The course runs in two phases (two months in each phase and 8months for practical learning in the Country (home phase). Each week ends with an essay which is written and handed in on Monday morning. The topics for the course are Popular Education, Eco-Spirituality, Spirituality, Gender, Organizational Development, Political Economy, Gender, Personal Mastery, Gender Reconciliation, Social Business, Strategic Plan and Social Research. The course is designed in an interactive way such that, participants share from their own experience and with inputs from the facilitators.
The 2014/2015 course has participants drawn from 11 countries in Africa and one from Portugal. Facilitators of the course are drawn across Europe, Africa and India.
Trip to Robben Island
Part of the learning process of the course involves taking participants on field trips. We visited Robben Island where political prisoners under the repressive apartheid regime in South Africa led by Nelson Mandela were incarcerated. Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment there. This experience helped us to connect with what South Africa passed through as a nation and how they have come out from that experience to build peace amongst people across racial divide. As participants, it was a very emotional and learning process for us. It is even more heartwarming to be taken through the prison tour by a former political prisoner who himself was on the Island with Mandela and others. The most remarkable moment during the tour came when one of the tourist ask the ex prisoner who was our tour guide through the prison section how he felt towards the white South Africans sharing his story, he responded. “It was not a struggle against the whites but against a system that repressed me, it was not about a people but a system.” This was the most remarkable highlight of our visit to Robben Island.
Trip to Cape of Good Hope
The Cape plays an important role In the South African history as a stopping point for trading ships sailing between Europe and European colonies in the east. The Cape peninsula is one of eight protected areas in the region, jointly designated as a world Heritage Site by UNESCO for the richness of its plant life. http://traveltips.usatoday.com .We had other trips which took us to nature walk at the beach and other learning process that took us out of the class room.
These trips helped participants to connect with the pains and difficulty that South African went through as a country during the apartheid era. It equally brought to bear the struggle that South Africa is contending with in the post apartheid era which left the country shapely divided along racial line. This experience helped us to connect with our various countries and how independence was achieved and the link between socio political development and the struggle for independence.
The experiences in this learning process of TFT, presented an avenue for us to gain more knowledge from participants who were drawn from 11 African countries and Portugal on Community approach to development work. We in turn shared with others the work of the Sharing Education and Learning for Life Foundation in building peace among young adults in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria and Plateau State ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency. It has being a wonderful learning from each other and we are obtaining new knowledge skills which will go a long way in helping us consolidate on our approach and work in the communities we work in Nigeria.
Seminar at Western Cape University
The management of the Training for Transformation in conjunction with Ina Conradie ,Senior Lecturer Institute for Social Development, University of Western Cape put together a seminar for the Nigerian Team to share her work with the faculty. The seminar came about as a result of the experiences we shared around our work and the challenges we face. Mary James and Beji Benjamin Jibe for SELL Foundation and Esther Chukwukere for Star of Hope Transformation Women Centre. We talked about how we have been using Paulo Freire’s transformative approach in (SELL) Foundation to train facilitators and run step down workshops to build community cohesion in Jos and North East of Nigeria. We interacted with the students around our work and challenges. They seek to know how we have been surviving in the midst of the security challenges we are containing with in Nigeria. It was a wonderful opportunity to share our work with the students who cut across Africa and Europe. The seminar invitation was sent out on this link. https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.uwc.ac.za%2FFaculties%2FEMS%2FISD%2FEvents%2FPages%2FSeminar.aspx%23.VhPE1e-CMzY&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGJoca4j1Ebmui2FMMzDadpyG3zHw.
We thank Mafokoane Gloria Kavishe and Fr. Filip Fannchette and our colleagues who accompanied us to the seminar.
In a special way we want to express our profound appreciation to the SPMS Central Leadership Team for supporting us to go for the course. We thank especially the then West African Leadership team of SPS - Frs. Patrick Murphy and Tommy Hayden for facilitating the process of getting the support and all their efforts through the initial visa challenges we encountered. We thank Fr. Leo Traynor, our resource person, who has always been a pillar of support. Our deep appreciation to the new leadership team; district of west Africa - Frs. Kevin O’Hara and Emmanuel Likoko for the tremendous support we received through the second and final phase of the programme without which we couldn’t have completed the course. We also thank our colleagues at the SELL Foundation for filling in the gap on our behalf while away and all the encouragements. God bless you all.
Mary James and Beji Benjamin Jibe.