From September 22 – 27, twenty-three YES alumni from 10 countries gathered in Cairo, Egypt for a YES alumni Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop. The ToT workshop aims to improve the training and leadership skills capacity of alumni and to provide alumni with the skills and tools necessary to train others in their community. Prior to arriving in Egypt, the selected alumni were asked to think about local issues and training needs in their community, and to select a training topic focused on either alumni capacity building or one that addressed one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Before diving into content, the workshop was opened with a welcome address from Donya Eldridge, Assistant Cultural Attache at the US Embassy Cairo, and AFS Egypt. The workshop content gives participants an overview of learning styles and training methodologies through highly interactive sessions. Session topics included: how to write effective goals and objectives, conducting needs assessments, and how to design a training that takes into account different learning styles.
In one session, participants broke into small groups and built “YES Learning Centers” using nothing but straws, marshmallows and modeling clay. This experiential session was designed to help participants learn how teams/groups function, how to work effectively with diverse groups and how to move teams forward to reach a common goal. Participants also learned the importance of de-briefing a session to advance participant learning.
Throughout the workshop week, participants are also working on developing a 30-minute training session on their selected topic, using the skills and tools gained during the week. On the final day, each participant then delivers his/her session to a smaller subset of workshop participants and receives structured feedback from each group member and one trainer.
The Training of Trainers Workshop provides YES alumni with tools to utilize and build upon the skills gained during their year abroad, discover new skills and abilities, and a path to put those skills into action to benefit their professional and personal lives, fellow alumni networks and local communities. It’s also a great networking opportunity and a chance for alumni to learn about projects and activities in other YES countries.
Participants are planning future trainings on such topics as: the importance of good hygiene, career development, anti-bullying, intercultural communication, healthy eating and lifestyle, gender equality, English language, CV writing and job interview skills, and volunteerism. We look forward to hearing more from these alumni trainers as their future workshops unfold!