Facilitation Practice

Carolyn Seaman
Posted April 18, 2016 from Nigeria
My Training Participants watching the World Pulse Video during the Digital Empowerment Training
A Training Participant sharing during the Digital Empowerment Training
A Training Participant sharing during the Digital Empowerment Training (1/23)

I hosted a digital empowerment training for young women in my community. I had four (4) participants in attendance, between the ages of 24 and 34 years old. Interestingly, my participants were all journalists and were excited about the opportunity to learn about how to use the internet to advance global social change. The goal of my training was to empower young women to use their knowledge of digital tools and resources to contribute to global social change. I used the World Pulse Digital Empowerment Trainers' Toolkit to facilitate the training so I introduced my participants to World Pulse and also shared a bit about my local organization, Girls Voices Initiative. My participants feedback survey reflected positive feedback about the information shared at the training, the facilitation and delivery of the training as well as the next action steps the participants were inspired to take following the learning from the training.

On the whole, I had a great experience facilitating this digital empowerment training and I am inspired to host another training with a larger audience of young women. And my future plan is to adapt a similar training for girls.

Tell us about at least one thing you learned about teaching from this experience. How was it to share this activity with other women?

Planning and facilitating this workshop was a huge learning experience for me. I always had the opinion that a training had to be such a formal activity that had to hold in a classic venue, engage a large audience and feature 2-3 facilitators at the minimum. So, it was humbling to learn that I could host a training in my home. And this is a learning experience from the VOF training program that inspired me to identify resources I had but did not realize it. I was able to re-purpose my home which I find is able to host a training for up to 10-25 people. I was able to transform my living room into a boardroom-style arena and conveniently hosted my participants for the digital empowerment training.

I had expected to train 7 participants, but 3 ladies sent in apologies at the last minute and I ended up training 4 participants who were still engaging and exciting to work with. It was a learning experience for me to work with such a small group but I found it a much easier group to work with and it is a lot easier to monitor the progress of each of the participants. I have scheduled a follow-up meeting to walk them through creating the profiles on World Pulse and they have also committed their interest to volunteer with my local organization, which present us with increased sources of inspiration for our girls.

My past experience facilitating trainings has been within in a group of 2-3, each taking turns to facilitate different sessions. So, I was extremely anxious to be solely facilitating this digital empowerment training. And I was surprised to find that I was able to run the entire training session. In fact, I was concerned that the time was limited to exhaust all I wanted to share with the ladies. I was so passionate and fired up with so much information to share with the participants.

Prior to the training, I was also worried about diversity of voices, other than my own, and I tried to explore opportunities to motivate my participants to contribute their thoughts. In an introduction exercise, I encouraged everyone to introduce themselves and share why they were at the training. So each participant verbally shared:

My name is....

I am here today to ...

Again, I encouraged participants to share their thoughts after watching the World Pulse video and it was great to have the participants excited to share their understanding too. We also worked through the definition of digital empowerment together so the participants could see their contributions to their understanding of the concept. And at the end of the training, we had individual video interviews to share participants voices and we made a highlight video to amplify the diversity of voices we had at the training.

All of these engagements encouraged diversity of voices in the room and encouraged full participation throughout the training.

What worked well?

Using the World Pulse Digital Empowerment Trainers' Toolkit certainly worked well for me. The toolkit already provided the manual that I cleverly presented to the participants over my television screen.

The Toolkit also provided helpful notes that provided the best guide on how to lead the presentation. And the suggested activities helped to make the training engaging. I was able to screen the World Pulse video on my television and I also projected the slide presentations on my television so that all the participants could experience the visuals along with the discussions.

All the supplemental materials provided in the toolkit also supported me in delivering an engaging training that featured various exercises and encouraged participation and information sharing.

What was more difficult? How could the difficulties be addressed the next time you train others?

