What’s it like to actually go on these trips? it’s an amazing opportunity to step into a new culture, it can be exciting, joyful, occasionally stressful but always full of (good) challenges to overcome.
We’re lucky to work with amazingly experienced facilitators and great local support staff at the British Council and HSBC, but the reality of delivering any workshop or learning experience is that you don’t know how your group will take to the activities, what they already know and how the examples and metaphors will land. Throw in the fact that we’ll be delivering to young people in a language that’s not their first, in places completely new to us both physically and culturally, and it can become an intense experience!
Facilitators often say “show don’t tell” when talking about delivering workshops, so here’s a peak into the journey of a Taqaddam facilitator:
Meeting at the airport to head out for the first workshop, excited and nervous what the next few days will hold
First impressions of our host city, taking in the sights as we drive to our accomodation
First day, preparing for the workshop, working out roles with our co-facilitator, checking the venue and making important last minute checks
The most important preparation – checking out where the locals eat!
Workshop day, This room will be full of expectant teenagers in half a hour. No pressure
and we’re off….
After the workshop the students wont let us leave until we’ve posed for group photos and selfies! I feel like a local celebrity!
Evaluation time – theres always room for improvement, things that seem small like how you’ve set the space up or what wording you used to explain an example to the students can massively affect the experience and effectiveness of a workshop. Every evening we go through any changes we want to make and give feedback to our co facilitators – this is a much a learning experience for us as it is for the students on Taqaddam!
To be honest, we weren’t ready for how eager the students would be on the competition day. Students were ready and raring to go before we’d even asked them to turn up, so much so that we had to start early!
So many brilliant ideas in the room, each group with their own way of getting their idea across, we’ve been constantly impressed and surprised by the attention and resourcefulness put into the competition ideas.
After being grilled in the market place , 10 finalists presented to a panel of judges & their peers.
The judges announce the winners…….
After the celebrations there’s just enough time one one final game of ultimate rock paper scissors!
It’s all done, the facilitators and British Council staff are exhausted but exhilarated ……I can’t help thinking ‘when’s the next workshop?’
The next day we have a final check in, evaluation and reflection. Not a bad office……..
Then there’s one final chance to explore for the last couple of hours before…
….back to reality