Friday, February 20, 2015

Chris´experience working for Inclusion

So we are five weeks in to the projects already and time has literally flown by. 

It is very comforting to know that we have already started a difference and really getting stuck into the two projects. The training week was great to learn from, both for project specific things and for genuine day to day activities in La Paz. 

As the Best Buddies project is brand new and we are the first cohort to work with this, there has been a lot of organisation involved. Which is great as we know we have to set the foundation for the following projects. Which means gathering as much information as we can from all the workshops we do with Best Buddies in order to adequately explain the hand over notes, to make sure the change of volunteers flows smoothly and they can get stuck into the project straight away. 

Firstly with the buddies we did an ice breaker which involved dancing, and introducing ourselves as a team. I feel I have already learned a lot about the buddies and they have learned a lot about us. From our culture to our personal hobbies. At first the buddies seemed shy, but after performing mini subconscious ice breakers throughout our meetings with them they have really come out of there shell, and I see them exactly the same as I see my friends back in the UK. We are cheeky with each other, and share interests  and are starting to get to know each other on a personal level. 

So as the buddies are all at different levels, we decided to split them into 3 groups, in order to concentrate on the areas of help that each buddy needs most. We have Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. We split the buddies into these 3 groups by conducting the same assessment with each of them, which included reading a text, logo recognition, drawing,  forming sentences from individual syllables, and imagination skills. After assessing the buddies on these aspects we then could place them into their correct groups in order for them to learn the right things for them and at the right pace. The Beginners group aims to empower and give confidence to the buddies regarding their reading skills, the intermediate is to improve the fluency and interpretation of reading literature texts, and improve their consolidation of learning, while empowering them to speak in front of small crowds and express their opinions in a confident manor. The advanced group concentrates on life skills, such as writing CV’s and personal statements and to improve their public speaking skills, so that they are able to express opinions publically with confidence. 

The more comfortable the buddies get with us the more confidence they have reading texts aloud, and expressing opinions in front of us. Our plan now is to expand their confidence to speak in front of people they do not know that much. Which will improve their life skills, work and interview skills and educational skills.

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