[:en]Since the kick-off meeting in Madrid last month, the new EU Aid Volunteers Technical Assistance project – +CARE – has been continuing apace. Over the past two weeks we held two fruitful training sessions with consortium partners – focusing on legal standards and the certification process respectively.


The first session was convened by lead partner, Alianza por la Solidaridad, with Blanca Miguel leading a really informative session. She covered all of the legal standards involved with the project, focusing specifically on the changes since the last project. We were joined by new consortium partners, Action Aid Hellas and Action Aid Italia, as well as LVIA from Italy and David Hedges from Volunteering Matters. Following changeover of staff at Volunteering Matters, David Hedges now be taking a more central role in the EU Aid Volunteers certification process, and I know that he found the session very informative.


The next week, GVC’s Sara Alves followed up with a great session on the certification process itself. We were joined by the same participants – plus Romanian Volonteurope member Imago Mundi – for this training session, and Sara gave a very thorough explanation of the documentation required for EU Aid Volunteers certification. Sara Alves was part of the GVC team that submitted the certification application, so she had a wealth of knowledge to share. Furthermore, Sara and I worked together previously on the last EU Aid Volunteers Technical Assistance project, and we delivered a number of training sessions to beneficiary organisations focusing on capacity building around policy and so on.


Again, like in Blanca’s session, the training session was informative, and provided a great refresher around the certification – even for those of us who have previous knowledge about the project. Both sessions prompted active engagement from participants, with some really interesting questions asked.


These training sessions highlight the extensive knowledge and experience brought to the table by organisations such as Alianza por la Solidaridad and GVC, and it is a pleasure to be able to work with them again so closely on this project. The introduction of the new partners – all with extensive and highly specialised expertise – means that +CARE has a very solid foundation on which to build. The EU Aid Volunteers humanitarian aid programme itself is such an exciting prospect – for volunteers, sending and hosting organisations – and the last Technical Assistance project was so effective, that we are very excited to be able to participate again, and to work to spread knowledge of the programme further.


Over the coming months and years we are going to be talking a lot about +CARE, and we will provide regular updates and information about how to get involved. And remember – GVC and Alianza por la Solidaridad (as well as other certified organisations) regularly publish vacancies for EU Aid Volunteers, for positions all over the world. Stay tuned: follow us on twitter and Facebook, or sign up to the mailing list and you’ll be the first to know about the latest exciting opportunities![:]