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At the end of our latest Vocational Educational Training (VET) project ‘Moving Feet Opening Minds’, we contacted all the participants that took part in a VET abroad.

116 participants have responded to our survey. The following infographic presents the results.



The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

At the end of our latest Vocational Educational Training (VET) project we asked our local sending partners what impact those opportunities abroad had on their students.

Here is what they have to say:


Newton Rigg

Newton Rigg College – The VET project in Aruba by Chloe Walker

In February 2018, a group of six students and two accompanying members of staff from Newton Rigg College embarked on the Moving feet Opening Mind project in Aruba.

This project involved volunteering at the Donkey Sanctuary as well as the local veterinary practice and dog groomers.

The students worked alongside staff at the placements experiencing all aspects of the jobs and being able to be “hands-on” throughout.

In the lead up to the project, Everything is Possible supported the students. This started with an informative discussion on the available projects and what they entailed and what the students would get out of the projects. They then completed pre-departure training with the students discussing any worries, finding solutions, and giving advice and guidance so that the students could gain the most from their experience on the project. Everything is Possible supported throughout the project ensuring that every detail was dealt with appropriately to ensure smooth running. On return from the project, the evaluation day was valuable because students produced their own project of their experiences, in this case in the form of an Instagram blog. They presented this to other groups explaining what they had gained from the experience.

The students developed their personal and professional skills throughout the project. Their confidence levels improved dramatically which in turn allowed other skills to develop including communication, presenting and team work.

Working within the local community, the students got to explain to a local school what their life and education is like in the UK. They did this by completing a photographic presentation to local children and their teachers. The students also volunteered to complete a beach clean to help with local conservation. This was welcomed by the local community and the students received a letter of thanks from the local turtle conservation group for their efforts.

This project has enabled these students to experience different cultures, travelling extensively, work with different currencies, live and work together as a team, problem solve and work on own initiative i.e. getting out of their comfort zones!

All of the students are now coming to the end of their college course and are actively seeking employment or progressing onto higher education courses.  This opportunity has enabled their CV’s and applications to stand out from the crowd and has increased the young person’s confidence to enable them to GO for these opportunities.  Thank you.



Askham Bryan college – The VET project in Malta by Simon Jepson

The project itself was at the tomasina cat sanctuary which is based within M-cast agricultural institute in Malta. The sanctuary is run primarily by Jane and Carmel with a few additional staff many of which are local volunteers. The cat sanctuary houses around 300+ cats at any one time and also provides a boarding facility to people from around the local area. Carmel was our main point of contact while over in Malta, however we also worked very closely with Jane  – both of whom supported, guided, recommended things to see/do and assisted us during our stay.

During the free-time from working the learners immersed themselves within a range of activities including visiting museums, cathedrals, Comino/Gozo, Mdina, Valetta, the mediteranneo, aquarium, horse riding at golden bay and many others. As they participated within a range of activities they managed to see the culture, religion, history and fun things to do while in Malta.

To get the learners ready for the project there were a number of training sessions put together by Everything Is Possible which included ice breaking activities to ensure the learners were comfortable together and able to work as a team. They also organised preparation sessions covering things such as what is expected of the learners in terms of behaviour and the duties they will perform at the sanctuary as well as what they may need to bring, what support is available to them while on the project and a range of other training to get them ready for the project. From a college point of view we made sure all learners met a number of times before going out on the projects to discuss activities they might like to do, what food they would like to eat, cleaning/cooking rotas, what working at the cat sanctuary would entail and what was expected/ what they would like to get from the project.

While on the project I believe the students gained a lot of experience from a professional environment such as time keeping and an in depth look at how an animal sanctuary works from a business viewpoint. Some of the learners had never left the country before the project commenced so it gave them a valuable opportunity they had never had before. While in Malta they had to get used to a strict time schedule, using the public transport system, dealing with members of the public and workers at the cats sanctuary, working within a different environment (temperature, people and culture), cooking for the group, shopping, cleaning and navigating themselves around the island.

