Step Forward I – Programme for Gaza
Step Forward, a training and coaching programme for youth leaders in Gaza, was launched by British-Arab Exchanges (BAX) in April 2010.
The programme is being delivered from London, thanks to the British Council’s video-conferencing facility, in fortnightly interactive sessions. The seven youth leaders taking part are all volunteers for the Sonaa Al-Hayat (‘Lifemakers’) Palestinian charity, which offers courses to young people in universities, schools, clubs and camps in Gaza on themes such as ‘Finding a purpose in life’, ‘Thinking skills’ and ‘The happiest home’. Two London trainer/coaches are delivering the Step Forward programme on behalf of British-Arab Exchanges.
The purpose of the programme is to upgrade the training skills of the participants with a range of tools and exercises, as well as to extend their experience of coaching and creative thinking approaches. Themes include: personal goal-setting, proactivity and leading change, building resilience, team and community building, and training design. Sessions are shaped so that participants can have direct personal experience of coaching techniques, working towards specific personal and group goals, while at the same time expanding their own training toolkits.
The trainers in both London and in Gaza speak of the project as a collaboration, learning from each other in their contrasting environments. ” It’s humbling and inspiring to work with this group of men and women so dedicated to helping the young people of Gaza in their very difficult circumstances “ says one of the London trainers. ” It’s a pleasure to work with our friends in Gaza – and also very good fun “ comments the other.
Feedback from Gaza on Session Two (on coaching skills) included ” for all of us this session was a new topic. We found it very helpful and interesting, and the time just passed very quickly. We can’t communicate how much we are enjoying these sessions! “