Report: Impact of training

Roelie Wolting, Associate member of Enablement, wrote this small report about a follow-up visit on a Training of Trainers-workshop at CCBRT, Tanzania:

What an amazing training impact we observed during our follow-up visit at CCBRT! In December 2013 CCBRT’s Supervisors (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, school coordinators etc) and CRW’s (Community Rehabilitation Workers) followed a two-weeks Training of Trainers (TOT), conducted by Enablement, The Netherlands. The focus of that training was on developing skills to use participatory training methodologies. During the two-weeks training many different participatory methodologies were addressed and tried out.  The active participation that was required from the participants allowed them to practice, discuss and reflect. In May 2014 Annemieke Adams and Roelie Wolting did a one-week follow-up in order to examine the implementation of lessons learned. We observed the participants during the provision of training to the parents of children with disability at the support units in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam covers  11 support units where parents with their disabled child come once a week for advice, treatment, training and mutual support. In the past training used to be provided by supervisors only. The CRW’s used to be solely responsible for the day-to-day management of the support units and the provision of services. The parents, in turn, used to be merely receivers of services. Currently a transition is taking place whereby parents are empowered to run the support units independently, with CCBRT staff becoming the resource persons and continuing to be trainers.

We observed in total 8 trainings in 8 different support units. Each unit had a 2-3 hours training followed by a feedback and learning session about the training and its methodologies used. We are proud of our participants, who not only prepared the session outline including objectives and training activities, but also used different and appropriate participatory training methodologies. They observed and commented how this training methodology empowers the parents. Probably due to the impact observed the supervisors changed their approach towards training and training methodologies. The CRW’s now conduct trainings to parents as well and show confidence in the way they provide training. The parents are not merely receivers of training and service anymore, but have become active participants, who discuss and practice what they learn while sharing their experiences from their home situations. This evokes new ideas for other parents and for the trainers too.

The trainers face many challenges, of which I only mention a few.  How to train for instance a group of 70 parents with their children in a very limited space? How to ensure relevant approaches for children with different ages and skills? How to manage the logistics of the training? The trainers will continue experimenting and learning from these experiences. We will be happy to continue giving guidance in this process towards the empowerment of parents and their children with disability.

- Roelie Wolting, 26th of May 2014 -