Training of Trainers and Facilitators in Caux: 'Only the beginning'14/11/2022
What happens when 26 IofC trainers and facilitators from 12 countries embark on a three-day learning journey in Caux on designing and facilitating participatory learning experiences? At the opening session of the Training of Trainers course (5 - 9 October 2022), everyone’s relief at finally being back in Caux and meeting up in person was palpable and the smiles on people’s faces throughout the entire course spoke volumes.
‘It’s not just about us!’
The intensive training course had been organized by IofC Switzerland’s training manager, Diana Damsa (Romania). Its aim was to enlarge the existing pool of people who can professionally deliver training and facilitation based on IofC’s core principles and practices.
The 26 participants came from very different walks of life and from all over the world, including Kenya, India, Ukraine, Egypt and Mexico. They were all determined to make the most of their time in Caux. A participant from Egypt explained, ‘I am looking for a life of purpose.’
While most of them had experience of facilitating, coaching or teaching, others were beginners. But all of them were eager to extend their skills and knowledge. As one said, ‘What we are doing is not just about us. It’s about the wider community. It’s about coming together, to get the wider picture.’
What needs to happen for learning to take place?
Trainers Bhav Patel (UK/Moldova) and Kate Monkhouse (UK) guided the trainees through a range of sessions covering the role of trainers and facilitators, how to involve participants and how to design training programmes.
Bhav Patel invited the trainees to have a ‘beginner’s mind’ and explore what kind of experience they would like their participants to have. He challenged them to do a proper needs analysis to get everything in place for a successful programme: ‘Always make sure not to lose yourself in assumptions about what a potential client might expect.’
He presented different models of how to provide the best possible learning experience. ‘The better you are prepared, the more you can improvise,’ he said, urging the future trainers to explore their own talents and skills.
What is special about IofC’s offer?
Kate Monkhouse’s sessions particularly focused on the values which distinguish Initiatives of Change from other organizations offering similar services. In a growing sector, it is important to know what makes our offer special and to find innovative ways of using these assets.
A participant from Germany saw the main difference in the fact that ‘people come as strangers and become friends’. Others spoke of the creation of a feeling of connectedness amongst participants, the focus on silence and reflection, the readiness to listen to others and see their perspectives, and the provision of a safe space where people can learn and un-learn and connect the personal, local and global.
‘Only the beginning!’
The sessions were a mix of theory, case studies and practical exercises, enabling all participants to find their place in the process. A university teacher from Tunisia said: ‘I have been so exposed to theory through my job, but the course clearly showed me my role as a facilitator. This is only the beginning!’
These three days were a first step into a new adventure, preparing the ground for professional training and facilitation offers in Caux, Geneva, online or at clients’ premises. A network of motivated trainers and facilitators has been created and we look forward to the way ahead.
What they said
I will be implementing a lot of things in the format of the programmes I already work with.- Ann, Kenya
I am very grateful for these days. So much information. So many models. So many structures to help us become more professional in designing events. - Elly, Netherlands
This training has stirred something deep in me. - Monica, UK
The Training of Trainers course was a solid base to build on. I feel it’s a turning-point for me, a next step with IofC Switzerland. - Margret, Switzerland
It helped me a lot to reconnect with myself. It is one of the first trainings I have done where I feel really eager to deeply study the content, apply it in practice and discover the next steps. - Alevtina, Germany
I am grateful because I feel I am not alone, because I know there are next steps and it’s not just related to this training. There is something global here. I am very grateful for this space. - Dasha, Ukraine
This course has been a gentle, humane and professional reminder of my calling. We all share doubts about what we are doing. Yet sometimes we need - and we can be - each other's mirrors to shed light of the good and reflect on what can be improved. And then this might take us back to the road of impactful meaning. - Asmaa, Egypt
Our training offers
Are you a changemaker or work with people who need more skills, refreshed motivation and focus, clarity for the next steps or ways for having more impact?
Do you want to inspire, equip or connect your staff, team, or the people you are reaching out to through your work?
Discover all our training offers here and get in touch!
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By Ulrike Ott Chanu / Photos: Diana Topan and U. Ott Chanu
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