Community Life Competence Training 2

I was so excited to see what today would turn out to be. After having so much fun yesterday i was anxious to experience learning in a fun-filled, laughter filled environment. I admit, i feel the love in the room with all the participants being fully involved in the process.

I liked that most participants turned up on time. I could feel the enthusiams in the room, after yesterday people wanted to have more. This is a good thing, we should always have people wanting more, not because we want them to but because they want to. When we facilitate an environment where persons can share and appreciate each other experiences they are inclined to learn and share more.


The day started with Autry doing a weather check. It is always good to do a check how people are feeling before the training. This information in hand helps us to ensure that we do not leave anyone behind. Checking the weather inside also helps persons to reflect on the previous day's activity. In their quiet moments after persons would have gone home they would have done more processing of the information collected during the day. Most persons were ready and anxious to begin the day's activity.


Michael and Tricia introduced self assessment and illustrated the five levels by using healthy eating as an example. People are becoming more aware of healthy eating habits in Guyana so this was a perfect time to illustrate the five levels using the concept of healthy eating. After explaining what the different levels meant, participants were asked in groups of five to identify a level that they were at when it came to healthy eating. persons then had to explain to the rest of participants why they were at that level. What this brings out as well is that as individuals we have different perceptions of where we are and why we are there. Someone may feel that s/he eats healthy because  s/he eats vegetarian food compared to someone who eats meats at the same time someone eating meat may think the same of the other person who eats vegetarian foods. I really likes this for it stimulates discussions and creates the foundation for what takes place when self assessment is being done. When doing self assessment as a group, consensus must be had. 

Tricia took charge of the next step, having participants go into groups and come up with practices that are necessary to achieve their ideal communities that they dreamt of yesterday. As usual persons actively participated in their groups. This step is vital in ensuring that communities come up with their own practices; elements that they themselves can measure in actualizing their dream community. Participants then returned to present on their practices.

Michael with the help of Korey then did titling, where we the group was asked to identify common practices across the groups. These were then put under a common titles by the participants. It is always a good thing to let the communities come up with the titles. What this does is that through discussion they understand what they mean when they use a specific word. After general titling was done Ruben stepped in to have the group come up with simple definitions for the titles using the simplest of language. Having the the practices defined simply; group was then asked to again link common practices thereby making the list of practices smaller. Again participants found the commonalities and were able to successfully achieve the desired outcome, leaving us with 9 practices which were now defined in simple language.

This aspect of the training has always proven to be the most demanding of all the steps. This was reflected in the after action review. Some persons felt overwhelmed with all the work that was put into achieving the practices. 


Lunch was great

After lunch Autry restarted the session, one of the participants did an icebreaker. Ice breakers are always useful just after lunch for this is the time most people suffer from what we call "ethnic fatigue" or as we learnt yesterday "food coma"; this is where people fall asleep during sessions.

Now that we had the 9 practices we were ready to do some self assessment with the group using the practices the group would have come up with. The large group was again broken up into the smaller group who were asked to refine the simple definition of 3 practices into a descriptor of a level five as well as identify what level they would be at for the three practices they would have selected of the 9. Again I loved the participation of group members in their groups in coming up with the descriptors and identifying their level as a group. Groups reconvened and created a river diagram the help of Autry. We will again on Thursday of next do a complete self assessment for the group, today's activity only being an introduction and practice session.

Korey and Coleen took over and divided group into two for salt visits tomorrow. Groups were given time to plan for same, having guidance from facilitators when necessary. What was very inspiring was that even after sessions were finished today, there were some participants who remained to ensure that their preparations for tomorrow was covered.


After action review brought out the fact that participants felt overwhelmed with all the work and would have liked an icebreaker or a change of focus in the latter part of the morning.


I can't wait to see how tomorrow turns out to be.. looking forward to the fun times...







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Comment by Gaston on October 10, 2011 at 3:18pm

Thanks Michael for sharing. That room looks so familiar! The extraction of practices is indeed an intense task. We see this every time. But it's important that it's done well, so it serves as a key reference tool in the future. Taking the time for this by perhaps breaking down the exercise in two sections on two different days helped me out in some other sessions. Or once there is a draft down, let a small team work on wording and present to the group for final inputs the next day. 

How did you describe the practices? Did they use an active verb for each practice? 



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