Archive | June, 2013

Guyana’s CCMP journey starts

26 Jun

Last week, two consultants hired by Mothers’ Union – funded through a partnership of Mothers’ Union (including Mothers’ Union in Guyana) and Anglican Alliance – flew out to Guyana to begin the first of three trainings for the new CCMP facilitators. For a reminder of how Guyana reached this point, check this earlier post of our trip in March here.

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The first training focuses on equipping the participants with facilitation skills, as well as looking at ‘envisioning the church’; how to work with your local community and church leaders and looking at all of this through creative and interactive bible studies.

24 facilitators were trained in total, with participants drawn mainly from rural areas in Guyana. CCMP as a process tends to work better in rural areas, although there have been adaptations of the process to fit with urban settings. 3 of the group were members of clergy; it was vital to get the Church involved and include the clergy in this process. Many of the other participants have a strong background as parenting group facilitators with the Mothers’ Union’s Worldwide Parenting Programme, so they were able to build and expand on their existing facilitation skills.

But enough from us, here is what the facilitators trained thought:

Canon Winston Williams –”a very interesting learning session which will help youths, Mothers’ Union and the vestry in the Mazaruni area (hinterland) to work better with the community”

Alberta Carmichael – “We never knew that we had so many resources in the community and the church.  Now we have a better vision and it will help us to put together the resources in the church and community to work with the people outside of the church.

June Morgan (Diocesan President) – “Fantastic experience which has helped me realise that no one should be marginalised since we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Mothers’ Union would be helped as more and more persons would be awakened to use their resources and satisfy the five objects.  Bill and Jackie are fantastic facilitators.”

And from the trainers themselves…

Bill Crooks – Every course is different.  I am taking away the energy, passion, friendliness, dynamics and smiling of this group.  I have learnt new ways to present.  The fun, laughter, commitment to initiative is fantastic – an inspiration to all church groups

Going out from the first training, the facilitators will be supported by regional coordinators who have also received additional training during this week. By the time the second training comes around, in September 2013, they will have started to sensitise their communities and start the mobilisation process. We know from experience with our partners elsewhere, that CCMP does not show up results quickly and so we know that we are unlikely to see lasting change starting to emerge until early 2014. Once this starts happening though, the likelihood is we will see some revolutionary transformation in communities and churches – and this is being led and driven by the Mothers’ Union in Guyana! 

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Literacy and Financial Education Programme, South Sudan

20 Jun

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Communities in four African countries are being changed because of Mothers’ Union’s Literacy and Financial Education Programme. By the end of 2012 the programme had enabled over 130,000 people across Burundi, Malawi, Sudan and South Sudan to achieve an accredited qualification in literacy learning. Started in 2000, the programme was, from the very beginning, designed to give a holistic approach to empowering some of the most marginalised people in the world, meeting millennium development goals of reducing poverty, increasing the participation of women and girls in education and employment, tackling HIV/AIDS and improving child health. The programme uses participatory learning action (PLA) methodology to enable communities to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills whilst discussing and planning action for challenges people face on a daily basis. As a result of the programme women are now gaining financial independence, have more autonomy to manage their lives and are participating in household decision-making as well as community politics and leadership. 

For the last 2 weeks, 18 Literacy Trainers and MU Coordinators have lived alongside each other in Juba, South Sudan, undergoing an intensive refresher training for LFEP. They came from 6 different dioceses; Lainya, Juba, Renk, Malakal, Wau in South Sudan and Khartoum from Sudan. At the half way mark of the Comic Relief grant the hard work really begins in making sure the programme can be sustained after the funding period (2015), equipping the six teams with the skills to drive the programme forward. Furthermore, with the savings and business skills component of LFEP still relatively new, it was important to share lessons learnt so far and strengthen the teams’ skills to ensure the accredited learners were able to develop strong savings groups and successful businesses. 

Thanks to our partnership with Five Talents, we were able to deliver a one week training in both business skills and savings, followed by another week of literacy, numeracy and programme management with a strong focus on PLA- tools to encourage participatory learning. Some of the Literacy Trainers have worked on the programme since the very beginning, others were much newer. All had a fantastic enthusiasm for the programme, and work under incredibly challenging circumstances in order to serve their communities, through trained volunteer facilitators in each diocese.

A special mention must also be made to Sarah and Jesca, the two Programme Managers in Sudan and South Sudan; who conducted this peer-led training, in Arabic, as well as working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure LFEP really reaches out to communities at the grassroots level.

As a direct result of this training, all 6 dioceses will start to see additional facilitators trained (thus holding more literacy circles and reaching more people) as well as stronger management of the programme especially around business skills and savings, something that the accredited literate learners and their families greatly benefit from! 

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