged accordingly.

Debriefing Day
VLM also facilitated a debrief for volunteers upon their return. This is usually the first Saturday of October and gives the volunteers an opportunity to reflect on their experience and give us useful feedback and suggestions for the future. All volunteers are also encouraged to attend this day.