The unexpected is here with us. The Covid-19 crisis has affected the normal operations of governments, citizens, service providers and humanitarians. This includes the interruption of the implementation of a game-changing plan we have been working on with the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE). This Triple E (Education, Entrepreneurship and Education) initiative aims to support the integration of teenage mothers in schools as well as enhance the quality of the Early Childhood Education first in nine countries in Africa. This is an initiative that is fitted nicely under the Ambitious Africa program lead by youth in Finland and many African countries, championed by the Foreign Ministry of Finland through its Embassies in various countries.
The wake of Covid19 has hit our training calendar hard this spring with trainings in Vietnam, the US, China, Finland and Africa cancelled.
The partners had started working on an ambitious plan, which they absolutely did not wish to put on hold. The next generation, the children who will be creating the future, are as deserving and needing as ever. There is no way we can turn our attention away from working towards delivering the best education and care to every single child.
The cancellation of the workshop and conference in Finland brought about a gloomy outlook on things. Partners have put their heads together and decided to move the co-creation training online. With support from learning platform friends at Claned, the program was converted into a digital experience.
FAWE on the other hand turned to their country chapters and rounded up an unbelievably committed team of experts. This then jump-started the Fun Learning Ambassador course online with experts from 9 African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Gabon, Ghana, Gambia) participating from their homes, offices or other lockdown lodgings.
What happened next was not only much more than the partners could have imagined but much more than we could have managed in the initial time allocated had we instead worked on this project travelling country by country as smartly planned.
The program progressed for a month through bi-weekly communication sessions with the country teams working on tasks supporting the creation of local action plans and localizing the Fun Learning Center concept. The commitment of all the participants was incredible, with an impeccable 100% attendance from each country office.
The multi-national team opened up in a very rich, honest and warm dialogue; the true beauty of the course was the co-creation and sharing of ideas and experiences in a manner that increased curiosity and motivation to localize the program to complement the setting in each country.
How to take an idea, a concept, work on it together and make something novel, and through this process create a solution that is your own was the highlight of the training. As feedback from one of the participants quite rightly stated, “After mid-point I realized the course itself was the model, and the content needs to be drawn from what was presented, but in bits and applications we believe in.” The co-creation process proved to be successful.
The Fun Learning Ambassador course ended with the awarding of certificates to a group of Fun Learning friends who turned our spring into a happy and rich experience of sharing. An unexpected outcome thinking back to where we started just a couple of months ago. Our empty training calendar turned into a spring full of online Fun Learning.