My learning process. Nosce te ipsum
5.05.2020, Karolina Moroz

All guides to volunteering programmes emphasise the deepest purpose of volunteering: learning process. It refers to young people who decide to volunteer and around this concept activities with volunteers are organised. The learning process is also what is carefully evaluated during and at the end of the project. Much less space is devoted to the enormous scope of this process, which includes not only the volunteers, but all those who have ever come into contact with the volunteers or the activities they have prepared.

Coordinating voluntary activities, in my case European Voluntary Service projects, now the European Solidarity Corps, is an ongoing learning process. On the face of it, coordination looks like human resources management with a touch of administrative work, but when I look deeper into it, it is all about meeting and experiencing new people and looking inside myself.

During several years of working with volunteers I had the opportunity to take on different roles, not only those resulting from the structure of the volunteer project (mentor, tutor, coordinator), but also those resulting from the need and specificity of the moment. The experience has taught me that it is worthwhile to decide on one specific role in working with volunteers: being yourself, which brings amazing results, builds trust and helps to discover human sensitivity. Meeting new people and taking action with them is not only creating, staying and experiencing together. It is, above all, constant work with my own emotions, constructive management of what I feel. Being attentive and open is one of the bases of my learning process.

Is this an easy process? No. Apart from all the desired effects, it assumes making mistakes, frustration, repeating something I do not want to repeat, discovering my weaknesses, learning better the feeling of anger, embarrassment, fear. Experiencing all the difficult sides of this process allows me to better imagine that the volunteers I work with can sometimes feel the same.

I owe the volunteers and working with them above all the opportunity to get to know themselves more deeply in action, in contact with others and better manage their emotions. The learning process of new people allows me to get to know myself the most.

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