As the cat sanctuary is mostly reliant on volunteers to assist them with the great work they do the learners had a significant impact on the team there and were hugely appreciative of their help. News travels quickly through the local community from word of mouth so the good reviews the owners and volunteers at the cat sanctuary gave our learners and vice versa would hopefully help to raise more awareness of the need for assistance there and how valuable projects like this can be for both parties. The learners have also expressed their desire to continue their volunteer work in areas such as animal rescues, environment agencies and beach clean-ups, both in the UK and abroad.

The learners on this project had a range of experiences from working at the cat sanctuary to exploring all that Malta has to offer and as they are all studying some form of animal course this project has been invaluable to them. As some of them even stated in their exhibition, this experience has helped them further their knowledge in a subject area in which they plan to pursue as a career in future. The learners all have huge potential to become well established within whichever path they choose in the animal industry and through this experience they are now considering a range of choices from volunteering to fundraising for smaller animal organisations.



Kirklees College – The VET project in Martinique by Shem Kalabic

I have enjoyed a long career as a professional educator/sports lecturer and I have taken students on international projects or projects abroad, however, when the timing and opportunity presented itself to work with Moving Feet Opening Mind we couldn’t turn it down and I am glad we didn’t .
On student’s behalf and on behalf of Kirklees College Sports department we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Moving Feet Opening Mind project for positively changing students’ lives and for making them better individual as a result of this project.  

Our project started with planning and preparation phase, and once again Everything is Possible played a huge part in planning, preparation and ongoing support.  Part of our planning phase involved students spending time with 2 members of host organisation, learning the language, learning about the culture, food, music, festivals and how to best utilise their time during students stay in Martinique.  Students found the language learning sessions challenging but at the same time it was fun and enjoyable, they were fascinated by the culture and couldn’t not wait to visit Martinique. Everything is Possible also arranged ongoing support session/presentation to make learners aware of the expectations, their rights and responsibilities and what to expect from the project – Godfrey, thank you for all your hard work, advice, support and guidance, you were brilliant.

Final part of planning and preparation phase was for learners to attend compulsory training organised and delivered by everything is Possible where they participated in 3 workshops looking at culture, tradition, values, rights responsibilities and they also had opportunity to ask questions if they had any issues or concerns.

Now on to the project itself, during our 2 weeks stay in Martinique we worked with Youth in the Town organisation, delivering and coaching variety of sport session.  These sessions involved coaching young kid’s skills and techniques in variety of sports including, football, basketball, gymnastics, athletics and rugby.  We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to the Youth in Town organisation on their professionalism, hard work, support and making this project and unforgettable experience for our students. It has had an unrecognisable impact on our students as they can’t stop talking about how good this project was.  As a result of this project, all learners have developed and improved as individuals, they have developed, gained and improved professional and personal skills including:
● Time Management, Teamwork and Organisational skills – by working in small teams to plan, organise and deliver sports coaching session to young children sticking to a schedule provided by the Youth in Town organisation
● Initiative & Interpersonal Skills – organised different team activities with own team and Youth in Town to develop team morale, cohesion, to learn about local culture, tradition, food and highlight of this was Intercultural Evening
● Motivation, Communication & Leadership Skills – highly prepared, enthusiastic and motivated for each and every coaching session that they had to deliver, overcame language barrier and challenges by communicating using basic French phrases and excellent body language and delivering fun, effective, safe and inspiring coaching sessions across different sports.

Because students were flexible, open minded and wanting to contribute to amazing project I feel they have had a really positive impact in the local community, especially with young kids and coaches that they have worked with, giving them different experiences, teaching and learning about different cultures and languages, sharing common ideas, values and beliefs.

Based on students’ evaluation and feedback I feel that this project and experience will have a long lasting impact on their lives and later on in their careers, it will make them all around better individuals, it will make them good citizens of society that are aware of peoples different values, beliefs and traditions, it will make them strong campaigners for better and healthier life through similar project and I am certain it will make them more employable because they have learned so much form this project.



