A look back at: Training Day 2022

Last Saturday, September 24th, we held our second training day of the year in Utrecht. Read the below to find out what our participants learned during the day!

This edition, as well as the last edition, of the Training Day took place at Peter’s Bistro in Utrecht. The participants began the day by voicing their expectations, hopes, and fears – creating a safe environment for everyone. At PBI we value open communication and this exercise created the comfortable atmosphere in which we like to hold the training day. After this, it was time to start with a short background on the foundation of PBI and the principles of the organization. Emma, the day’s trainer, walked our participants through the NOs; non-partisanship, non-violence, and the horizontality that PBI upholds within our work.

Even though the weather wasn’t our best friend last week, we found solutions and held our energizers inside. Team work, communication and working together to find one common solution to multiple or collective problems can be challenging, but it can be fun as well! Pictured, you can find some of our participants attempting to walk whilst continuously having their foot attached to their neighbor. Ideas floated around the room and in the end, they collectively and successfully took four steps without losing anyone!

Throughout the day we had different speakers talk about their experiences. Firstly, the newest Shelter City guest from Venezuela shared his story. His presentation was preceded by a deeply touching documentary about what has happened in his life and in the lives of many others in Venezuela. His quest for justice made a deep impression on the participants and other speakers. Keep an eye on our website and social media for the formal introduction of Neyls!

After such an emotional and powerful presentation, for which we would like to thank Crisbel our Utrecht office volunteer for the live translation, we found it the perfect time to have a coffee break. Giving the participants time to let all of the new information settle in, and talk amongst themselves!

Continuing with the day, we discussed the field work that PBI does in the project countries, namely protective accompaniment. Trainer Emma explained the theory behind it and how much of a communicative and perceptive challenge accompaniment can be. The participants were given several interactive exercises, where they were given dilemmas from the field. With their newly learned knowledge about protective accompaniment and what PBI stands for, they were given the opportunity to discuss the dilemmas and give their own answer to each question.

Having heard the theory, and practiced some of the decisions PBI field volunteer take during their work, the only logical missing piece in the day was a presentation from a previous field volunteer! Marleen has been a field volunteer in Mexico and made the time to discuss her experiences with the participants on the training day. Unfortunately, Marleen could not be present in Utrecht, but we worked around that challenge and held the Q&A through Zoom. The experiences that Marleen discussed were highly valuable and we are grateful that she made the time to have a conversation with our participants!

Once we neared the end of the day, tired but inspired, there was some time to learn more about the application process for volunteer vacancies at PBI, internationally as well as at the office in Utrecht. Inez, coordinator of PBI – Nederland, walked us through the application process and answered all the questions regarding working at the office, and what the country offices do in Europe and North America.

Last but certainly not least we would like to thank Peter’s Bistro for the lunch and great location, our speakers Emma, Neyls, Marleen and Inez, as well as all of our volunteers that helped out during the day such as Crisbel, Lizzy, Sarah, and Tessa. Our biggest thanks goes out to all the participants who have made the training day extra interesting through their active contribution and questions throughout the day!

This training day was made possible by vfonds.