The Guyana Faith-and HIV Coalition with group 2 in support of the Community Life Competence process as a mean of stimulating local response and ownership by communities did a workshop with two youth groups to stimulate their WOT and WOW towards their concerns using their strengths.

Introduction of participants using the weather inside to stimulate their feelings towards the workshop and helped participants to feel comfortable, relaxed and a part of a community that knows each other.


Exercise 1 - Identifying Strengths


Exercise 2 – Dream Building


Exercise 3 – Self Assessment


Exercise 4 – Reflection


Identifying Strengths


The first exercise done was identifying strengths we thought it was very important for the youths to realize their strengths and learn to identify them.

Using the one, two , three count the participants were broken up into groups of three and given a piece of paper the was told, on the count of three pull the paper as hard as you can, this was done three times.

They all complied without asking any questions, after tearing the paper they were told they have one minute to put the paper back together. An excitement erupted in the room, because everyone wanted to be the first to accomplish this task.

The facilitator then asked the winning group, what helped them put the pieces of paper back together?

And some things mentioned were, communication, team effort and everyone contribution.

The Facilitator then related that the paper represented a community such as a (youth group, family group, and friends etc.) and unknowingly we can tear our community apart but now as they know how to identify their strengths on working together they can build that community back.

They intensely listen to the Facilitator as we see the lesson resonate with them.


Exercise 2 - Dream Building 

In this exercise the Facilitator asked the youths to go into their respective youth groups to discuss and think about the strengths they have as a group and dream of how they see their group in 2 to 3 years building on their strengths and being a more competent youth group then present it in a drawing.


In the presentation they explain their dreams for their youth groups with such admiration and things that came out of their dream were:

To be recognize, always have respect for each other, embrace each other different abilities, team work, have good communication with each other, have fun and love for each other so at the end of year 3 they will be moving in sync  toward they future while reaching for the stars.


Exercise 3


Self Assessment

After seeing their enthusiasm from the exercise dream building the Facilitator asked them to return to their group and think of one thing they can work on from now that can help them to accomplish their dreams. They arrived at Punctuality, so the Facilitator then introduced Self Assessment and discussed how important it is to assess ourselves. We introduced the self assessment frame work and explained each level using exercise as an example to help in understanding the levels of competence in the self assessment frame work which is,

Level 1 – Aware, Level 2- React, Level 3 – Act, Level 4 – Continuous Action, Level 5 – Act Naturally


The Facilitator then asked the youths to choose what level they’re at on Punctuality as individuals and then to discuss it and choose what level they are at as a group. What the Facilitator mention after, was the fact that knowing where you at present does not meant that’s where you  have to be, but knowing that you can now start acting on moving forward using the strengths you have.






Exercise 4




In the Reflection, the youths expressed their approval towards the workshop and how they understood the process. They said “they can now asses themselves as a group on other things to help them to be more competent as they move towards their dream.”



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Comment by Gaston on November 25, 2011 at 7:40am

Thank you Shabakie. That is a great experience. I like your style of writing. It is like I am in the room with you. 

Just to understand: Did you facilitate the entire self-assessment on AIDS Competence with the group? Or you only introduced the concept through the example of Punctuality? 


One of my experiences is similar that the best way to transfer this approach to others is by letting them experience it first of all by themselves. 


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