23 Mar

What the heck is a VBE?

VBE-grandrapids

Your local Babywearing International group is made up entirely of volunteers. These volunteers spend countless hours behind the scenes keeping the group running, but many have also studied and been tested on their babywearing knowledge to ensure that the information they pass on to others is helpful, safe, and accurate. All volunteers have their specialties – some may be self-professed SSC lovers and some may be total woven wrap geeks – but each volunteer is proficient in all methods of babywearing and happy to pass on their knowledge to others. These volunteers are part of what make meetings happen and keep the organization running….but what exactly is with all these crazy letters, and how do you become one?

 

LucyForn-Lillebaby

VBE = Volunteer Babywearing Educator

Often all educators, regardless of “rank,” are referred to as VBEs – and all educators (though not all volunteers!) start out as VBEs! Before becoming a VBE, the babywearer should be proficient with their chosen style of carrier and also knowledgeable about other types of carriers. VBEs must pass a written assessment that demonstrates basic knowledge of all types of carriers and safe babywearing, as well as good teaching ability. Once their written assessment is approved and another local leader gives the regional director their official recommendation, the prospective VBE will meet with a Master Babywearing Educator for an  assessment either in-person or via video conference. They will be asked to demonstrate various carries and carriers in person, asked to describe how they would teach someone else to use those carries or carriers, and asked to troubleshoot hypothetical problems that we often run into in the real world. Existing volunteers will mentor you through the process, and larger chapters will sometimes even hold VBE classes to get everyone up to speed on carriers they may not be as familiar with and frequent issues they run into with new babywearers while teaching. You’ll recognize VBEs, ABEs, and MBEs by their orange headbands.

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ABE = Advanced Babywearing Educator

After being a VBE for a while (6 months minimum), many volunteers will choose to become an ABE. Moving up to this step requires a board-approved project (some will do a research project, some a focused video project, etc) and another, more in-depth assessment. In addition to the basics they were tested on before, ABEs are required to know more about all the carries and carriers, and also be familiar with the basics of tandem babywearing and other more advanced babywearing practices. ABEs are also required to take a more active role in helping out with the group.

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MBE = Master Babywearing Educator

MBEs are currently the highest rank of volunteer within the organization. These are the people that really keep things running, taking leadership roles in local, regional, and sometimes national capacities. Volunteers may apply to become an MBE after being an ABE for 6 months. They must again complete an approved project, a written assessment, and an in person skills assessment. This time, the focus is on teaching and training new volunteers and handling especially tricky teaching situations.

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CSV = Chapter Service Volunteer
Want to help out with the group or at meetings, but don’t want to go through all the training and skills assessments? Though a VBE must still be present at each meeting, CSVs are invaluable to many chapters, especially larger ones! Tasks will vary depending on chapter needs, but CSVs may help with meeting setup, lending library check outs or check ins, handling memberships and finances, or a bevy of other things. Many CSVs will wear a white headband with orange accents to meetings.

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Be sure to thank your chapter volunteers for all their time, dedication, and hard work. If you are interested in becoming a VBE or CSV, contact your local chapter leaders to start the process!

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15 thoughts on “What the heck is a VBE?

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  10. Hi, my name is Maria Virginia, I am 32 years old, I have one baby (January, 2014) we live in Venezuela. I created a babywraps movement called “Abrazaditos” in my country, it has been a lovely project since almost 2 years ago. I went to Spain to learn about babywearing with the “ACB del bebe” (www.atencionycuidadosdelbebe.com) , that’s why part of my knowledge I owe to them. During all this time I’ve been carrying my baby, learning day after day about the development, safety and better practices to offer a high quality babywrap, always thinking about safety for me and other families. Throug this method I have served to hundreds of families not only in Venezuela (my country) but also in Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Panama, Spain, etc, bringing satisfaction and support for hundreds of mothers and families.

    I’ve been a baby wearing supporter, instructor and motivator, participating in a lot of Radio and national TV, magazines and newspaper interviews, local conferences and personal consultant, for example:
    National TV
    – Globovision, “Mujeres en todo” program.” Mayo 2014.
    – Televen “Lo Actual TV” Program, Junio 2014.
    Local TV
    – Anzoategui TV, “En Boga” program. Mayo 2015.
    – Oasis TV, “En Contacto TV” Program, Enero 215.
    Radio
    – Onda la Super Estacion, “Las Reinas” program.
    – FM Noticias, “Entre gustos y pasiones” program.
    Newspaper
    – Diario El Norte. “Talento Regional”. http://www.elnorte.com.ve

    Magazines
    – Que Nota Revista interview. http://www.quenotarevista.com , IG: @quenotarevista
    – Ardentía, del diario el Tiempo “Una herramienta para afianzar el afecto con bebe”. http://eltiempo.com.ve/suplementos. IG: @diario_eltiempo

    Next year my husband and I will be moving to Texas, USA, so I´m very interested to become an active participant of your babywearinginternational’s organization, to continue as a babywearing educator over there. It would be great to know what do I need to become a part of your organization. I also want to know if my knowledge and experience in latinoamerica can be useful for you to promote babywearing education to Spanish-speaking persons. I am attentive to the comments and suggestions to record the necessary requirements and to be a part of babywearing international. Thank you very much!. You can see our work in instagram across @abrazaditos facebook: abrazaditos cerquita de mi and soon http://www.abrazaditos.com.ve

    • Thanks for reaching out–it sounds like you’ve been doing some amazing babywearing education work! The best way to get involved is to join your local chapter (we have several in Texas, so which chapter depends on where exactly you end up). Happy Babywearing!

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