AIC volunteers at grassroots level work locally to meet real needs on the ground. Following the example of Saint Vincent, who was concerned throughout his life with education, AIC considers the on-going training of every volunteer to be an essential requirement in their work to support the most disadvantaged people.
In this regard, AIC offers volunteers continuing technical, human and spiritual development training focused on:
- The many aspects of the causes and effects of poverty
- Participation and empowerment of beneficiaries
- Collaboration, shared social responsibility and networking
- Systemic change
Training takes place through:
- Documents, which are now most commonly distributed to volunteers in electronic form, inviting them to reflect and work on the material in their local groups.
- National, continental and international seminars.
- Visits to national associations and local groups by regional coordinators, members of the Executive Board and those responsible for projects from the International Secretariat.
Every two years, at the AIC International Assembly of Delegates, common directions for activities are agreed, known as the “Priority Lines of Action” (PLA), which guide the work of volunteers across the whole AIC network.
The Executive Board produces training documents, based on topics relating to the Priority Lines of Action, which are sent out regularly to AIC volunteers around the world.
These documents are studied and discussed in the local AIC groups.
With the support of a team of volunteer translators, the training documents are made available in 6 languages.
Since 2014, AIC has also offered an online training programme: the AIC Diploma. This helps to:
- Strengthen the fundamental concepts of BEING an AIC volunteer.
- Develop skills to encourage organised workingand efficient coordination within local groups.
- Develop skills in work and services which empower people, as well as in fundraising, social communicationand strategic planning.
- Improve leadership and professionalism in AIC members.
The AIC Diploma consists of 8 modules sent out at regular intervals over a period of 10 months.
This training is now available in several languages and adapted to different cultures. Initially developed in Spanish for volunteers from Latin America, thanks to the support of the Bru Foundation, this training was translated into French and English and adapted to the realities and cultures of other countries where AIC is present. Thus, since 2017, this training is also offered to French and English-speaking AIC volunteers from Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. In 2018, the AIC Diploma was also translated into German and Italian.
By the end of 2019, nearly 1000 volunteers had succeeded in completing the training.
“There is no doubt it has been a really valuable process, helping us to grow in Vincentian formation. The goals are certainly difficult to achieve, but if we do not set ourselves challenges, we will never progress and would be simply offering support, which is a long way from the teachings of Saint Vincent.” (Testimony from a volunteer)
Please contact us if you would like more information about the next AIC Diploma online course.
Local AIC volunteers also receive training during international meetings, which encourages the strengthening of abilities and exchanges of best practices.
To achieve this, AIC has implemented a strategy of holding international training seminars every two years, during the International Assembly of Delegates.
These international seminars provide:
- Training that enables volunteers to gain the tools and skills needed to carry out their mission properly.
- Opportunities for exchanging experiences.
- Focus on AIC activities which are in line with the Priority Lines of Action.
- Highlighting of each person’s values and strengths and what can be achieved through working together.
- Training to become facilitators to promote the transmission of training programmes to local groups.
Visits to national associations and local groups by regional coordinators, members of the Executive Board and those responsible for monitoring projects from the International Secretariat also provide an opportunity to continue training local AIC volunteers.
These visits help to strengthen the capabilities of volunteers in their local environment:
- Proposing different kinds of training, better adapted to the local context
- Evaluating the work being done on the ground with volunteers
- Training them in the development, management and evaluation of their actions and encouraging the development of empowering actions and services
- Building up institutional and management capabilities within associations (election processes, organisation of Assemblies, financial management, etc.)
- Strengthening the sense of belonging to the international AIC network in order to increase synergies