SVEopoli simulates an EVS project through a board game. The participants have the possibility to earn learning points by playing with cards that describe positive or negative events. The aim is to earn as many points as possible.
The SVEopoli game is mainly used in Xena during pre-departure trainings of volunteers, to make them aware about any unexpected situations that may happen during the project, analyze which might be the critical points for a volunteer (cohabitation, relationship with the tutor, language, etc) and how to deal with them in a positive way and learn from them.
SVEopoli is a tool within the smart games that supports learning throughout the game: although it takes the cue from 2 popular games like Monopoli and Gioco dell'oca, it adds to them the learning factor on a specific topic such as the European Voluntary Service and the possibility for the players to compare about their interests.
More in general it is included in the non-formal education and peer education field, using the participants' competences and opinions with the help of a trainer/facilitator expert on EVS that can relate them to cases happened in the real life, and that will show examples of possible positive solutions, give theoretical inputs when necessary and propose the participants some topics to discuss.
The first phase is the explanation of the game's rules: the rules are very easy and similar to those of Monopoli and Gioco dell'oca, (similar to Snakes and ladders) therefore normally understandable for all participants (it may be better to focus on the rule that when 2 participants meet on the same slot they have to compare on a topic proposed by the facilitator, this might be the strangest one).
After this phase it is possible to play to SVEopoli for as many rounds as previously decided or for as much time as needed in order to analyze a sufficient number of cases.
The last phase is the debriefing with the participants on how was it, if something interested that they didn't expect came up, if it helped them to consider aspects that they haven't previously take into account, etc.
-Learning points and SVEuro
Normally for our experience in pre-departure preparations, using the tool SVEopoli allows to analyze in a fun way many study cases that may happen during an EVS project at different levels and on different circumstances, activities, accommodation, evenings out, private life, etc. Thanks to this game the participants are able to express in a more free way their opinions both on practical cases and on general macro-topics linked to EVS.
The game has been used during 10 pre-departure preparations with soon-to-be italian EVS volunteers and it has been positively evaluated by them both about its usefulness and the fun point of view; it has also been used during two international contexts (a training for EVS mentors and a meeting of organizations that are involved with EVS) and it has been positively evaluated also by the operators involved in EVS from another point of view.
In our opinion the main flaws are the high cost of realization of the board game, the format is not very comfortable to transport and it is difficult to use it with a higher number of participants (we think that the maximum is 8, but it would be best to play with no more than 6 players).
I'll like to deliver a WORKING WITH TOOLS workshop , in which we will to implement the tool.
We already use this tool in predeparture trainning with future evs volunteers, in a trainning course for evs mentor and in a workshop during Italian Tool Fair.
The duration can be fom 60 to 90 minutes depending from the number of participants (maximum 8) and the purpose of activities, is adaptable according to the event’s needs.
In our opinion it is important to give feedbacks about the cases that may happen to volunteers and in some cases also contextualize them and explain that these are cases chosen directly by volunteers themselves because they were very particular and that they may be useful to reflect upon general related topics and not only on the specific case (for example if in a specific case it is clearly the fault of one or the other roommate, "do you think is it always that easy?", or "which could be other origins of issues among volunteers living together?). In our opinion having a good experience on EVS projects is therefore very useful in order to facilitate the game in a more constructive way.
At the end of the game, we think that it may be useful to outline on a blackboard or a flipchart all the different subjects involved in the EVS project to provide a visual representation that may clarify better.
At the moment the game was only realized keeping in mind the european volunteer point of view, a possible development for the future is to think about other cases and other points of view, such as the hosting organization, the mentor or the national agency, in order to choose what role to play and change the point of view on the project looking at the cases from a different perspective.
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