News Contributor: Immanuel Chayan Biswas, Caritas Chattogram
Chattogram Region of Caritas Bangladesh has organized a two-day-long training named “Re-echo training on Advance Volunteer Management” for the young Church leaders of the Chittagong Catholic Archdiocese. The training was organized from 25-26 October 2019 with 36 young leaders at Caritas Chattogram Regional Office. The objective of the training was to explore the motivation for volunteering from an organizational perspective, consolidate the internal support for volunteer management and develop scenarios for sustainable volunteer involvement in the Humanitarian Response of Caritas Bangladesh. The training was organized under the PEACE-II project.
Through this training, Caritas wanted to focus on the values of volunteerism through
appreciation of local volunteers. The program was organized with the financial support of the European-Asian Partnership for Building Capacities in Humanitarian Action (PEACH-2).
A total of 31 (male-18 & 13 female) Young Church Leaders participated from three parishes of the Chittagong Catholic Archdiocese.
The Archbishop of the Chittagong Catholic Archdiocese His Grace Moses Costa CSC inaugurated the training. During the keynote presentation of the training, His Grace Moses Costa shared 10 virtues of a volunteer in the light of the Catholic Church. His keynote address on “Principles and values of volunteer service in the light of the Church” soon followed by a Holy Mass that he offered for the trainees.
Mr. James Gomes the Regional Director of Caritas Chattogram Region talked on “Concept of Volunteer Management in the light of Caritas Bangladesh”. He shared the importance of volunteerism and the reason why Caritas is now emphasizing volunteerism. He also briefs about Caritas Bangladesh in a separate session. The participants came to know about Caritas, its goal, objectives, sectoral priority, projects, mission, and vision.
Mr. John Swapan Gomes the Senior Program Officer and Manager of PEACE-II project of Caritas Central Office shortly brief the objective of the training.
Mr. Inmanuel Chayan Biswas the Field Officer – FCCPP of Caritas Chattogram Region facilitated two particular sessions on Concept of Disaster and Humanitarian Principles and Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) in light of Caritas respectively. The trainees got an idea about the definition of disaster, different types of disaster, risk, vulnerability, risk assessment, risk reduction plans, and DRR in his first session. In the second session they got an idea on 4 humanitarian Principles and 9 core Humanitarian Standards in the light of Caritas through an interactive process. There was a group work after the session where all the trainees were divided into five different groups and given one disaster story. The trainees study the story and make their plan to address the needs of the affected community keeping the Humanitarian Principles and Core Humanitarian Standards in mind.
The second day of the training was mainly focused on to inspire the young group and some sessions on their skill development during any crisis moment volunteerism. Mr. John Swapan Gomes the Senior Program Officer and Manager of PEACE-II project of Caritas Central Office let the second day. The second day covered various sessions and topics such as why volunteering, adapting volunteer management processes and policy of Caritas Bangladesh, types and role of volunteers, the scenario of advocacy and stakeholder, introduction on child protection, safeguarding and risk management policy and anti-human trafficking code of conduct of CB.
The impact of organizing volunteer management training is immense. Youths are the driving power of our society. They can make hard things easier. So, injecting the importance of volunteerism to them is like sowing the seed in the field to get crops in the future. As volunteering is multi-faceted in its importance to our society. It enriches our society, brings us together as a community, and helps keep businesses and other organizations afloat. One of the most important facts is, they are coming from various communities and will integrate these ideas and skills to their own community and society as well. The second important impact will be these trained up young volunteers not only help to better their community, but they also help to change themselves. Since in this age most young suffer in the decision making of their career and relations. Therefore, getting involved with volunteering work will be a good way to reduce the stress that may come from depression or relationships.
The program has created a positive social impact for the betterment of communities. Through this training, church organizations have acquired a wealth of knowledge and valuable perspectives on how to play an effective role in any crisis.
It is to be mentioned that volunteers at Caritas not only have the opportunity to grow individually alongside these dedicated staff members. More importantly, they’re helping to enrich the lives of the residents through fun, interactive daily activities.
The training was ended with a written commitment to building a volunteer network in parish level for supporting the parish and social activities as well. Before concluding the training, they have committed that they will play an important role in sensitizing the general public about weather and all kind of disaster, serving as informal climate “ambassadors.” They promised that they will assist and join with Caritas at any natural disaster time with their full capacity.