By Jeanette, Poverty Activist team February 2023
Hello, I'm Jeanette...I'm a member of the 12 month team. I arrived to CICD in August 2022 and started my journey here with the Gaia programme. Now I'm a Development Instructor (DI) and according to the plan I will go to Zambia in the middle of July...which I am getting very excited about.
This Monday my team passed our People's Exam successfully. That was our second exam since we have started our DI period. It was a big milestone for me because now there is only one closing exam separating us from our big dream...which is exactly the half year long African project ... for which we have worked a lot here in CICD in almost a year. That's why I decided to write an article about it now.
First of all, let's have a look at what we learned during this period - the third and longest one during our 5 month long DI period.
This period separated into 6 sections:
1. AFRICA – Rich Lands, Poor People – My favourite part ... Not only because Africa is my everything...my life, but also because we have learned a lot of super interesting things that haven't even been said when I went to school...for example about Colonialism and Apartheid in different African countries
2. Development Concepts – We will become a development instructor...and are going to go for a development project...so I guess I have to nothing else to say about why was this part of the study so important for us.
3. The Federation of Humana People to People – The organisation with whom we will sign our contract for the African project on next Wednesday
4. Leadership Skills - Which will be essential for the successful implementation of the African project ... and what always has something to develop...It's a never ending story...
5. The Struggle of The Poor – Poverty unfortunately exists...and growing nowadays...and it also has totally different aspects in rich and poor countries...Can you imagine that people have to live from less than 1$ per day...without access to clean water? Clean water, which is one of the basic needs for humans...
6. Investigation – Getting to know who are the poor and what makes them poor – In our case the topic was “Poverty in UK” and our team decided to get answers for the following questions:
• Who is doing something about poverty issues in UK? – near us
• How these places operate and with what funding?
• What are the main causes for people needing help?
Now that you know what we have learned...let's talk about the exam itself.
Preparing for the exam is always a great team building activity, like the exam itself …. the opposite of how we did in our traditional schools. Here we do everything together... but it's not enough to be together, but in agreement. Well, this can be the harder task in general...
The first step is always the same. Our teacher, Mel, introduces the exam conditions, and what topics the exam should cover ... because it is different every time.
In this case we got 5 different topics:
– We had to reflect some part of our studies
– Denmark – During this period we spent 10 days in Denmark – it was a part of our study programme – in our twin School, where we helped them organise a Peace and Justice Conference, where we participated too.
– Results of our Investigation
– Who will go together, and where will we go? - Introduction of our chosen African projects and teams
– Our team's highlights and challenges during this period
After this everything else was a team work...also with shared individual parts.
We had to decide what and how we wanted to present during the exam. There are no rules for it...
I think this time we spent much less time to decide and agree what will we do...and how. We devided our exam into six sessions:
– Quiz – about our studies related to Africa and HPP
– Leadership section – game, theatre – related to leadership skills and types and a powerpoint presentation about leadership skills
– Our memories about Denmark via a video
– Our investigation action and the results via a powerpoint presentation
– We wrote a story about our „CICD history”...in connection with our highlights and challenges in this period
– Where we will go and in which groups
– Project overview via a short slide show
I think we distributed the tasks in a proper way... Everyone had almost similar amount of tasks during the preparation and exam.
For me this People’s Exam was much harder than the previous one because of different reasons:
– We were only four – our team had 8 members in the begining –so much less than before...This fact in one way made it easier, because it was much eaiser to agree, but on the other hand we had to participate much more during the exam than before
– This period was much longer – 7 weeks – than the previous one (4 weeks)
– There was one gap between our studies and the exam... we went to Danmark and had a holiday too, so it was not easy to pick up the rythm again in a short period of time
In the end I would like to say a very big thank you to our teacher – Mel – for her continuous support during the learning period, as well as during the preparation for the exam and during the exam itself.