2nd Capability Program: A Review

Snow shoe hiking in the black forest
The program closed with a snow shoe hike in the black forest
After almost exactly 6 months, our second Capability Program will wrap up on 25. April 2013. It’s the perfect moment to look back at what the participants achieved:

It all started in October 2012: six highly motivated participants from England, Scotland and Switzerland travelled to the newly opened campus of the WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management in Düsseldorf. The BOOKBRIDGE team as well as business coaches Torsten Weber and Christian Langen were just as excited as the participants to find out what the next weeks and months would hold.

After the team got to know one another, learned about Takeo, and introduced themselves to the local team there, we began to develop a business model. The greatest challenge was developing a course concept that would allow our learning center to become financially independent, and, at the same time, to have a lasting and positive impact on the lives and futures of young people in Takeo.

We developed the idea of combining English courses (always in high demand) with transmission of life skills in the areas of future, work and career. This plan quickly convinced both for the local team in Cambodia, as well as for our investors from One Young World (OYW).

Young Cambodians say thank you for the new learning center
Young Cambodians say thank you for the new learning center
After we decided what we would offer, which local partners we would team up with, and who our target group would be, the real work began. In just a few weeks we had to develop a suitable learning infrastructure, locate personnel, establish a legal entity, obtain teaching materials, and design the course. During this process our participants increasing took on leadership roles, and our coaches and the BOOKBRIDGE team members watched in awe as the concept and comprehensive business plan took shape.

The highlight of our program was definitely the trip to Takeo: in just 11 days our team found a project leader and a teacher, created a wonderful learning environment, met with many partners and organized an opening party. Aside from these visible signs of success, our team worked together flawlessly: we supported one another, made one another stronger, worked very hard and had a lot of fun.

In the last few weeks we have been busy ensuring that the new organization was running smoothly and implementing appropriate controlling tools. All areas of activity are now gradually being transferred to the local team.

We are very pleased with the progress so far: we have 18 students in our courses, and our local team is working with great dedication on the development of the learning center in Takeo.

The Capability Program team and the local team will remain in contact: there will be monthly reports and Facebook chats, and news will be shared via Linked In. We will also ensure mid- and long-term contact between the teams with a mentoring program, and we will continue to support Sokoeurn, our team leader in Takeo, in his own leadership development.

We here at BOOKBRIDGE hope to see the Capability Program participants again at the next Bridgebuilder Weekend, when all those who have helped us in the past get together once again.

Many thanks to: Anne Bowler, Delphine Ziarovski, Gregor Toland, Olga Kastanova, Paul Gill, Sarah Lace, Christian Langen, Torsten Weber, Andrew Knox, Louise Jack, Bea Bättig and Rebecca Winkelmann!

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