Wigan Warriors – The VET project in Martinique (1st – 14th March 2018) by Kevin Perry

In March 2018 I lead a group of 10 students and 2 staff to the Caribbean Island of Martinique for a two-week cultural enrichment and work experience project.  Our students are all focused on becoming qualified in the sports coaching and personal fitness training industries.  This type of once in a lifetime project was an unbelievable opportunity for our young people to experience a new part of the world, immerse themselves in a different culture and learn new skills and strategies to take on into their future lives.

Prior to departure we/our group received an exceptional level of support and guidance from our partners ‘Everything is Possible’.  Guidance on preparing our students for their venture with multiple sessions on cultural do’s & don’t’s, essentials skills and even classroom based French language lessons delivered by native islanders.  The support from ‘Everything is Possible’ continued throughout our project whilst resident in Martinique.  Constant communication to check all was going to plan and liaison with our partners on the island ‘Youth in the Town Association’.  Right through to an evaluation day to consolidate all outcomes and pull together a greater understanding between all learners.

A real positive aspect of the project was that we were able to work together with our partners to construct a working two-week timetable to ensure all activities matched up with the skills our students were needing to develop.  For example, work activities in rugby and football coaching to young players.  Links directly to their qualification requirements.  Cultural and history visits around the island, along with the requirement of independent living, financial budgeting and time management etc, all important life skills young people need to develop.

I believe and witnessed during the two weeks, our young people learning how to plan and implement sessions, cope with challenges situations with regards to the language barrier, finding ways to communicate their points, strategizing to level to achieve their outcomes.  Self confidence has grown in many, eyes have been opened to a world and life outside of Wigan, England.

I hope and feel that our learners have left a positive impression on the people, young people of Martinique.  They had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside people young and old.  Overall an incredible experience for the group and one that will live with them for the rest of their lives and no doubt enrich their futures in whatever industry they pursue, home or abroad.



Wigan Warriors – The VET project in Martinique by Shane Eccles

In march 2018 we visited the island of Martinique in the Caribbean. This was a project for 10 of our sports students, who are studying to work in the sports and fitness industry. This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to visit a different country and experience a different culture alongside this the students had opportunities to practice the skills they have been learning in college. We worked with an organisation called Youth in the Town who were excellent to work with. The staff were very welcoming and hospitable. Youth in the Town were able to plan various activities for the students over our time on the placement. The students were involved in various sports coaching sessions across the island where they had to use the skills they have been learning in their college studies. The students were also given opportunities to learn about the Martinique culture through meetings with young people from the island and engaging in culture days where they discussed language and also foods and hobbies.

Before heading off to Martinique we had a number of sessions in preparation for this project. As part of the students vocational studies they had lots of sports coaching practice where they were coaching different groups to work on their coaching skills. Alongside their vocational studies we also had a week-long visit from two sports coaches from Martinique.  The students spent time with the two coaches and did a lot of work on the French language and learning terms they would need to use within their coaching sessions. This was very helpful as it gave the students an insight and preparation of the language and what to expect when they arrived and started coaching in Martinique.

The students did a lot of sports coaching whilst in Martinique on rugby which is a sports they are very familiar with but also delivered sports coaching in other sports (Football, Gymnastics & Water Sports). This helped the students gain valuable experience of coaching in various settings and also had a difficulty in the language barrier especially when working with younger children who weren’t able to speak a lot of English. The students were observed on their final practical coaching session whilst delivering in Martinique which put a lot of pressure on them to deliver a good coaching session working with children of a different language and culture.

From this project the students have gained a lot of valuable skills, I feel the students have gained skills in two areas, they have gained life skills and also professional skills. The students had responsibilities in the accommodation of cooking and cleaning. Over the two weeks the students devised a plan and ensured the tasks were split evenly between each of them. The students had to make sure these tasks were done and this is something that some of them are not used to doing at home. The students demonstrated a lot of development in this area and I believe learned skills that will help them prepare for life after college. The students also developed their professional skills, they were able to use the skills they have bene learning in college and apply them in practical situations. The students had to plan and deliver sports coaching sessions to a variety of groups and also work on trying to incorporate French language into these sessions. It was a pleasure to see the students being able to plan and deliver sessions and also develop their knowledge of language and build good relationships with the young people they were working with.

