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Training of Jordanian Working Children
In April ActionAid Denmark’s training unit conducted a training of 30 working children in Jordan. The training took place in cooperation with the ‘Social Support Centre’ that is providing education for adolescents in the labour marked. Two Global Platform trainers prepared a programme focusing on self-improvement, gender related issues, communication and critical thinking, and described the outcome as very successful.
04. June 2012
Our objective was to provide the participants with specific and practical tools that they would be able to use to enhance their daily life, and to motivate them to think critically and positively about their situations. Our hope before the training was that the students would get the skills to make small changes that would later have huge impacts on their lives.
The adolescents connected to the Social Support Centre are in a very marginalized position. Many of them are living in poor and remote areas,have never received education before they came to the centre, and most of the kids therefor have great troubles reading and writing. We therefor had to consider the context very closely before training the participants and rethink the way we normally train groups.
We decided to use more visual presentations such as pictures, drawings and other non-verbal presentations - we for example decided to include sports and performing arts instead of writing. In this way we introduced many of our usual tools but adjusted them so that the kids could still follow and not feel bad about their situation.
The training turned out to be very easy since the participants were more than motivated to learn. It was a new way for them to receive education and they were eager to get more knowledge. The difference from other learning was that they were now being taught how to use the skills in real life situations – in the family, work place and in the centre. We among other themes focused on conflict management, self-expression, communication, self-awareness and realistic goal setting.
Through a participatory approach the participants for example learned about conflict management in order to promote a non-violent culture. Part of this was done by playing games in order to illustrate different ways of solving critical situations similar to the participant’s lives– this was shown through concrete examples and by shoving different narratives to the dominant story.
We tried to involve the students as much as possible in the process of training. We gave them small tasks and responsibilities such as being in charge of gathering participants after breaks, doing energizers, handling the flip chards etc. The small gestures made them feel as part of the process and gave them a sense of responsibility.
In addition to the alternative training methods we had to be very aware of the way we presented ourselves in front of the young participants. In all matters we had to be coaches and role models since the kids learned from the smallest situations that would occur in the classroom and in interactions. We gave them a free space to approach all the experiences arisen in the training, which gave them a feeling of ownership over the process.
The results of the training showed it self early in the process – illustrated by the way the adolescents began to deal with each other, with us and the other gender. The Social Support Centre also considered it to be a success and hope that we will get the opportunity to train more children at the centre. Our next step is to come back and follow up with the initial participants with the wish to include them more in the training – according to their own requests and wishes.