PBI UK organises 1-2 orientation weekends a year. The weekends are led by returned field volunteers and take the form of an intensive residential training over 2-3 days.

The orientation weekend will provide attendees with a useful general introduction to the principles, aims and policies of Peace Brigades International. The weekend is designed to be an informative and enjoyable experience for anyone wanting to learn more about the work of PBI and international accompaniment, and recreates the atmosphere of a PBI field team.  If you are applying to volunteer abroad on a PBI project, we recommend that you try to attend.

The facilitators are experienced PBI volunteers, having worked for country groups, on field teams and international committees. Between them they bring a diversity and wealth of experience in working for human rights.

Topics covered over the weekend include:

• PBI's mandate, structure and projects
• Political analysis, consensus decision making
• Principles of non-violence, non-partisanship and non-interference
• Mechanisms of international accompaniment

These issues are explored through discussions, informative presentations, role-plays, team exercises, workshops and games.

If you are considering applying to volunteer on a PBI project or would just like to find out more about international accompaniment, the orientation weekend is a great way to learn about PBI within a PBI field team atmosphere. Attending this weekend does not mean that you have to make a commitment to the organisation, nor to joining a team.

"I found [the orientation weekend] stimulating, fascinating and really enjoyable. I found the philosophy and practice of PBI particularly heartening because it also underpins the work I do in conflict resolution and mediation. I was very impressed with the range of skills and qualities volunteers have and the highly skilled work they do in difficult circumstances."   (Liz Lawrence, former OW participant)

The weekend also gives time for self-evaluation; time to assess your personal abilities and suitability as a prospective volunteer. On the last day there will be an opportunity to undertake a more formal (but friendly) self-assessment in conjunction with the trainers.

If you have any queries about volunteering with PBI or the application and selection process, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you are unable to find an answer to your query there, please email Adam Lunn at advocacy@peacebrigades.org.uk