Wednesday, 06 January 2021 15:11

Democracy Training by Virtual Means at Community Level

Under the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Activity, NPC organized five training programmes on Resilient Communities Through Everyday Democracy to enhance the participants' basic understanding of democratic values, review lessons from past training and identify key issues for creating a values-based democratic society.

Due to the government’s restriction on public gatherings to stop the spread of Covid-19, it had been difficult to train grassroot level community platforms as usual.

The SCORE team conducted a digital literacy survey in November to find out the possibility of adapting online platforms to carry out training programmes. Based on the survey results, the team decided to adopt an online approach for training programmes and activities.

Two programmes were carried out in Monaragala and Trincomalee conducted by Imran Nafeer.

The Monaragala training programme was conducted for 15 Co-existence Society members. According to a focus group that evaluated the knowledge of the participants, all the respondents demonstrated a good knowledge of democracy and identified the values and necessary components of democracy. They demonstrated a positive attitude towards establishing democracy in the country.

“Before participating in this training I did not have sufficient knowledge about democracy. Through the training, I was able to improve my knowledge and identify issues in society. As people who live in remote areas, we are not familiar with online platforms, so through this programme we were able to experience the new technology for the first time. It was a huge victory,” said H.M. Anusha Kumari from Monaragala.

Another online training programme was conducted for 17 Co-existence Society members in Trincomalee.

In Mullaitivu, three face to face training programmes were carried out with the support of co-facilitators who were trained during the last Training for Trainers. Participants’ statements revealed that the trainings had improved their knowledge of democracy while inspiring them to work towards strengthening democracy.

“We improved our knowledge of democracy. Actually, the training inspired us to work on strengthening democracy. I hope that your organization will assist us in the future to empower communities,’’ said Nallalingam from Mullaitivu.

The training programmes used interactive tools and techniques including activities and games to reflect the realities in the society, group work to discuss various topics, group brainstorming and individual reflections and follow up agreements.

The online sessions were converted to encourage a productive dialogue in different thematic areas.