The only difficulty I experienced was in the area of the time. I planned to deliver the 1hour training and had scheduled to complete the training in 1hour 30minutes incorporating the additional information about my local organization and volunteer opportunities available to work with girls. I had a bit of difficulty keeping to the time and this was because I had so much information to share and the participants were attentive and interested in the information they were receiving.

In my next digital empowerment training, I plan to use the 5hour training toolkit and my training agenda would schedule 8hours 30minutes (inclusive of a 30minutes tea break and a 1hour lunch break). This would allow for sufficient time for the presentation, the activities, and break-out sessions. And still allow for participants to return home before dark.

Comments 12

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Raquel Daniel
Apr 19, 2016
Apr 19, 2016

Amazing!!!. Your house is great resource for you and I see you also had a great time with the women.

If you are in Lagos, we can meet. I am working on having a World Pulse Meet Up in Lagos in May 2016. I will send you details and we can all plan something.

Weldon sister. God bless you for this work.

Carolyn Seaman
Apr 20, 2016
Apr 20, 2016

Thank you for your kind comments, Raquel.

I did enjoy a great time with the women. I am in Lagos next week and it would be exciting to finally meet you. So, sure we can catch up next week and talk further on a lot of the things we have been thinking through virtually.

Once again, thank you for reaching out.

Warm regards,

Marie-Claire Kuja
Apr 19, 2016
Apr 19, 2016

Hello Carol. You nailed it again. You never let your big sis down lie lie. Hand claps and a standing ovation on this one. I already watched this video on YouTube with so much amazement. You're weigh on your way to the top I must say. You're what excellence means.. Not micing words. Bravo. Kuja.

Carolyn Seaman
Apr 19, 2016
Apr 19, 2016

There you go cheering a Sister on! Thank you so much for your kind words, Kuja. 

Thank you for watching the video. And I am glad that you like it. Excellence is definitely a word I love to receive as a compliment. So, thank you for encouraging me on.

Warmly,

Kadidia Doumbia
Apr 24, 2016
Apr 24, 2016

Dear Carolyn,

You indicated the positive and drawbacks of your training. Therefore, it is certain that your next training session won't be good but excellent. The number of participants is not that important, but the goal is to interest the participants so that they will be active participants. And you succeeded in doing that. Congratulations.

Carolyn Seaman
Apr 25, 2016
Apr 25, 2016

Dear Kadidia,

Thank you for your remarkably kind words. I look forward to hosting an excellent next training. All of the learning from this experience have been very useful and would be incorporated into my next training.

Once again, thank you for your kind words.

Kind regards,

Adanna
May 31, 2016
May 31, 2016

Dear Carolyn,

You are a great role model!.

Keep up the good work!

Carolyn Seaman
Jun 09, 2016
Jun 09, 2016

Dear Adanna,

Thank you for your inspiring remarks. You truly inspire me to do more.

Many thanks,

Kadidia Doumbia
Jun 05, 2016
Jun 05, 2016

Dear Carolyn,

Keep us informed on your work.

With all our blessings.

Carolyn Seaman
Jun 09, 2016
Jun 09, 2016

Dear Kadidia,

I will certainly keep sharing about my work on World Pulse. This is my most treasured and safest space to share my experiences - the good and the bad. And I know I have Sisters who hold my hand and encourage me to keep going. You are, and continue to be a great inspiration to push me to do more. And I'll keep writing as well. Truly grateful,

Ritkatmwa Gwan Gwan
Jun 23, 2016
Jun 23, 2016

Thank you Carol for introducing me to this great platform...You continue to remain an inspiration. Congratulations on your achievements so far, and wishing you success in future desires...

Carolyn Seaman
Jul 16, 2016
Jul 16, 2016

Dear Ritz,

It was a great pleasure to share the World Pulse platform with you and I am all the more excited to see you on board! I look forward to hearing the great benefits you acquire from this amazing community. And I look forward to reading your powerful stories inspiring global change. Welcome aboard! And thank you for being an amazing woman!

Love,