Contact Person Workshop

Contact Person Workshop

p2240241Field services and inter-cultural learning are the two phases of the development agenda promoted by FSL India where volunteerism is the central theme of operational strategy. FSL India provides opportunities to local and global youth and enables them to work in different cultural contexts appreciating inter-cultural learning. FSL India mobilizes about 1300 youth annually from across the world with support of international and local partners for long-term and mid-term volunteering program. To translate the vision into action FSL India collaborates with more than hundred organisations across the country and facilitates placement of volunteers in various projects. In order to strengthen the partnership and reinforce the development agenda, FSL India organised Contact Person Workshop for Bangalore and Kundapura zone on 24th February 2012.

With an objective of strengthening the partnership among FSL India, Volunteers, Host Organisations and Host Family the workshop was conducted with a view to equipping the contact persons to address issues and challenges while hosting international volunteers for development projects. For the contact persons of Bangalore the workshop was organised at Vishranthi Nilaya. A total of seventeen contact persons from nine organisation participated in the workshop. Simultaneously the workshop was also organised at Hotel Sharon, Kundapur for the Contact Persons of Kundapur zone where 22 contact persons from 10 organisations participated. While a three-member team of FSL India facilitated the workshop at Bangalore, a four-member team led by Mr. Doreswamy, the Joint Director facilitated the workshop at Kundapur.

212The workshop started with a brief input on FSL India and its development program through volunteering service. There was a special input on inter-cultural learning. To have a common understanding about culture and importance of inter-cultural learning, the participants were made to understand about generalised and stereotype behaviours, high versus low context messages and power distance that many a times influence the inter-cultural learning and inter-cultural misinterpretation. The other important topics dealt with are: expectation and needs of contact persons/host organisations, volunteers and FSL India, feedback of volunteers for host organisations and vice versa, developing, implementing and monitoring of work schedule for the volunteers, sharing of impact created through volunteers contribution, defining roles and responsibility of FSL India, volunteers and host organisations and mentoring of volunteers.

All these input led to a lively discussion between the facilitators and the contact persons/participants to create an improved working condition for the volunteers. The workshop was very interactive. The representatives of host organisations actively participated in the discussion and articulated their concerns and raised number of issues which can be mutually resolved in the days to come.

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