Cascading action learning to the community

Within Bourgainville, Papua New Guinea | World Vision Pacific Development Group and GULL Port Moresby


Launching World Vision’s work with GULL in PNG
Meeting of the World Vision Pacific Development Group (PDG) cascade leaders for GULL with Sir Paulias Matane, Governor General Papua New Guinea

The WV PDG cascade leaders for GULL's work in Papua New Guinea (PNG) met with GULL's Founding Chancellor, Sir Paulias Matane on Monday 1 November 2010 to discuss the role that GULL can play in facilitating self-directed community mobilization.

Opening statement by Dr Micael Olsson, Director, Education & Life Skills, World Vision International:

“I am really keen to talk about what GULL can do to empower disadvantaged youth and especially the young people who have not benefited from school. The NGOs have done all they can to get a lot more kids into school and World Bank reports have verified this, but overall they conclude that kids are learning less. For this generation and time, what can we do? Government, communities and families are working together to ensure that each child receives the heart of a basic education. But what does this involve?”

(Above) Meeting with GULL's Founding Chancellor, the Governor General of PNG, Sir Paulias Matane on Monday 1 November, 2010.




GULL’s role in facilitating the development of life skills
WV and GULL meeting with Sir Paulias Matane (continued)

Dr Micael Olsson, Director, Education & Life Skills, World Vision International:

(Continued) “Traditionally we have said that the heart of a basic education is literacy and numeracy but there's more – the essential life skills, such as critical thinking, the ability to make good judgements, the ability to manage your emotions and communicate well – social relationships, building good, positive reciprocal relationships and learning social responsibility. What does it mean to contribute to something larger than yourself? ... the global community is keen to restore this wider view of education for life – not just to assist with employability but to encourage wider contributions to communities and help foster a meaningful life for all.

I think that GULL's action learning approach can assist as communities come up with their own plans. I hope that everyone in the community – especially the volunteer groups, can use GULL to become even more professional at what they do – I think it is going to make a big difference here in PNG and in the other parts of the world where World Vision is involved – particularly in the next 5 years, before the conclusion of Education For All.”

(Above) Dr Micael Olsson, Director, Education & Life Skills, World Vision International




Introducing World Vision’s work in the Pacific Islands
WV and GULL meeting with Sir Paulias Matane (continued)

Dr Curt von Boguslawski, National Director, World Vision Pacific Development Group:

“As a global organization, World Vision is characterized as a Christian, child-focused and community-based organization. Everything we do, is done in partnership with communities. We are focusing our efforts on four child wellbeing aspirations. First, we believe that children should be educated for life, second that children should have access to healthcare and that they have a right to live a healthy life, third we believe that children should learn to love their neighbours and God and fourth, that children should be cared for and given an opportunity to participate.

In PNG we work in Bourgainville, Madang and in National Capital District, Port Moresby. We also have a nationwide project (the TB dots project). We believe that early childhood development is key to the development of the nation and it is our desire to work closely in partnership with Government Departments.”

(Above) Dr Curt von Boguslawski, National Director, World Vision Pacific Development Group




WV PDG’s vision for communities in Bourgainville
WV and GULL meeting with Sir Paulias Matane (continued)

David Sweeting, Programme Development Manager, WV PDG:

“Almost two years ago now we went to Bourgainville to find out what Bourgainvillians really need assistance with. We spent close to 18 months talking to the communities and obtaining feedback. The most significant issues highlighted were related to education and community participation and their request was could World Vision assist with this? Arising from that and from talking to Richard Teare and others, we felt that the best approach would be to use action learning so that the initiative can be owned by the communities themselves.

The target group for the project is youth and in Bourgainville there are many disenfranchised youth. The yearning for education is there but today's youth get bored easily and if they are not occupied with something productive, they can become disruptive and lapse into drugs and alcohol abuse and so our goal is to design a project that will benefit the youth who have fallen out of the education system and engage them in self-directed learning.”

