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Participants’ voices: focus on training of trainers

Testimonial by Mahwish Javaid, UN Women

I am Mahwish Javaid from UN Women. I participated in a recent training of trainers in Hyderabad, Pakistan.

Before attending your TOT, I knew that I had become quite rusty and not as good as I should be during trainings. Although during your sessions I was quite certain that I would pretty soon be applying many of the techniques, I did not realise that "pretty soon" would be “this soon”.

There was a seminar being held next door to our session at same hotel. I was notified that I would be delivering a session on "gender and humanitarian response" at that seminar to replace someone else. I felt pretty tense, and on top of it, I was told that I would have only 30 minutes to deliver a session that was originally designed for one hour.

I could have simply skipped some slides from my presentation to save time, which I always consider a cunning trick. Instead, I sat in the corridor quietly; I identified 6 themes and one key message for a room full of 37 participants sitting in a huge U-shape, jailed behind tables.

30 minutes and 37 participants later, you know what? I was able to manage a complete interactive participatory session along with 3 minutes of video. I started with mind mapping (6 minutes), then individual self-reflection where participants reflected on one of the themes’ key messages and took notes (2 minutes), people with the same theme then worked together in one group for a ‘1-2-4-all’ (3 minutes) transition to the ritual dissent (9 minutes), reflection (3 minutes) transition to video and closing. I got a lot of applause. I do not know how it happened, but it did and somehow including a time-based competition kept all the participants on track time-wise.

I said the least, the key message came out on its own, used no presentation, but I was able to connect and instantly became part of the crowd. The 3-minute video made a big impact as participants were self-guided to assimilate the message.

I am sorry for writing such a long story, but as soon as I got a text message in which the senior national coordinator told me that my session was just perfect and he had recommended me with great appreciation to the senior management to take part in a series of seminars, I felt an instant urge to inform you. By applying a very small part of that big chunk of knowledge given by you, I felt I made a huge difference. I am motivated like never before to become better at what I do.

Thanks again! I hope the light of those two candles may become a twilight saga pretty soon :-)

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