Active Citizens Facilitator Development Workshop (FDW) was designed as a six-day long residential training attended by participants, initially nominated by the seven selected partners of Active Citzens, Centre for Communication and Development, The Hunger Project, DemocracyWatch, Young Power in Social Action, Shushilan, Wave Foundation, and Uttaran. This year, facilitation workshop was provided in two batches from 26 to 31 August 2019 and 8 to 13 Septmeber 2019. Altogether 66 participants attended these workshops.
This workshop mainly concentrated on facilitation skill development of the facilitators who will cascade their learnings to the Active Citizens, a group of young volunteers encouraged to engage with root level communities and work with social causes. The facilitators are intensively trained to not only learn about the Active Citizens sessions rather to understand the core theme of these sessions. They are also briefed about the Active Citizens toolkit used for conducting trainings, and how each session of the training is connected for Social Action Projects.
The core of the Active Citizens program is its “Learning Journey” which is designed around a model we like call ‘The River’. Designed to be inclusive, this model consists of four core modules, each having distinct learning outcomes. The first four days of the workshop is dedicated to explain the ‘Learning Journey’ and its goals.
The first session of ACYLT is 'ME', through which the participants are trained to cultivate self-awareness and confidence by understanding their own beliefs, attitude and behavioural traitas from different perspectives.
The second session is 'ME and YOU', where they concentrate on learning how to use intercultural dialogue as a tool for building relationships and establishing trust, empathy, and understanding between and within communities.
The training continues with the third session 'WE', through which the participants are urged to improve their understanding of community and how it operates. This session focuses on advancing the participants' sense of how the system functions, recognising who are deprived of their rights and eventually deciding on the issues they want to address.
After acquiring a thorough knowledge of the community and improved social responsibility, the participants lastly arrive at the final session which is 'Social Action Project' where they put all their learnings in act and plan a Social Action initiative in their community by discussing the process extensively from different levels, including their agenda, their mode of action and a specific intervention.
Once the facilitators receive the briefing on these sessions, the remaining two days are focused on discussing the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 5,16 and 13 which concentrate on gender equality; peace, justice and strong institutions; and climate action sequentially. As ‘Active Citizens’ hopes that focusing on SDGs will help the participants to cultivate a larger impact on global scale.
After the facilitators are given a short brief on the core modules; they are divided into four groups, each having eight to nince participants. Each master facilitator leads a home-group where the participants are required to conduct one session daily. This helps them to understand the process better. It also allows them to improve themselves as they receive valuable feedback from master facilitators and others. Having hands-on experience on how to conduct the sessions make the facilitators well-aware of their capability and their improvement areas. Moreover, everyday recap sessions are done innovatively by the participants themselves, which not only make them revisit all the previous lessons but also enables them to showcase their perception.
One of the participants Misita Kabere said, “I have gained brief knowledge on local governments, communities, and Active Citizens learning, which will help me to conduct the facilitation work smoothly.”
Sakif Amzad said, “Through the training, I have developed analysing power, co-facilitating skill, observation skills and learned how to charge an issue through interactive teamwork. I have also learnt how to properly train people and share contents.”
This workshop is an invaluable step towards a vision that focuses on producing a pool of facilitators who would not only facilitate the training throughout the country but will also contribute in shaping global change-makers. They are going to be the mentors of future youth leaders.