Tapori Facilitator Training

Tapori Facilitator Training

In May 2023, the first-ever international Tapori facilitator training took place. It happened at ATD Fourth World’s International Centre in Méry-Sur-Oise, France. Building on the initiatives of the 2021 ‘In Searching for Our Human Treasures’ and 2022 ‘Tapori as Actors of Change’ campaigns, the primary aim was to breathe new life into the Tapori network. This network serves as a space where children can learn to become agents of positive change in their environment by creating a world of friendship where all children have the same chances. This is rooted in the belief that children learn from their experiences. With guidance from adults, the knowledge they acquire in their daily lives can be utilised as a springboard to address the injustices around them.

Being a facilitator poses challenges because it entails encouraging children to articulate their ideas more in-depth and take their contributions seriously. It also includes promoting listening, good behaviour and creating collaborative exploration of a given theme. Since 2021, facilitators have been provided with bi-monthly online workshops, aligning with the release dates of the Tapori newsletters. This offers an opportunity to discover the newsletter and work in small groups on more specific, teaching-related topics. As these online workshops progressed, it became clear that face-to-face training was necessary to strengthen relationships among facilitators and to sustain ongoing mutual learning. This realisation led to the development of this facilitator training program.

New momentum

The theme of the training, Living up to the Tapori children’s hopes and expectations, reflects a new momentum that Tapori seeks to create. It underscores the importance that children’s ideas and hopes deserve careful consideration, and efforts should be made to meet their expectations.

Jireh, a Tapori facilitator from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, believes that adults who support children have a particular responsibility.

“To play a role in the lives of children, we have to learn to be at their level. Doing so doesn’t imply acting on their behalf, but rather supporting them as a facilitator and accompanying them throughout.”

Jireh, Tapori facilitator from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The training also addressed the crucial theme of enabling children to act as agents of change in their communities, emphasising that they don’t have to wait until adulthood to make a difference. Olga, a Tapori facilitator from the Central African Republic, shares her experiences,

“I’ve learned something that has really struck me positively. Sometimes, we say that children are the future. However, thanks to this training, I’ve understood that children can act here and now.”

Diversity plays a role

This training program brought together over 40 people from 18 different countries. Thus creating a wide variety of cultures, life experiences and professional backgrounds.

For Laurent, a Tapori facilitator from Burundi, this diversity left an impression on him,

“Many people have inspired me by their dedication to the work they are doing in their countries. To an extent, their experiences address the challenges that we are facing every day. I want to adapt them to our team in Burundi.”

Laurent, Tapori facilitator from Burundi

A facilitator from Reunion Island spoke of the same energy and motivation sparked by the gathering,

“I’ve enjoyed meeting all these people. It’s strengthened my desire to continue working with the children in my area. Sometimes, you’re tired and don’t want to do it anymore, but being here has given me the strength to keep going for these kids.”

Facilitator Reunion Island

The training was also an opportunity to learn more about ATD. The diversity of individuals reflects the kinds of relationships ATD wants to foster—relationships based on equality. As Annie, a facilitator from Côte d’Ivoire, states,

“What I’ve understood here is equality. There is a place for everyone, whether rich, poor, well-dressed or poorly dressed. The focus is on human value. Everyone has something special inside of them that they can offer.”

Facilitator Côte d’Ivoire

Sharing acquired knowledge

Following the training, the participants tasked themselves with returning home and sharing their newfound knowledge with other local Tapori actors. In doing so, several teams have been trained locally within their communities.

In Mauritius, Vanina and Martine organised a facilitators’ gathering to share their key takeaways from the international training. An attendee commented, “I liked the motivation and enthusiasm at Vanina and Martine’s gathering. Their wonderful ideas gave me a lot of hope for the future.”

In Switzerland, the facilitators present at the training left with new objectives going forward. One said, “I’m going to try to deepen connections with families to know them better.”

The aspiration of this training is that the knowledge obtained will inspire children’s future participation in their communities.

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