Training for Volunteers (1½ hours)
Keywords: Volunteer, volunteering, conference volunteers
The internal training was designed for the 150 volunteers participating in almost all aspects of the World Civil Society Forum (WCSF). Ms. Viola Krebs, Director of International Conference Volunteers (ICV) and Deputy Coordinator of the WCSF, first presented the objectives of the Conference and then provided practical information about the WCSF Volunteer Program. Ms. Kathy Monnier, Project Coordinator of ICV then presented the volunteer group coordinators. The session ended with a visit to the International Conference Centre of Geneva (ICCG).
Ms. Krebs pointed out that volunteers were the "human face" and "backbone" of the WCSF, without whom the event would not have been possible. Ms. Krebs then introduced the 17 volunteer teams involved in the event: welcome desk, registrations, payments, copy centre, information booth, bag packing, volunteer office, volunteer cafeteria, interpreters, on-line news reporters, transport, badge checking, programme coordination and signs, room supervision, civil protection shelter, village and flexible teams. Each of these teams had one or more group coordinators.
Ms. Monnier introduced the coordinators for the particular domains and explained that they were the focal points for the volunteers. Ms. Krebs made reference to the personal schedules handed out to all the volunteers and explained that they had been created according to each volunteer's availability, skills and interests. She urged the volunteers to inform both the group coordinators and the volunteer office of any schedule change. She explained that the volunteer desk was also the volunteers' main meeting and information point.
All the volunteers were given the "Forum Volunteer Guide", a practical handout with information on both the contents and the necessary contact details; a programme; a personal conference badge, and a volunteer T-shirt to be worn at all times while volunteering. The session was concluded with two guided visits through the Conference Centre, one in English, one in French.
Following the volunteer training for WCSF, a sub-group of volunteers were specifically trained to report on sessions according to standard methods developed by International Conference Volunteers and m.c. art design communications.
Ms. Viola Krebs, Director of International Conference Volunteers (ICV) and Deputy Coordinator of the WCSF handled the training.