You were informed in the last blog that the story of the expansion of SELL will be shared with you in the next blog, this is it now.
About the expansion of SELL, we feel happy on this development, but before I share the news; let me share with you a little background on the journey of SELL so far.
The Sharing Education and Learning for Life (SELL) Programme started in Nigeria in the city of Kabba, Kogi State. The initiators/authors of the programme were Rev. Frs. Tommy Hayden, Leo Traynor and Noel McGeeney (Priests of St. Patrick’s Missionary). The trio, developed the programme to be a participatory life giving programme, adopting the Paulo Freire’s methodology of inclusion; that is, whether formally schooled or less formally schooled one could benefit from it by sharing from his/her life experience and listening to others share their own life story under the atmosphere of mutual trust and friendship. Fr. Tommy later went on sabbatical leave while Leo and Noel continued to develop and experiment the programme with various Youth groups. In the cause of doing that, the duo met with Moses Alokpa and Jonathan Ekharto and invited them to join them in the work, they then, formed a team of four men.
In 2007, the team of four moved to Bauchi State Nigeria to further the cause. While in Bauchi, they worked on covering the entire North - East Nigeria and as I write this blog, all the States of the North East Nigeria and the neighboring Plateau State have had a good taste of the programme. It was challenging though, but they still showed resilience and God has always been there.
The year 2009 was a year of many first for the SELL programme; the first facilitator’s manual was produced; the first training of facilitators was conducted and the first female, Maria Dagogot Nee Ghinsel was invited to join the team of four men. Maria’s presence brought a little gender spread and the female perspectives of things were not missed out.
The essence of the facilitators training was to have more people facilitate the SELL workshops, which imply that more young men and women would experience the SELL programme through workshops. Since then, the people who have benefited directly and indirectly from the SELL Programme through her workshops, seminars and interactive forums will be numbering over five thousand. More than two hundred young men and women have been trained as facilitators of the SELL programme in Nigeria and Ghana having a little fraction of the beneficiaries. SELL has produced a review manual, and have expanded the team with an almost unique balance of three ladies and four men namely; Moses Alokpa, Mary James, Beji Jibe, Belyn Boniface, John Jiddere, Fr. Patrick Esekon and Maria Dagogot. Other people have worked with SELL Resource Team and have moved to other endeavors of life.
From a faith base organization, it got registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as a Non-Governmental Organization.
Now the Expansion of SELL that we are celebrating among other things is the establishment of the programme in a Ghana. Frs. Leo and Tommy Hayden both went on sabbatical leave in 2013 and had the calling to and establish the programme in Ghana. Before this new development, SELL already had a relationship with a group of Youth in Adukrom Community in Kumasi, Ghana. This relationship was defined by a yearly visit to Ghana by the SELL Resource Team to either deliver a workshop or run training. So far, 30 Youth from Adukrom have been trained as facilitators of the programme, they in turn are delivering workshops to other Youth within Kumasi town.
Leo and Tommy’s dream is to assist the young people of Ghana with a life shaping programme that SELL offers. They are setting up a new Centre in the Northern Region of Ghana, hoping that it will have a great outreach and reception in the near future. We pray that God’s blessings that have always been with the programme will manifest greatly for Leo and Tommy and very soon we will begin to read the success stories from there too.
On a sad note, our friend and colleague on the SELL Resource Team, Moses Alokpa lost his Dad on Monday 16th November, 2015 at their home town in Cross River State, Nigeria, may his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. let’s remember Moses and his family in our prayers.
Thank you for your time, see you again soon.
Communication Desk Officer, SELL