Progress for Change
From the facilitator’s diary.
Day 1. This week we will start piloting two e-learning courses: “Fostering entrepreneurial initiative by discovering creative talent” and “Women and the digital labour market”. I am involved in the first one. There are two groups formed by our local partners in Marijampole and Panevezys. The people are mainly clients of the employment services and a few from the partners’ training centre. Before the first meeting we were warned: “We can guarantee the participation of the group for the first meeting and for the other three it is up to you to keep them involved and attend”. It seems that nothing is taken for granted in this world, and it is. But we got the message and we took it on board: let’s make things happen and get people involved so that they will come next time.
Here we go. The first group meeting in Marijampole. Getting to know each other, presenting the course and starting our journey into culture and creative entrepreneurship together. Everyone is involved and interested in the course. Registering on the learning platform is a new experience for the participants, but sooner or later they all manage it, thanks also to our technical support team in the Kaunas office! By the end of the day, everyone is ready, the platform has been introduced and the whole group is like a bunch of friends. I have a good feeling that we will succeed.
Day 2. The first meeting in Panevezys. It is more than 100 kilometres to drive there but the travel time runs fast as we discuss a lot with my colleague on how we’ll work with the group and what personalities there will be in the group. When we start it goes slowly… but already half-way through we start to see sparks in their eyes. Let’s continue in this tune ladies!
Days 3 and 4. The journey to Marijampole and Panevezys is shorter each time, because we go there hoping that the group will come and learn, and this is fulfilled. Both groups are 100% present, which means that the learners are interested in the course and our meetings. We have a lot of activities to help them identify their strengths and motivate them to start their journey to a better life by becoming entrepreneurs. It is a small start, but a promising one for all of us.
Days 5, 6, 7 and 8. Our journey continues with all the learners and it is a great reward for the facilitators. Some participants tell us that they can hardly wait a week for the next group meeting. But at the same time they are busy studying online materials. We follow their progress and can’t wait to see the final results in the form of post-assessment tests and evaluation questionnaires from the participants. Nevertheless, we can see that the course is working for them and that they really need it. Along the way, we collect day-to-day evaluations of which activities they enjoyed, what else they would like to hear, see and try in the group, and whether there are redundant items that could be better removed from the course.
The moment of truth. The tests are passed and show great progress, the learners are motivated and planning cultural and creative ventures, the groups have become very close and want to continue the learning process. But all good things must come to an end, for them and for us.
We start our journey back to Kaunas, the first snow and grey skies do not make us unhappy, because now we know that the learning programme will have its learners and will help people to find their way to a better life for themselves and their families. Together with our team and other volunteers, of course.
End of diary. To be continued, hopefully.