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Reflections on Comhlámh’s Skills in DevEd course

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Ana Elisa Bezerra, a participant in Comhlámh’s Skills in Development Education Course, talks about her experiences throughout the 10 week course.

Arriving at the end of the “Skills in DevEd” 10 week course was not something I looked forward to, considering how enjoyable and fulfilling the experience was proving to be. Considering we only met for three hours weekly, it is incredible to think of all the things we experienced in our brief time together. Roisin, the course coordinator and main facilitator, provided a fantastic learning environment and her great efforts were evident throughout the duration of the course. Her knowledge, interpersonal skills, and choice of guest speakers… well, everything really! She also gained a well deserved reputation for the snacks she provided!

Personally I developed a much clearer understanding of all the details involved in creating a successful workshop. At first we were introduced to a solid foundation of development issues and facilitation skills. I understood the value of these issues, but their significance became clearer towards the end of the course, since we kept going back to these main development education ideas as each session progressed. This led to a greater understanding of the topics covered in each workshop! Each session and activity of the course equally covers concepts, approaches and methodologies – and the importance of using each one became clear. Being aware and understanding the different methodologies available- as well as why and when to use them depending on your objectives and your audience – was one of the most important things I gained from the course.

Each session was focused on a specific development issue and how to approach them with different groups. We acted as both both participants and co-facilitators, observing how the workshop functions both from the inside and outside. Playing a game or an activity and analysing it just immediately after was a very enriching experience. This practical approach is one of the most important characteristics of the course and gives it value.

Finally, all the issues discussed, the approaches, the different guest speakers and the great deal of resources available for participants all enriched my knowledge that much more! I certainly feel that I know more about development education and feel more confident in relation to my facilitation skills. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in development issues, facilitation and development education. Also worthy to mention is the great environment provided by Comhlámh and its members, that I am now very grateful to be a part of; I will certainly be staying in touch!

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