Category Archives: Training

Skills for Working in Development (SKWID)

“Skills for working in development” was the second four-day training courses at CUSO-VSO Canada’s training centre in Ottawa. A brief description of the course as described by CUSO-VSO,

This course introduces practical skills and attitudes volunteers will need to implement CUSO-VSO’s approach to development during their placements. Through an experiential learning approach that integrates action, theory, reflection and planning, volunteers design participatory tools and practice facilitation skills to work effectively with the multiple stakeholders in their placement.

Yet again, as I found with the PFC course, we had an interesting and talented mixture of volunteers from all over North America. Two of the participants, Beth and Jeremy had been through the PFC training with me the month before and it was nice to see a couple of familiar friendly faces on the first morning of the course.

SKWID Group (& where they are destined with CUSO-VSO)
top row: Edna Pugeda (Kilifi, Kenya), Ricky Varghese (Kisumu, Kenya), Alex Tremeau (Nigeria), Maria Basualdo (La Pez, Bolivia), Marie-France Chartier (Guiruidig, Cameroon), me, Benoit Demers (Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso), Nigiua Malikova (China), Darren C. Brown (Facilitator) & Lori-Anne (Cameroon)
bottom row: Joanne Fraser (Facilitator), Jeremy Gove (Ghana),
Eloise Girard (Indonesia), Marike Kuchta (Nyamasati, Tanzania), Ariel Bleth (Kalanchan, Nigeria), Tanya Gallmann (Tanzania) & Beth Campbell (Ulaanbataar, Mongolia)

Preparing for Change Course (PFC)

“Preparing for change” was the first of the four-day training courses in Ottawa for outgoing volunteers. A brief description of the course as described by CUSO-VSO,

The course explores issues related to personal preparation, health and security, the role of values and behaviours in intercultural settings, the broader development context, CUSO-VSO’s approach to development, and ways that individuals can involve their family, friends and communities in their overseas experience.

I attended this course with a group of extremely talented individuals from all over North America. The group consisted of a very diverse array of backgrounds, knowledge & experiences – which all made for an interesting weekend. I think my weekend’s highlight was having the opportunity to met like-minded people about to go through similar things to over the next year or two.

PFC Group
top row: Mike Heptinstall(course facilitater), Jeremy Gove, Antonio Solano, Andres Castro, Keith Williams, Sharon Ladin, Karin Rennert, Christina Marriott, John Madzingo & Rohan William  middle row: Sharon Haxton, Rebecca Kennedy & me bottom row: Gurmeet Kubicek, Stephanie Louis-Charles, Michael Orock, Maggie, Rong Zhang, Beth Campbell & Cath Moffatt(course facilitater)

Pre-Departure and In-Country Training

CUSO-VSO provides volunteer both pre-departure and in-country training programs. The pre-departure training is in the form of 2 four-day courses, as listed below, which are held in Ottawa. In-country training (primarily language training and cultural orientation)  is provided by each  CUSO-VSO program office in the country of placement and can vary from 2 weeks to 2 months.

CUSO-VSO also provide volunteers online access to a vast collection of county & development goal related information and training materials. In addition volunteers often have access to past and present volunteers.