Last November, Community Heroes from Cambodia and Mongolia took part in the Community Hero exchange program in Sri Lanka. Uuganaa Gantumur, Community Hero in Arvaikheer, Mongolia, participated and writes about her impressions and learnings.
Our All-Staff Training started with the international team including Cambodia, Mongolia, Sweden and Switzerland hosted by Sri Lankans. The 3-day training covered essential topics such as Community Heroes development, learning center cooperation, management and marketing and also the MasterClass. As a participant I had the great chance to learn more about Sri Lankan learning centers and their diversities. During a panel discussion we exchanged our experiences which will be implemented at our sites. Vannak Pen, Community Hero from Cambodia, brought a lot of ideas to teach and lead the learning center. Sujita from Sri Lanka has great experiences about leading Life Skills sessions and social business classes. It was a nice warm atmosphere to talk smoothly and make great future plans between us.
After AST we went to Bandarawela to visit the learning center and to co-teach and share our experiences at site. It was a nice and safe town which is located on high mountains. People were so friendly, kids were interested in working with us. Sujita took us on a welcome tour around the learning center and everyday we had a small discussion led by Sujita. It was easy to work with the students and we had an interesting co-teaching. Meeting in person is a big advantage to learn more specifically. I learned a lot about community work, master class, adult class, and life skills groups. A lot of inspirational decorations and social business ideas made me enthusiastic to start trainings in Mongolia beyond English classes. Satheesh was very helpful to know about the administration system and registration. I appreciated a lot what he taught me like some IT programs to design certificates and handouts. They made a wonderful attractive brochure for the batches starting every season.
Sujita started a scout troop at her learning center with junior school children. During the program she also offers a free English Club and it was a great opportunity for me to work and contribute to my ideas of Scouting. We organized a hiking and scout day.
At the IT and Find Yourself classes we taught together and learned more from Sujita. Kids were so willing to learn new skills such as giving and doing an interview, preparing a CV, and being guides for foreigners. Everyday, many things came to my mind to to ask and implement at my learning center to transfer them to Mongolia. I was always passionate to do more development on myself and my skills.
Things such as the library system, parents meeting and communication, preparing presentations, preparing students for state exams and cooperation with the community are similar to Mongolia but some activities were completely different. That was really helpful for me.
Though Bandarawela learning center has been established three years ago, it has a lot of experience and ideas to profit from. Also, I was exceptionally satisfied with Sujita and Satheesh for hosting me and spending a lot of time in talking and explaining! You were not only co-workers but also kind, warm hosts for me! I will never forget this great experience!