Community Facilitation CE Launched
Our trainers are drawn from local health centers in SW Uganda. Many of them are the only health worker at the Health Center II or III level. The majority are nursing assistants with three months of formal training. Often they have been stationed in the same place for more than ten years.
Our training, first in child health and more recently in community development, has given them additional health information, more confidence and provided motivation as well as social stimulation. They also appreciate the certificate of attendance we provide at the Training of Trainers courses.
For several years they have been asking if they could receive more formal recognition for their training from the university, which would mean for us to make the training a regular continuing education course. After much to and fro with the university, including development of a detailed curriculum, course description, outline, objectives etc. our training has been accepted as a Continuing Education course, perhaps the first to be provided at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
The first Training of Trainers course was provided during my recent visit and included a number of university faculty as well as our field-based facilitators. Now with our trainers prepared to provide a university continuing education course, we have offered the first Continuing Education course in Community Facilitation facilitated by three of our own trainers.
Much to my surprise we had ten applicants sign up for the course, all of them university graduates and willing to pay for it. By the second day several more people, who had heard about the course from their friends who were attending, came to say this was exactly what they needed and they wanted to join us. We are now hearing from others eagerly inquiring as to when our next course will be held. The trainees come from local and international NGOs, faith-based institutions and recent graduates from developement studies. I am amazed how, with minimal advertisement there are so many people interested. The trainees are exceedingly enthusiastic, so already a second course is being organized for later in the year.
During the first week of classes, which were held in the Red Cross offices, a number of students visiting the Red Cross from a college in Kampala as part of the field work of an adult learning course, ask if they can sit in. It seems they get the theory of adult learning but not the coaching or practical skills needed to put it in practice. Looks like this could be a growth industry here.
The facilitators for this first certificate course, could not be better. Bernadette, Charles, Theresa and Clotilde are sensitive and supportive to participants, providing just the right amount of encouragement and direction, giving helpful feedback and jumping in when needed. Each of them has selected specific new skills they want to develop themselves and new sessions they want to try out. I think I have produced facilitators who are not only superb but who are better at this than I am.
Photos: Consulting with Charles; Food groups with Bernadette; Problem Tree for Domestic Violence; circle counselling; Richard creates his own flannel pictures.