As a young facilitator, I have begun the journey of LTLT before my first training in 2017. I have adopted the LTLT program and empowered children with ethics education by considering my local context.
I have implemented the program of LTLT last year carrying the theme of cultivation of peace through empowering children and youth from age of 09-24 years through capacitation workshops and sustainability workshops. Through the implementation, I have been able to use the LTLT education and practiced modules activities which transformed children from closed minded to open-minded. I have been able to saw 1200 children in 8 regions through the program.
I have always invited the key stakeholders that include local faith leaders, local education officers and community leaders as they have to share the experience and foster the spiritual, mental, social and psychological development of children.
Discussion based learning and problem-based learning have been the most methodology use during the implementation of the LTLT program. The discussion-based learning has been simple method since it has been providing deeply engaging learning experiences, particularly when outcomes are complex, and require application and synthesis. Hence most of the case are discussed by children provides opportunity share the insights deep through questions and direct participation of children.
Hence, the impact of the program has been positive since it raises protection awareness, ethics, and peace education to children in primary school, that contributes to the realization of the rights of children to full and healthy physical, Mental, moral and social development.
The program of LTLT has been sensitive in my local area regarding Religion, Culture affairs and addressing violence especially corporal punishment on implementation.
Religion affair; the program offers on understanding oneself and others and that’s acknowledging other people perspectives, belief and practices. In implementing the program, to most of the areas religion has been sensitive during implementing much being in regions. . Sometimes it has been very hard to implement the program to some areas or communities due to the prejudice of the program. But then, it becomes easier to understand after been introduced the program and that’s offers respect, ethical education, peace and empathy to individuals.
Culture perspective; Tanzania is a country with more than 124 ethnic groups with different practices, norms, traditions and customs to mention a few. The ethnic groups have very strong background, that by introducing the program somehow the difficulties are observed. For instance, in most of Tanzania communities, a man is considered the head of the household, the decisions and judgments are made by men.
The challenge comes on implementation since the program offers the realization, sharing of ideas on rights and peace skills. All children are to be treated equally, but in most cases, the families may follow the culture norms and favor the boy child and oppress the girl child. By addressing the issue, it turns to be sensitive since we touch the root culture of individuals, hence time, patience to acceptance and change take time.
Addressing violence against children; moreover, there have been different actions towards ending violence against children which are common (physical violence) that includes corporal punishments in schools and early child marriage. Though the government has done much effort on ending violence against children through it National plan of Actions, but still there are notions which favor the violence to occur in school communities. For instance, corporal punishment is not favored in schools since it reduces the ability of children to develop learning skills, but it has been different in some schools and even supported by government leaders that corporal punishment should be legal. Most cases have been reported, and through the program, I have been raising awareness to the school community that I reach though the issue is still controversial, hence having difficult on implementation and being sensitive to address in some community.
Interfaith- the program has proven the connectivity on different faith community among children and Youth who have been reached by the program. Most of different faith children and Youth have been gathering in workshops that address peace and ethics of which in the program, I have been inviting religious leaders from different faith who addressed on the importance of peace and ethics in the community. These situations made the audience to appreciate the diversity that other have and practices of different faiths.
For instance, before the implementation of the program, many individuals (target audience/children) had no idea on understanding ones religion which sometimes resulted to intergroup conflicts but the situation has changed after the implementation since individuals (target audience) are now aware of interfaith connection that one has to understand and respect the diverse that exist between faith groups.
Intercultural- moreover, the LTLT program has contributed much to cultural relativism among children who are participating in the program. I have been conducting activities that promotes to children intercultural through children poems, dances, sports, games and drama. I have been empowering children with knowledge on acknowledging other cultures through the models that provide with them the bridge of connection and peace to understand themselves and others.
Moreover, the ethnic leaders have been sharing their experience with children and youth in school community on different crosscutting issues that address ending violence against children. For instance the issue of Albinism, it has been addressed not to discriminate children with albinism since they deserve rights as other children deserve. It is done through the project of HAKI YETU being implemented by using the LTLT program to school community. I have been using the activities on module one to raise awareness on intercultural on how to understand oneself and the other, hence fostered intercultural in school communities in relation to the matters.
In Personal level
As a Young Facilitator, the program has broadened my mental perspective; it has broadened my horizon to see the perspectives of individuals beyond the social world. It has sharpened my awareness and knowledge to really understand the point of view of others without causing to misunderstandings. The program has offered me with the critical analysis of my decisions before attempting any further steps. For instance, before I used to make decisions basing on my beliefs that I was correct and judge the others in negative perspective, but now I see the perspectives of people in a different way through having empathy and more compassion so as to understand well on people point of view.
