Three secretariat membersEach year, MPI enlists volunteers as members of the Annual Training Secretariat Team for the Annual Peacebuilding Training. They serve as class assistants, class documenters, social/special events coordinators, photographers and videographers. This is part of the Institute’s overall education and training direction of equipping potential peacebuilders with training and organizational skills and exposing them to diverse nationalities, religions, cultures and perspectives on peacebuilding. This is also an avenue for young professionals, development workers and fresh undergraduates with limited funds to further develop their skills and learn new peacebuilding theories and concepts without having to pay the tuition fee.

As members of the secretariat, volunteers must be ready to work long hours and under pressure, be interested and receptive to work in a multicultural setting, and be responsible, kind co-workers. MPI also sees to it that volunteers recruited as part of the team have a genuine desire to learn and participate in the training as well as contribute to peace initiatives being done in their own communities afterwards.

Before the training starts, MPI organizes orientation and teambuilding sessions. This is done in an effort to foster a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork, build trust and support, and provide a space for members of the secretariat to know one another. The sessions are an opportunity for the team to acquire a working knowledge of their tasks and responsibilities, clarify expectations, and prepare them for the grueling days ahead.

During the training, the volunteers attend daily debriefings convened after the day’s classes. The debriefings allow the team to discuss important issues of the day, challenges encountered and how they can be overcome, and prepare volunteers for the next day’s activities. These meetings are a way for volunteers to de-stress and support one another so they can face another day of the training with renewed energy and commitment.