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Monday, 05 July 2021 07:52

Developing Facilitation Skills for Better Communication

An online training programme on facilitation skills development was held under NPC’s Collective Engagement for Religious Freedom (CERF) project for 61 representatives of 12 regional partners. An online poll identified facilitation as the primary requirement for training as it would benefit them as community level change agents.

The training included sessions on identifying the role of a facilitator and how it differs from the roles of teachers, moderators and trainers; skills and qualities of a good facilitator; session planning and designing; identifying, managing and responding to different types of contextual and situation issues; and applying the knowledge to manage gatherings of individuals from different educational, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

Participants were divided into groups and asked to identify the role of a moderator, trainer, teacher and a facilitator. Each group developed a plan for a facilitation session of two hours that included identifying the subject/topic, target group, particular knowledge, skills and attitudes, group exercises and evaluation methods.

“A good facilitator should be able to identify the most suitable role in conducting field level events for different causes and groups. Each of us as civil society members should be able to play the role of a moderator, teacher or facilitator depending on the situation and needs,” said Jayapathma from Rakwana LIRC.

Two similar facilitation training programmes were held for for Mannar and Addalachenai LIRCs. Two online training programmes on gender were conducted by Mr. Velusamy Weerasingham for 54 members of Trincomalee and Batticaloa LIRCs and 40 members of Panduwasnuwara and Kuliyapitiya LIRCs. Participants included religious leaders, government officials and community members. The topics discussed were conceptualising gender and sex, gender roles, Gender-Based Violence, the concepts of equity and equality and the role of LIRCs in promoting and protecting gender equity and gender mainstreaming at the committee and community levels.

“I haven’t participated in a gender training before so it was informative and interesting for me. I thank both the facilitator and NPC for giving us this opportunity. It is a very pertinent subject especially considering what is happening in our country,” said Shamalee from Panduwasnuwara LIRC. Two sessions on sharing the findings of the Religious Freedom Survey findings were conducted for the members of the Rakwana, Kuliyapitiya and Panduwasnuwara LIRCs.

“The survey findings imply that there is relatively less interaction and unity among ethnic and religious communities in our province. The acquisition of land by the Department of Archaeology and
related ministries is an issue in the Eastern province that is a reason for mistrust and friction,” said Moulavi Mansoor from Batticaloa LIRC.