I feel our students worked very well with the local rugby club as this is a passion of the students who participated in this project. I feel the students worked with the club and were able to pass on advice and coaching ideas to the local coaches. The students also delivered individual presentations on their likes and foods they had brought from home. They were able to spread the culture of the United Kingdom and specifically the north of England giving an insight to the young people of Martinique what life is like in the U.K

This was a fantastic opportunity for our students and is something that they wont forget. They were able to take part in professional development by delivering coaching sessions in a completely new and unknown environment to participants who speak a different language. This experience on its own will help them towards achieving their future career aspirations as they are able to draw on that experience and demonstrate confidence in their coaching and also competence from delivering coaching sessions in these difficult circumstances. The students were also given the opportunity to try new things which they would never have the opportunity to do at home, the students were involved in Yole Boat Sailing, which is a traditional form of sailing in Martinique and isn’t practiced anywhere else in the world. The students also benefitted from free time by taking part in activities such as swimming with wild turtles. Overall this has been a fantastic opportunity for our students and they have been able to benefit from various activities from delivering coaching sessions to local French speaking students, working with local young people on cultural exchanges and enjoying free time in the Caribbean climate and culture.

I would definitely advise anybody who was offered this opportunity to grasp it with both hands as it is a fantastic professional and social development opportunity for students and staff to be involved in.


The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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As part of our latest Vocational Educational Training (VET) project, we asked our hosting partners what impacts Moving Feet Opening Minds had on their organisation, beneficiaries and local community. They are also explaining the methods they used to best support our VET trainees. Here

This project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.



Jeunesse Dans La Ville (Youth In The Town) – Martinique

By Emilie PEPE

For more than two years, our association has collaborated on a mobility project for young workers called “Moving Feet Opening Minds” created by the organization “Everything is possible”.

We are responsible for the project’s management in Martinique territory and we act as a partner. Our main mission is the reception of group of British trainees over periods of 2 weeks. Thus, we put them in contact with different sport associations and we make sure to familiarize them with the Martinican culture by organizing various activities with sports students of our organization.

Thanks to our partners, we were able to place these English students in sport clubs in Le Robert where they were able to coach young people in activities such as Football, Rugby, Athletics, basketball and gymnastics.
Depending on the discipline, they were in charge of total or partial training and had to:

● Take charge of the warm-ups and replace the coach by coaching the players on some workshops.
● Take charge of the warm-up, set up workshops, organize/take part in matches and take care of stretching.

From the start to the bottom, we guarantee these young people a support for the duration of their experience:

● We plan a meeting where we explain what the members’ clubs expect from them.
● We were always present on the first day of training for introductions and exchanges.
● And as far as possible an employee of our structure went to the coaching site for possible translation to allow a smooth running of activities.
● We also organized French workshops with our young sports students to facilitate exchanges between the students and the local players.

To prepare the introductory workshops for the French language, we deduced after reflection that we had to program fun and practical activities to enable the assimilation of this language. We started from an observation, and decided to work on 3 points which seemed to us essential:

● Salutation and basic expressions of the language
● Give directions (sports field)
● Expressions and vocabularies of sport

From this, we developed a program of activities with role plays to practice and pronounce well, games to retain the vocabulary, and sport workshop for situations.

After having received some feedbacks from the supervising teachers, I can say that among these young people some have become more autonomous:

● Faced with some personal expenses, they learned how to manage their pockets money
● On the tasks of “everyday life at home”

They all lived in collocations in a big house. Life in community is not easy, and many of them I think have learned from this experience especially on the human level.

On the professional side, they had the opportunity:

● To develop language skills
● To work verbal and nonverbal communication
● To manage groups of children during sports activities
● Set up workshops according to a goal to be achieved

The various club members were always very enthusiastic about receiving the English trainees because they clearly noticed a drastic change in their players.
Indeed, they saw them more attentive and serious during training despite the language barrier.
First, they made the effort to be punctual, they were attentive and observers to understand what the English students expected from them during all the workshops. It has been really beneficial for them to meet other young people from another culture with a different behavior.
It has been a rewarding experience and local coaches are very open to this type of exchange.

