FACILITATION EXPERIENCE

eatladi
Posted April 20, 2016 from Botswana

My experience with the facilitation was an amazing one. There were ups and downs when I started because it was a little difficult to find women who want to participate. It was a new experience to them so I could understand. I ended up taking on 6 of my church mates. I chose to do general empowerment of women because I didn’t want to restrict myself on what to share at the same time making my participants to not be restricted.

I planned 1 hour 30 minutes for my training. This was my schedule:

1. Ice breakers – Introductions (5mins)

- I introduced myself as the facilitator - Each participant introduced themselves and what they do currently ( 3 of them just finished their tertiary education, 3 were small business women)

2. Inspiration questions (15mins)

Why did I agree to this informal training

The women said they agreed to it just out of curiosity of what I have to offer since it was their first time hearing I can actually facilitate.

How do I understand the word “empowerment”

The answers to empowerment was interesting, my participants understood it as being able to stand up for yourself in any situation, having your own money, own car and own job. And I highlighted that we should not confuse being positively empowered and being negatively empowered, as this can come out wrong on other people.

What do I wish to achieve from this

My participants wished to achieve an insight of what really empowerment is and how it can actually benefit their lives.

What is my current contribution to the community I live in

Most of my participants did not have any contributions to the community and they showed interest to be involved in the community even though they never thought about it before.

3. Presentation on Empowerment (30mins)

What is Empowerment?

Empowerment is independence, the ability to make choices that are free. Where your mind can be at ease with all the decisions you take in life, having peace in you and your surroundings. But then is this the case with most women? As we notice that only a small number of women around the world have the privilege of saying I am empowered, what does this mean to the rest of others. It is very hard for women to be empowered today because we're born into a culture that view women as just mothers, nothing else. We are told what to do and not what to do, what to wear and not what not what to wear, what to say and not what to say.

If you divert from these, you are considered dangerous to yourself and others. You are tabooed. Then I also say as women let’s not be angry and use emotions when we attend women empowerment issues. Because we will end up losing focus on what exactly we want to achieve.

Why is it important in a woman’s life

As women we are asked to follow lifestyles that don’t necessarily make us happy and we never question that until it’s late. For many of us, we stay in loveless relationships and marriages. For many of us we give up our happiness for others. For many of us we are desperate to fit it with others, even when we know the pressure it puts in us. We end up being either physically sick or emotionally drained.

That is why it is important to be empowered as a woman, because of our life experiences. We need to be strong; we need support from the community and our fellow women. We need to be there for each other as women instead of pulling each other down. This is as simple as empowerment is.

How can we empower ourselves Educationally, Economically and Emotionally

Empowering ourselves educationally start when we are still at primary school level, I would not dispute that were are not yet focused on what we want. Junior secondary level is that time when we set our priorities straight but also challenged by peer pressure on different areas of our lives, Senior secondary school is where our future is now determined. This is where we will know whether we are proceeding to University level or not. And it is important to attend the girl child at all these stages, to nurture her and show her the right path.

We need economic empowerment from both our stakeholders and ourselves. We need to learn to save for rainy days with the little we earn. We need to live within our means. We can economically empower ourselves if we work hard and believe in our dreams daily without losing focus. Yes we can depend on different Government initiatives which don’t always favor all of us. But if we become self-reliant we will be even more proud of our empowerment.

No matter how strong a woman can be, there will always be a side which just needs nurturing. That’s why I say as women it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to look for attention, it’s ok to be angry. Why? Because it’s human nature. And our empowerment on the emotional side can be found on different platforms, if you feel overwhelmed or not coping with a situation there are platforms like World Pulse or Emang Basadi (Stand-Up-Women) where you can share your problems and stories without feeling judged. Where you are allowed to cry, feel sad and be angry without being frowned at. Let’s not try to solve problems on our own, lets unite and be there for each other in every possible way.

4. Open Questions and Answers session(15mins)

Participants asks questions and share their understanding of the topic.

The Questions and answers were mostly appreciation about the topic and how they will change their lives positively towards achieving many things.

5. Participants last words (10mins)

Did the training benefit them and if so how

My participants felt enlighten about the training, even though they were feeling skeptical about it in the beginning. They just mentioned how different they will treat each other and how they will start to look at things differently and positively. Instead of being always negative and maybe expecting people to do things for them when they are capable of doing themselves.

Is there anything they will like to be done different for future trainings

Request was made to find a better venue and also increase the training time as much as possible as empowerment is a broad and sensitive topic. And they were interested and bringing more women to learn about these and wondered if we can do monthly trainings.

6. Closing - Informal networking (15mins)

If there is one thing I learnt about this training experience is that as a facilitator you must come prepared when presenting your topic and also be ready for all the questions and comments during the training. Some participants may have light information about the topic at hand and challenge your knowledge and capability about the training. Being respectful and open to each other is one thing I learnt which makes training a group of people easier.

Making the mood light through-out the training is what worked well because the women and me felt at easy to discuss anything without holding back. As this was my first training I wanted the experience to be more like sharing than me delivering everything.

The most difficult was when I was presenting the emotional part of empowerment as this was hitting close to home for me, I could personally relate to how it can be painful for women who don’t have emotional empowerment in their lives. And even at Q&A session it was a sensitive issue as the women started to open up about their experiences.

The other difficulty I experienced was convincing the women about the training, because they are used to professional training not just any training. I also found that looking for a proper place in a short period of time is challenging and can be strainful. In my future trainings I will delegate 1 or 2 women to help me with the planning of the training so that I can have more time to prepare for the facilitation and have everything in order and on time.

My experience with the facilitation was an amazing one. There were ups and downs when I started because it was a little difficult to find women who want to participate. It was a new experience to them so I could understand. I ended up taking on 6 of my church mates. I chose to do general empowerment of women because I didn’t want to restrict myself on what to share at the same time making my participants to not be restricted.

Comments 3

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ARREY- ECHI
Apr 23, 2016
Apr 23, 2016

A nice recollection of a first time experience. Though quickly planned, was still successful as your audience left enlightened and asking for more.

Well done.

Kristina M
Apr 25, 2016
Apr 25, 2016

Dear Eatladi,

It sounds like you had a successful training and motivated your participants to not only make changes to empower themselves but to also want to empower others by asking if they could bring them to future training sessions.  Good luck and best wishes for your future meetings.   I look forward to reading about them.

Ann Forsthoefel
Apr 27, 2016
Apr 27, 2016

Dear Eatladi,

Your summary of the training is fantastic, you should feel proud. This statement was so powerful:

"My participants felt enlighten about the training, even though they were feeling skeptical about it in the beginning. They just mentioned how different they will treat each other and how they will start to look at things differently and positively. Instead of being always negative and maybe expecting people to do things for them when they are capable of doing themselves."

Congratulations,

Ann