The european university volunteer training meeting, attended by several students from the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP), took place on the 25th and 26th of March, in Orduña, in Bilbao.
Teamwork, conflict management, volunteering in the real world and transformative volunteering, managing emotions and mindfulness were some of the themes of the training sessions.
For two days, UCP students went to Bilbao to participate in a training event of the European volunteer program Fly, which will take place in the summer of 2023, and which promotes exchange and learning experiences on the ground. About 125 volunteers participated in the event.
From UCP Braga, there were two international volunteer students, from the 3rd year of the degree in Psychology, who competed and were selected to participate, namely Inês Magalhães and Patrícia Moreira, and were accompanied by Professor Anabela Rodrigues, Coordinator of the Núcleo de Volunteering at the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences.
During the meeting, there were several moments that allowed an understanding of the teams, processes and the project. In the end, all volunteers were challenged to write a letter to their “future volunteer self”, recording how they feel about the experience they are going to carry out.
Towards Bilbao, Seville and Bosnia
The Fly volunteer program has the primary purpose of reinforcing the commitment of partner universities to sustainable development and raising awareness among university communities of problems resulting from inequality and injustice. In the summer, Catholic University student volunteers will participate in two projects in Spain and one in Bosnia. In Bilbao, with vulnerable children and adolescents, in Seville with adults with intellectual disabilities and in Bihac with refugee migrants.
Coordinated by the University of Comillas (Madrid), the Fly 2023 program brings together, in addition to the Catholic University of Portugal, the Universities of Deusto (Bilbao), ESADE (Barcelona), Loyola (Andalusia), LUMSA (Rome, Italy) and Mateja Bela ( Banská Bystrica, Slovakia). Each of the institutions involved presents volunteering and/or service-learning projects in the country of origin, with the possibility of receiving students, as well as sending students to projects at other partner universities.
“Mucha gente pequeña, en lugares pequeños, haciendo cosas pequenas, puede cambiar el mundo” (Eduardo Galeano).