(Above) David Sweeting, Programme Development Manager, World Vision Pacific Development Group




The need for holistic lifelong learning: A response
WV and GULL meeting with Sir Paulias Matane (continued)

Sir Paulias Matane, GULL's Founding Chancellor & Governor General, PNG:

“How do we educate a child? Is it to pass exams and progress on to the next grade or is it to education them for life? If the child is to become a complete human being, he/she must understand that there are three parts of his being – body, mind and spirit – which must be trained and developed properly. Education must help the individual to become a total human being. When I look at the standard of education today and compare it with my own experience of school, there is my view, a significant gap.

In my experience, people take more notice of the church than of national leaders. Everyone must understand that he or she is alive for a purpose. I have developed my own philosophy to explain this and I often tell audiences that we must all become PUPPIES. The first letter is P – we must be purposeful and discover our purpose in life. The next letter is U – we must be useful and next P – we must be productive and P – progressive – IES in every subject. Generally, people love this story!”

(Above) Sir Paulias Matane, GULL‟s Founding Chancellor & Governor General, Papua New Guinea




WV and GULL – a big picture overview
WV PDG and GULL planning workshop 1-5 November, 2010

Dr Micael Olsson, Director, Education & Life Skills, World Vision International:

“Using GULL we aim to build the capacity of the person who is standing in front of the youth and the person doing awareness building with the parents because the capacity of our community volunteers is so critical. We want to build them up so that they are confident and enthusiastic and more likely to succeed in developing the competency of others. At that point, we want to recognize them for their efforts.

My experience is that outside organizations can never really refine their models and approaches to match what is going on in community life – it will be the brilliant people in that community who take what the outside is bringing and shape it so that the projects work. They are the unsung heroes and now with GULL and self-directed action learning they and others can rise and be recognized for what they have been able to accomplish. I think that this has been the essence of Sir Paulias' dream for a long, long time so I am very hopefully that this kind of support from GULL is going to make a difference.”

(Above) WV PDG and GULL planning workshop 1-5 November, 2010.




Meeting with the Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea
WV and GULL lead team meeting with Sir Michael Somare, 4 November, 2010

Sir Michael Somare, GULL's Co Chancellor & Prime Minister, PNG:

“I am looking forward to hearing about World Vision and especially to a progress report on the Global University for Lifelong Learning. As you know, Sir Paulias Matane and I are great colleagues – we went to school together and we always maintain that education is our key theme. If developed properly, Papua New Guinea is going to be a very rich country and I believe that we can transform this nation.

For me, a particular challenge is to develop young leaders and to help them to understand and see the potential for this Nation. If we create stability, it is possible to secure prosperity and create the conditions to enable the young to fulfil their potential. Thank you for visiting me – I'd like to hear now from you. I'd also like to find a way of further supporting GULL's development in PNG.”

(Above) Sir Michael Somare, GULL's Co Chancellor & Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea

Dr Micael Olsson, Director, Education & Life Skills, World Vision International:

“Prime Minister, I spent 23 years here in PNG and much of that time in community where I saw youth drop out of school. One of the things that GULL does is to professionalize and recognize the accomplishments of people – not whether you can pass the test – but thinking of those who come up with an idea and make something happen. If they gather the evidence for that, they can be recognized for their efforts and work towards a professional degree in applied learning – in action learning. Can you can imagine how that would make them feel? They know what they are achieving but it isn't recognized ... So that fact that you started GULL here is significant.

I‟m now based in the USA and serve as leader of WV's education and life skills work, spanning 100 countries and large numbers of communities – we work with 24 million children and youth in different parts of the world. The opportunity that was born here – GULL – is a great way to build the capacity and do all kinds of development in many places around the world.”

(Above) Dr Micael Olsson, Director, Education & Life Skills, World Vision International

“...they (youth) don't have the money or the influence to get to university but now via GULL they can really hone their skills and develop themselves by assessing their own strengths and weaknesses, start a personal development journey and enlist a coach to support them, go through it with some of their friends and excel at what they are doing and really turn something around. That's another kind of learning that really deserves attention and needs to be recognized.

