On the ground in Lebanon
During the second year of the Taqaddam programme, workshops are taking place in seven countries to over 2,000 people. Lebanon is the only country to have a local facilitator who co-delivers the workshops alongside a Spark+Mettle facilitator from the UK. We asked Eva-Maria Ghanem, a member of the British Council project team in Lebanon in to share some thoughts on her experience.
An inspirational experience
Being the first local trainer on the Taqaddam programme was an amazing experience. I was really inspired by the students, especially because we had students from different backgrounds and from different regions of Lebanon who would not normally have this kind of opportunity. It was so interesting to see how some of them were really shy at the start of the programme, but slowly opened up as their confidence was boosted through the programme. Some of them were unstoppable at the end!
The experience facilitating Taqaddam also helped boost my confidence and challenged me to think in different ways and make the most of my own skills and character strengths.
Making a difference
Some of the students came back to me to ask for more information about websites I talked about and wanted to know more about studying abroad. I really felt I had been able to make a difference and help get these young people on the right track.
It’s all about the journey
I think that the Taqaddam programme should have been given to us when we were kids trying to figure out our way in life – what we would be good at, what we would really want to focus on, what is our purpose and all of that. At the same time, I do believe the journey getting to where I am now and facilitating a programme like this one is at the core of Taqaddam – it’s about the journey not just the destination. I have learned from my mistakes and my failures and this made it easier to relate to the young people and give them real experiences from my own life.
I really do hope that our Ministry of Education will introduce Taqaddam or a similar project to the curriculum so that more students can benefit from it.
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.