Reflections on ToT, Indonesia

“When I found out that I was selected for Training of Trainers Workshop in Bali, there was no bound to my happiness. I could see a whole new door opening in my life; a door which would define the next most crucial years for me in terms of my career and academics. I was pumped up, excited, prepared, nervous and anticipated towards new learning, people and networking. Finally the day arrived.

The workshop started off fantastically and got us involved in the learning process right away. From amazing trainers to an amazing place and amazing alumni colleagues, the entire workshop couldn’t have been a better set-up. Over the next four days, we were involved in intense activity-based learning and processing. And implementing the knowledge through a training in our train-back session; one of the most productive experiences of my life.

For my train-back session, I chose the topic “Importance of Blogging”. I was lucky that Sahar Taman, Alumni Outreach Coordinator YES Program at American Councils along with Carolyn Rehn were my mentors. During the session, I engaged the participants through various quizzes, games and tweeting as I continued to enlighten the importance of blogging for students and professionals. Importantly, Shughaib Abdi, Alumni from Tanzania and Carolyn Rehn (Trainer) tweeted for the first time with the other participants and learned the process. It was a success for me to see them accomplished and willing to continue micro-blogging.

Upon my arrival back home, I got to work right away! Along with the staff, I prepared a six month calendar for the Alumni in Pakistan, proposed plans for Global Youth Service Day’13, started working on YES Alumni State Grant as well as worked on a special project with mentally disabled students at Special Education Center, Peshawar. With the help of YES Alumni in Peshawar, I will be conducting a 2-day workshop for the mentally disabled students on 22nd and 23rd February, 2013 which will be an opportunity for them to enhance their cognitive and creative abilities. This project is also special to me because I will be spending my birthday with these beautiful children and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

During the Training of Trainers Workshop, I learned that the world is just like a global village and youth around it share a common culture. I was inspired to learn about the Alumni from far distant areas like Suriname and Mozambique and how they’re engaged in their communities to improve the living conditions. It’s evident that no matter where we belong from and no matter where we come from, we are a force of individuals with a common purpose and goal to give back to our communities, benefit them and help them in every way possible.

The quality YES Alumni¬†is that wherever we go, we’re flexible enough to find a home for ourselves. I realized it as I networked with one of the best people ever. The trainers were fantastic and the arrangements from AFS Indonesia were spot on. Although, we met as strangers; But we left as a family and the spirit to build on the learned knowledge as we return to our home communities. That’s the essence which counts at the end of the day.

I would also take this opportunity and thank the American Councils, AFS Indonesia, iEARN-USA, iEARN-Pakistan and all the organizing partners for providing me with this amazing chance. Now, I can proudly say that I am an Alumni Trainer. ¬†Terima Kasih!!!”

Hassan Saeed is a YES 2008-09 alumnus who is leading YES Alumni Pakistan. He can be reached on Twitter here.