February 2, 2018

Had a great day at the National Portrait Gallery, with quite a large turn out of people. The group was divided into subgroups and we set off to explore. A list of questions were printed eg what medium was used, talk about the colours in the painting, when was the painting made to get people to start talking. The students I was with were most fascinated by a bronze bust of Nelson Mandela and a portrait of Catherine Dutchess of Cambridge-they could not believe it was a painting and not a photograph.
It was also noted that there were no cameras at the time so these elaborate painting were made t...

February 1, 2018

What an amazing and very funny session this morning. I was grouped with Robert, Henry and Cyprien - all very cheeky, and all had very good spoken and written English, so we stormed through the tasks. We talked about recycling, Henry has four bins at home and meticulously recycles - even though, when he lived in Nigeria, they had one single bin for everything (apparently the rubbish is serperated at a later date). Robert however is more of an occasional recycler, and we had a discussion about how I'm the same and we should both do better! Cyprien told us all that a plastic bag takes 150 years t...

January 16, 2018

The CAP Life Skills program at the schools in Orangi Town, Karachi, Pakistan is a much needed intervention in the lives of young individuals struggling hard with the rage & frustration that the political and economic situation around them has forced upon them. The program teaches them to stretch their boundaries and turn problems in to opportunities. It encourages them to not become a victim but be a problem solver by utilizing various tools that the CAP Trainers try to introduce them to.

The program also focuses on creating space for open dialogues and actions while maximizing the capacity of...

January 9, 2018

My first day of volunteering at the Cross Street Church today was great fun, I spent the session with the beginners. We started with little wooden models of famous London landmarks, spread across the table top. Most of the group were very quick to recognise the London Eye and name it, some of the other buildings took a bit of prompting - Big Ben went through a few names, "Big Mac" being one of my favourites. 

We moved onto a game of monopoly, of which the entire group were newbies. After handing out the cash, we each tallied up to check we had the correct amount - and chose our coloured cars. A...

December 12, 2017

Feedback method:

Dil officers or Life Skills trainer films the Life Skills sessions. A team of CAP consultants watch the footage, collate feedback and upload to the training blog. We also Skype with Life skills trainers for one one one feedback and debrief. 

Feedback of Orangi school that has worked through eight weeks of Life Skills sessions and implemented a community action plan. 

Primary message: Impact of Eve Teasing on girls and their education

Secondary message: equality of genders

Topic: Eve Teasing is defined as any act that intimidates a girl or a woman as she makes her way...

November 6, 2017

I have a scenario to share with you about our session on Tuesday in Islington to highlight the importance and value of training as a new volunteer. One of the exercises of the session had a Halloween theme with all things scary and spooky. Once I introduced myself to the student I paired up with, the first question I was asked was: "Do you believe in witchcraft?" pointing at the figure of a black cat which was meant to be a witch's pet. I replied: no! He went on to ask: "You are telling me that if you came across a black cat in the middle of the night walking home alone you will not be afraid?...

October 26, 2017

Joanna, Fatima and I had a meeting to determine how the relationship between Speak Street and CAP was progressing. On our agenda was to find out how she was feeling about CAPs involvement in the program, the integration of our volunteers, and what we wanted to build on going ahead, specifically on the subject of “sensitive subjects”.

When asked about CAPs volunteers, Joanna said she was “overwhelmed” by the response she had had, and the quantity and quality of volunteers. She only had positive words for all of us, how well and how quickly we had integrated into the group, and how much the suppo...

October 25, 2017

As thirty-two volunteers and refugee students sit down to practice English language skills after everyone has had a sandwich and poured themselves a cup of tea, the room falls unusually silent.

We are reading through the exercises on our worksheets. The silence is short lived. In a few minutes, the room erupts in excited chatter. I hear snippets of the conversations around me. Thrills me to hear the group get excited about decoding something so many of us take for granted. Daily life.

This is the gist of the questions:

You are at the post office, do you:

1) Cut to the front of the queue and t...

October 25, 2017

Gender issues from Field mission for Developments in Literacy – Khairpur, rural Sindh
DIL School location: Rind–Nowa (local ngo partner)
Newsrooms skills workshop and the inspiring content the students of DIL’s Rind school generated.
Workshop in Confidence Building, designed to develop and sharpen critical thinking skills and challenge gender issues around a woman’s ability and right to analyse situations and make quick, effective decisions, also teaches students to identify relevant information quickly.
Workshop title Newsroom skills, workshops is disguised as a game where students pretend to rep...

October 18, 2017

"You burn body of man in Guy Fawkes fire."

"You lie."

These aren't accusations, although you could perceive them as such. But they aren't the kind of statements I was prepared to hear as we sat down to English language practice.

I was seated between Emmanuel from Congo, Ronin from Sri Lanka, Angel from Congo and another lady (who will go unnamed) as we begin our discussion on UK festivals, ways to participate in our communities and how to enjoy the city of London by attending free events arranged by community clubs, and public interest groups.

“We have same festivals in my country,

we know New...

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