A facilitator’s Taqaddam journey
Seyi Akiwowo, shares her experiences of facilitating Taqaddam workshops in UAE and Bahrain.
As I write this post it has been 264 hours (11 days) since I delivered six Taqaddam workshops to a total of 600 students in UAE and Bahrain – and I’m still buzzing from the fantastic experience!
From strength to strength
This is my second year delivering the Taqaddam programme in the MENA region, and my first time in Bahrain. Thanks to the support of the Goodall Foundation the Taqaddam programme has grown to now include facilitator training days, in-country logistics and support, resources and workshop materials and a brilliant online platform. As the programme has developed I recognise that I have also grown and developed as a facilitator.
If I had to pick just one highlight of the trip (which is really hard to do!) I would say it was meeting the Taqaddam Student Ambassadors and Alumni in UAE. Seeing how far these students have grown and developed in less than a year was amazing! I remember meeting some of the Taqaddam girls in 2016 who were so shy and anxious about speaking publicly and mixing with students from other schools. This year they were helping my co-facilitator James and I facilitate some of the workshops! It was so touching to hear the Student Ambassadors share what they learned on the Taqaddam programme and how the workshops have made a real difference to their lives. Hearing these testimonies daily from students and teachers not only gave me the spark and inspiration to give even more when facilitating and delivering the programme, but it also helped me really understand why we are doing all of this.
Investing in the future
Seeing the growth of these Student Ambassadors was like watching a beautiful flower grow – and it’s all down to the hard work of fantastic colleagues and the theory and research behind the workshops. Taqaddam works and it’s a well-spent investment in the next generation. I feel very honoured to play a small part in it.
Written by @SeyiAkiwowo facilitator at Spark and Mettle
Taqaddam, meaning ‘move forward’ in Arabic, aims to support young people to build confidence and develop personal skills as they leave school. The programme has been developed by and is run in partnership with HSBC and the British Council. The content for the programme has been developed by Spark+Mettle, part of the Goodall Foundation.