Being a volunteer youth worker at CVS-Bulgaria has been a great experience. So far, I’ve been able to meet with dozens of refugee children and play my part in making what can otherwise be an incredibly stressful period of their lives a little better.

An important yet oft ignored aspect of youth work is the mental well-being of not just those being worked with, but the youth workers and volunteers themselves. In the last week of February, I was able to participate in a training consisting of 30 unique participants, 10 different countries, and 17 nationalities around the world. 

Centered in the peaceful Poznan, Poland, this little melting pot of the world came together to address this pressing issue in the youth worker community. I eventually arrived in Poznan and was greeted by an incredibly welcoming and vibrant group of individuals, all with unique backgrounds and perspectives to add on this matter.

Multiple workshops addressing mental well-being were led by our instructors for the training, Natalie and Goska. Their seasoned experience in youth work allowed them to share multiple pieces of helpful advice in maintaining our well-being in stressful periods.

Even while learning at the training, our mental health was thoughtfully considered by our trainers. Some of our activities – when the weather allowed it – was held outdoors, where we were able to connect with not only nature, but with each other as well. 

While I take the many lessons and advice learned at the training back to Sofia, and eventually my home in the United States, I also take back countless memories. One of the pieces of advice offered by our trainers in order to deal with stress is to surround ourselves in a positive environment. I’m especially confident that such was achieved in Poznan, and I hope to keep in contact with the many great individuals I met during our training. I strongly urge anyone – regardless of their background or hesitations – to consider taking part in training courses of SCI, a truly wonderful experience.

“Stop. Reflect. Do Better” project (2023-1-PL01-KA153-YOU-000148664) is run by SCI Poland and co-funded by the European Union.

 Posted by Kathy at 17:35

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