The Volunteering in Humanitarian Aid consortium (VolinHA) met again, this time in Athens, in late 2016, to close its first year. Our Trustee, Maggie Heraty and Logistics Analyst, Alexandra Vasila were in attendance. On the table was the plan for 2017 and the further dissemination of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative to both organisations and prospective volunteers.

The group of organisations, who welcomed our attendees, was at a very different stage than they were in the beginning of the year. Having thoroughly revised, improved, in many cases, created their policies, now ready to apply for EUAVI certification, this was a much more confident group, who are now acquainted with the realities of humanitarian aid, more prepared to face them.

Goodbye first-year Civic Service Volunteers, welcome new Volunteers!

Over two days, two ‘generations’ of Service Civique volunteers met to reflect on the first year of the VolinHA project and to plan the next and final year. Our volunteers, Alexandra and Susana Cunha attended for HLA.

Day one of the meeting was International Volunteering Day, which our volunteers celebrated with workshops on their learning and experiences from their Civic Service year. As the humanitarian voice in the consortium, the HLA volunteers delivered a short presentation on the principles. They were supported by the testimony of volunteers from FOCSIV Italy, ActionAid Hellas, and HVSF, who were involved in the response to the earthquakes in Italy and the refugee crisis in Greece and the Balkans.

Day two was dedicated to the briefing and debriefing of new and leaving volunteers respectively. With the policy and certification work finished, the new volunteers make up a creative communications team for the initiative. At HLA, we have seen the benefits of the project in the improvement of our own procedures and will carry on encouraging organisations to look into this opportunity.