After 2 study trips in UK which was conclusive and rewarding.
We maintain a very good relationship with all partners, all eager to return to Martinique.
Indeed, the passion that each partner has for the idea of ​​renewing this project shows us in a certain way their recognition and the desire to work with us again.

We learnt a lot about the importance of rigor, organization and communication. What is very crucial. Now, we are aware of being more efficient and effective to improve the quality of our services.



Donkey Sanctuary Aruba – Aruba

By Desiree Eldering

Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is a non profit organisation that takes care of wounded, stray and donkeys in general. We started 21 years ago with 10 donkeys who were being hit by cars or mistreated. Today we take care of 130+ donkeys. The daily care is in the hands of our volunteers. The students work with one of our volunteers and do not have total responsibility of the Donkey Sanctuary. In the past we could take care of the donkeys with a minimum of 2 volunteers per day, since we moved to a bigger location and all donkeys are together now, we need more hands on. We are very happy to give UK trainees an opportunity to come and learn about our donkeys and about our culture. We plan special procedures when the students are here, like i.e. deworming of all the donkeys or the castration of a stallion. Just to make the experience more interesting. We really like all the help we can get and are happy to help the students in any way we can think of.

When the students come they get a lot of structure. They learn that the work to be done is every day the same. They learn to respect the animals and their needs. They learn about the routine that the donkeys are used to. The donkeys need to be fed in the morning and in the afternoon. In between times the students clean the premises and help to maintain the property like weeding and trimming bushes, or paint all stable doors.

Sometimes it is to learn not to give up when they are tired, sometimes it is just some quality time with a cuddly donkey that gets them motivated again.

If they are interested in some more than just working with the donkeys we also have a souvenir shop where they can do some sales, or talk/inform our visitors about the history of the donkeys on Aruba or the donkey as an animal. There is no pressure to perform, the student can do what they do best. Some students learn they like sales more than working with the animals. Some like the medical assistance (vet) best.

We learned that quite a lot of the students go back home knowing what they are going to do next, instead of not knowing at all. They will start looking for a job or start a new study. It is nice to see how they develop during their stay. Some become more confident while they are on Aruba, some will get the confidence after their trip.

When in the UK we visited the schools and institutes that come to Aruba to the Donkey Sanctuary and the Veterinary Clinic and listened to the stories students told us. I was very moved by these presentations and happy to learn that we have so much impact on their lives. More reason for us to welcome more groups. For us it is a win- win situation.



Contreras Veterinary Services & Dog Lovers Grooming Services – Aruba

By Ricardo Contreras

Contreras Veterinary Services & Dog Lovers Grooming Services are private business that works to provide Health and Care of animals in Aruba for more than 25 years. We are mostly busy with domestic small animals (90 % dogs 5 % cats) but also attend large animals like horses, donkeys and others like exotics pets. We offer quality services as surgery, laboratory, X-ray, ultrasonography, hospitalization, boarding, consultation, pharmacy & more. We are 5 Veterinarians and 9 helpers that works in two locations.    By Dog Lovers Grooming Services works 5 staff that provide external hygiene y beauty mostly for dogs.

Since we are receiving young trainees from UK I think the main experience that we make them live is to feel the day to day of a veterinary clinic. They learn to receive a patient, the importance of the statistical part (weight, temperature, breed, age, sex, symptoms, description, identification, etc.), they also learn to handle animals that are anesthetized and not anesthetized (aggressive or stressed). They can also learn and experience to place an IV catheter and hypodermic injections, cleaning of wounds, application of bandages and splints. They can be witness of surgeries and they can even act as assistants during them. They also do cleaning jobs of consulting room, surgery room, hospital kennels and boarding. And many more activities.

