Three is the magic number. Yes, it is, it’s the magic number. Or at least that is what it feels like in the world of Taqaddam, as we stretch into this year’s training and workshop events. Magic is in the air as the Taqaddam teams – the British Council, HSBC volunteers and Goodall Foundation trainers – harness the infectious energy generated over the past two years of delivery.
We certainly are stretching this year, flexing our learning muscles even further to provide an iteration of the programme that is bigger, bolder and more impactful than ever before.
We are reaching hundreds of young people in each of the six countries, Egypt, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.
We are delivering life skills training to school leaders and teachers, promoting a school-wide educational approach that allows students to navigate and take responsibility for their own learning and development.
We are offering training to Student Ambassadors in each country, developing their public speaking and coaching skills, and much more.
The response to the life skills training has been impressive, with teachers planning to use the Taqaddam tools and lesson plans across their classes, rather than just in the Taqaddam classes. Discussions between school leaders have been just as exciting, with conversations on building in electives for students across the year groups to access lessons that actively develop life skills.
‘This will benefit my purpose in life and hope that you continue to aid me in inspiring the students.’
‘I will encourage students to go out of their comfort zone and go deeper and deeper in their stretch zone, dealing with different people. Maybe with their colleagues from different classes or other grades.’
‘I hope to always be a part of Taqaddam and continue to help to build a better world for our students. I’m super excited.’
The impact of the programme on the young people is clear. Ambassadors who took part in the programme last year and the year before are full of stories of how the project helped to build their confidence; allowed them to connect with friends they would never have otherwise met; encouraged them to feel like they are positive change-makers in their communities. These are the voices that resonate, for the project team and for the new programme entrants.
‘I will use the learning from the workshop in my life by being who I am no matter what, speaking up, and loving myself.’
‘The thing I will not forget about today was my first presentation in front of strangers.’
‘I will spread positivity and I’ll give not only take! I’ll tell my beloved ones about everything I’ve learned.’