Last month, our Project Officer Portia Chirwa visited Zambia to deliver one of our first train the trainer sessions.

The aim of our work in Zambia is to help marginalised groups, such as young women, set up co-operatives. It is hoped this will offer those based in rural areas a more stable and secure source of income. This is vital, as currently 80% of people based in these communities live below the poverty line.

The training

Working in partnership with Christian Aid, Portia saw first-hand the difference that our train the trainer programme will make. There were four key areas targeted, ranging from co-operative values and principles to governance and management.

Group training activity in Zambia

Through a variety of group activities, participants were taught the essentials of what it takes to be a good trainer. These included exercises on active listening, learning styles and communication skills, as well as a more in-depth look at how to effectively structure workshops and make them fun and interactive.

Case studies were also used to highlight the real life impact that co-operatives can have, whilst a training manual prepared by our team acted as a reference point throughout the 8 day programme.

Participants notes from training

Next steps

Many of those attending were completely new to the train the trainer method but enjoyed it immensely, with one attendee commenting, “What has surprised me is that I had no idea how to run co-operatives, but now I have been empowered with the knowledge, I will be able to impart this to self-help groups, helping them become strong co-operatives too.”

All those involved were presented with a certificate to mark their successful completion of the course, whilst they will now return to their communities to put into practice the skills they’ve learnt.

Presentation of certificates

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