Our companies always like to collaborate with governmental and non-governmental institutions in regards to health, prevention and animal rescue, especially with the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba of which we are members, for that reason we were involved with the young trainees of everything is possible. But it was not until we visited the UK and listened to the testimonies of these young people, that we realized the impact of this Aruban experience in their lives. It was very gratifying to hear them and since then everything have more sense to Us for this symbiotic relationship with this organization that will always be well come. Thank you.



IDEUM – Sweden

By Louise Renberg, Teacher at Sandbackaskolan, Arvidsjaur

During a fortnight in December 2017 Sandbackaskolan i Arvidsjaur took part in a project called Moving Feet Opening Minds. We hosted 20 rugby players and four of their leaders from Wigan.

Our school is an upper secondary school with approximately 400 students. We are situated in the north of Sweden in a small village called Arvidsjaur. At our school we have both vocational programmes and higher education preparatory programmes such as Natural Science programme, Social Science programme, Business Management and Economics programme, Vehicle and transport programme, Child and Recreational programme and Health and Social Care programme.

During their stay in Arvidsjaur the students from England took part in ordinary PE- and English lessons as well as trained their sport. They were introduced to skiing, both cross-country and downhill, skating and tabata and at the same time they met with our students in different programmes. Since The English students are into rugby, which isn’t particularly big in our region, they also taught our students a few things about their sport.

This was very much appreciated among our students. During English lessons we worked with the actual language as well as comparing cultures, countries etc.
We also showed some of our winter activities to give a hint of what differences there are between our countries. An example of this is when we went to a slope next to our middle school and used that to slide downhill on the snow on mattresses and toboggans. An open fire to warm hands on and for grilling our typical “Falu sausage” was lit at the bottom of the hill.

No specific methodology was used to help the UK trainees. We used our usual teaching and the new environment to try to show differences as well as similarities. They came to a small place where it was dark, snowy and cold as they had wanted and we tried to do our best to show it in a good way.
From what I have been told by one of the leaders of the group they found their stay here most achieving. They were made stronger as a group and several of the lads learnt lots about taking responsibility both for themselves and their group.

We’ve been told that they had some once in a lifetime experiences that they will never forget and we are very happy hearing that.

From the point of view of Sandbackaskolan, both when it comes to staff and students our visitors had an immense impact on us. By their positive attitudes they showed that nothing is impossible! They made our students talk English, realising that they manage much more than the think! Meeting people from another country and learning about their way of living and their thoughts creates an understanding and curiosity for other people which is very important in this world.




National Cat Society – Malta

By Carmel Serracino-Inglott

The National Cat Society – NCS (founded in 1995) decided to do something to eliminate the sorry state many cat stray colonies were in. Two main alma run parallel to one another. (a) to establish a cat sanctuary (b) to educate the general public in general but with special attention to young citizens.

Re (b) the NCS has qualified tutors and it was deemed fit to invite students to come forward to acquire knowledge of how to care for these cats ( adopting the ‘learning by doing’ principle). Our organization therefore offers trainees the to follow these operations:

(1) Let’s group some cores under the heading of HYGIENE, for we believe that this is the crux of running a sanctuary. The motto is Keep the sanctuary spotlessly clean and in ship shape conditions thus arresting all invading epidemic ‘enemies’ and therefore keeping at by endemic ‘enemies’. If there are or appear that there are symptoms of these enemies (say ring worm) then action is triggered. This is the ‘credo’ we try to instil in the gray matter of all students. Therefore daily. (a) an inspection of the site is carried out and students have to point out any abnormalities (strange happenings) say a sickly looking cat. Most cats (97%) are free range. Also state of cleanliness of beddings etc. Remedies are taken in hand and recorded. Then and only then we start the routine vital cores (b) collecting all litter trays both from free range spots and cages in the sick bay, recovering bay and isolation bay. Litter trays are inspected. Any remarks (loose organic material) is reported. Trays emptied into plastic bags and then power washed dried and refilled. (c) another group collects all food trays also nothing remains especially from the cages (as in the food there might be medicines mixed according the vet’s prescriptions. Again a cat might be refusing to eat hence solutions are put into practice ( forced feedings? change of food ? Cuddling needed -especially if the cat is new? (6) Cleaning of the floors and garden. (e) cleaning of the shelves, baskets and sofas as well as any other furnishings (such as scratching structures). (f) The cages are cleaned in a refined way. All the walls are well washed using disinfectant for use near animals.