Also, the program has shaped my understanding on human dignity and Mutual respect in faith; the program has enabled me to acknowledge, to counter narrative and have empathy which led me to respect more the diversity on faith. For instance, before I had different misconceptions of different faith regarding the practices, but now due to the program, it has shaped me to positively view perspectives and understand others.
Fostered Cultural relativism; moreover the program has enabled me to understand on person belief and value system on how to be understood in the context of his/her own culture rather than against criteria of culture. Hence, I best understand opinion on morality/ethics is dependent on person’s cultural perspective.
In Professional level
Moreover the program has offered me with positive career growth through facilitation trainings. It has equipped me with skills to empower children and Youth with peace building and ethics education to fight against violence through raising protection, justice for children, and also ensuring that the response to most vulnerable children includes prevention and response to child abuse, violence and exploitation.
Also the program has provided me with skills on how to plan strategy and initiate projects to empower children on ethics education, how to deliver the intended message and to conduct evaluation. For instance, I have been advocating and raise awareness on ending violence against children to school community to children and Youth through school clubs platform, to make them aware on their rights through forums, dialogue and group discussions.
As a Young facilitator, throughout my career after adopting the program, I have always shown or be a role model of values of LTLT through the following;
By expressing empathy; I have been setting example on how to think beyond myself and my own concerns, by putting aside my viewpoint, and try to see things from the other person’s point of view. Through validating the other person’s perspective and I have always tried to examine my attitude. It has made me to find solutions, build relationships, and accept others.
By enhancing human dignity and respect to my audience; also, I have been listening the concerns of my audience/ children during sessions, by asking for their opinions and let them know they are important to me, by involving them in as many decisions as possible, by respecting my audience right (Children) to make choices and by respecting their privacy. I have treated my audience in proper manner, feeling admiration and deep regard for my audience. By doing so, I have been able to shape others as instructed by the program values. For instance, respect of my audience religions/faith since most faith share universal teachings on having respect on everyone.
By exhibiting support and encouraging cooperation; during the implementation of the program activities, I have been encouraging group actions to result to best solutions and make children come up with resolution to present. This ha encouraged most children to feel the sense of belonging and have opportunity to share their inner thoughts on the matters addressed to particular session.
Moreover by creating safe environment for children; considering that children requires safe environment where their rights are protected, I have been encouraging and create safe environment for children during the implementation of the program. It’s through rewarding good behaviors to children, to correct their behavior, by encouraging them to be successful to mention a few. Such has reduced violence to occur and created tolerance knowledge to children. Hence, the children have been adopting the roles in their school life and encourage each other to be positive role model of the other as provided by the program.
Throughout the program, I have been doing research to find out the need of the audience before implementation, setting goals/ objectives identification to my project. This provided me with the understanding of what my target audience requires. Hence, I have been designing programs, by selecting topics that are to be addressed, planning prior schedule/ action plan that includes the picture of the program and communicating with my key stakeholders (local religious leaders, local education officers, and teachers).
I have been implementing the LTLT program in Tanzania regions through a school club platform (peace club) in reaching my target audience on providing them with peace and ethics education. Peace clubs is a platform of children and youth coming from different faith, gender, race, and ethnic groups, in empowering them with peacebuilding skills and ethics education through forums, peace caravans, the commemoration of international days and dialogues. Hence, the target audience (children) includes both girls and boys from 9-17 years of age.
I have been categorizing different activities that I implement through weekly sessions, quarterly workshops, and forums. The weekly sessions are mainly for keeping the progress of the LTLT activities to make the audience familiar with the activities from the modules provided in the program manual. The activities empower children to peace and ethics education and are able to relate them to the daily cross-cutting issues much on fighting violence against children. For instance, during forums, I provide a simple presentation to the audience, discussion follows in which a lot of ideas are learned.
The implementation involved both the students (children) and teachers (matrons/patrons), who together worked on each kiosk from manual modules each week.
For the purpose of sustainability, the activities are continually conducted in each week during extra curricula hours in sharing the ideas, conducting LTLT activities and reporting on the program from each peace club in a school. The Patrons and Matrons provide assistance to children when necessary and also have the role in communication frequently to report on the progress of the program activities.
I have always mobilized support from stakeholders through inviting them in workshops and forums, and also provided them with opportunity/ time to share their experience, provide ethical advice and teach the audience (children) on the importance of peacebuilding, ethics education basing on different contexts and addressing violence against children. These stakeholders include local religious leaders, local education officers, and parents.