(2) FEEDING. Feeding the free range cats is easy. (a) First all dry food dishes are-refilled (these are washed three times a week.) with first grade pellets. Then the small trays in the cages filled as per specifications (day using ‘renal’ preparations for specific patients) . The soft food is prepared as per individuals as some are under medications and the medicine has sometimes to be mixed with this food. Stainless steel plates are preferred. We have trained volunteers for this purpose.

(3) ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINES. Medicines are not always mixed with food. There are ointments for the ears, others for the eyes and skin. Of course beside the information provided by the vet’s prescription one has to read the information on the leaflet accompanying the pack. Medicines are stored in a locked pharmacy cupboard. Other medicines come in the form as injections and applied according the behaviour of the animal.

(4) CUDDLING, GROOMING and UNDERSTANDING VOCAL AND BODY LANGUAGE. Cats love cuddling and grooming; in fact they do it themselves but is not enough and so students learn how to groom with designed brushes and when to stop as when the cat thinks that it has had enough. With a little bit of patience one learns that cats obey commands ( if they feel like it) They learn their human imposed names very quickly.

OK the trainees from the UK were assigned to individual local volunteer single or in twos. The trainees first observed what the volunteer was performing whilst listening to explanations why this core is done so and the other is done another way, maybe, then the trainee does the core under the volunteer’s direction. The trainees are encouraged to ask questions and point out any better ways of ‘attacking’ a core. A discussion might follow. If a core is too hard or dangerous the trainee is asked to participate just by paying attention to the procedure. The volunteer tries to ‘export’ as much information to the trainees as possible. When we jobs elsewhere but connected with the running of the sanctuary the trainee is offered to accompany the volunteer (e.g. vet runs. purchasing ( and bargaining ) food and other objects). Though the trainees since they come in groups with a tutor we only offer them information about current cultural activities and the possibility of going out together if they so agree. We also try to explain the different culture and language as to our surrounding Med countries.

Of course we use the Learning by Doing method but we make a point that OBSERVATION is vital to a sanctuary like ours. Then follows the Reporting of any relevant (or even seemingly relevant) in detail. Then comes ACTION (now usually taken by experienced trainees). Eventually (sometimes next day) Result is analysed and recorded. Result is always the ultimate target whether it is positive or negative. If need be EXPLANTION cum DISCUSSION follows filing proceedings for future reference.

Well, the trainees whilst taking part in this compressed project they have acquired of 1. how to run a sanctuary efficiently (considering that funds, though available, are still not that early to obtain). The love, dedication of the trainees towards the cats are there to encourage other visitors to join the group hence the trainees will in still in them the initiative to do things. The trainees even without really realizing at that moment, skills will become imbedded in their DNA for future release. The skills are to observe and do to learn fully the skill; repeat it, refine it discuss it, conclude. This has to be in practice and not on paper only. The skill to ask questions is paramount.

They now know how to keep a place spotlessly clean. They know how to look at cats in a professional way. They know when a cat looks sick and what steps are to be taken; follow ups. They now are not afraid to inject a pet, how to put eye drops or cream in cats’ eyes, ears. They know how to cuddle and groom a cat.

Now one is to point out that not only we as directors of the NCS have learnt a lot from the presence of the trainees but also many local people were impressed by the enthusiasm the youths have shown both by helping us in our quest to attract more people do join voluntary organizations. Already some street groups started to take care of their strays i.e. not only feeding them but also taking them to vets for check-ups. This is great in deed. The NCS on the other hand is encouraged to expand its operations. Also a few schools visiting the complex where the sanctuary is situated were drawn to the sanctuary by the presence of these trainees and questions were asked and opinions exchanged and the end result was that a couple have devised a programme with us to send some of their students to carry out a project at our sanctuary.



The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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