Papua New Guinea, Nov 10 The Graduate School of Education at Harvard University believe that schooling in the future is going to be different. It will focus on core skills and competences like making good judgements, forming a team and solving a problem together. That's what companies really want too. I think that GULL is going to be a big asset globally – I'd like to congratulate you for providing GULL's mandate, along with Sir Paulias and for giving GULL a home here in PNG so that other Governments are able to endorse the system. “

(Above, centre) Sir Michael Somare, Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea with WV and GULL leaders




Personal reflections and learning: Closing remarks
WV PDG and GULL planning workshop 1-5 November, 2010

“I have realized that via GULL, I can develop myself and facilitate the development of others. I am going to continue the GULL journey and as soon as I am confident enough, I will pass the GULL process to others in my community. I will help others to grow and I truly believe that development and transformation will take place.” Boniface

“I have come to realize this week that GULL will enable me to fully discover my own potential and to develop new skills. The GULL journey will also help me to find my own solutions – in my personal life and at work. I also realize that as the cascade leaders, we are agents of change and GULL is badly needed in our communities. The marginalized need to discover their skills and talents so that they can advance. This workshop has also enabled me to clearly identify my own personal goals for the next 12 months, especially relating to my career path. I believe that GULL provides an answer for the rural population of Papua New Guinea and although we are only at the starting point, GULL will enable them to help themselves in the future.” Borga

(Left) Boniface (Right) Borga, WV PDG cascade leaders

“I have learnt a lot in this workshop and the activity that has had the greatest impact on me is the process of daily reflection that we have been practising every day during the week. It has helped me to realize that I can use and prioritize my time more efficiently and through this exercise, I also feel that I will be able to perform my work more effectively. I am sure too that we can cascade GULL to the communities where there are so many youngsters with nothing to do – they feel lost. When they attend training sessions with us and learn new skills they often ask about whether they will receive a certificate and about what they might be able to do next. GULL is going to give them an opportunity to advance and to recognize their efforts and I'm sure that it will have an impact in these communities. I can't wait to get started!” Camilla

(Above) Camilla, WV PDG cascade leader

“Prior to the workshop, I was wondering if GULL could really work in our context but what really impressed me this week was firstly, meeting Sir Paulias Matane and hearing his views on integral human development. His perspective really caused me to think about development and as we started the workshop, I began to see that GULL offers an answer to the gaps in our own educational system and the social problems we encounter, especially if we help children to view their own development more holistically. It has all come together now for me – the gap that we need to address relates to the array of life skills that are missing from the educational experience that leaves our children as incomplete human beings. I see that GULL provides us with the opportunity to augment the development process – not only in the formal sense, but in the communities in which we work – for children and adults alike. I have also come to realize this week that I cannot play a truly productive role in change unless I am able to change myself. Carol

(Above) Carol, WV PDG cascade leader

(Continued) “I know that as individuals, we often identify issues in our personal lives and at work but we don't take the necessary steps to address them – we sit there, try to resolve them in our minds and hope that someone else will notice the problem and come and fix it for us. This week has taught me that I can start the process of change and through action learning with a group of my peers, we can come up with ways to move forward. I do believe that this can work in our organization, for us as individuals and for the communities that we serve – from our project staff through to the volunteers and other beneficiaries.

I think that if these groups can sit down together and identify their issues and challenges and then use the available resources to shape and implement their own solutions, they will learn to drive the change process in their own communities and we won't need to do it for them. So, I think that GULL really can work in support of all that we do in communities.” Carol

“I have come to realize that the way in which I interact with my colleagues at work is closely aligned with the process of action learning and it's not always easy – in order to learn it is necessary to experience both the 'highs' and the 'lows'. This week has energized me and given me a renewed sense of passion for my work.

I feel that what we have discussed here and the ways in which we can utilize the GULL framework will reinforce ownership and personal responsibility for development. I really like the idea of giving, sharing and coaching others and so for that I am grateful and hopeful that we can continue onwards as a team. I love the diversity of this group – different roles and responsibilities and I look forward to coming together again to evaluate our progress using GULL and action learning.” David

(Above) David, WV PDG cascade leader

“What I have learnt this week has touched me and I now see that in order to change our communities, we have to change ourselves. I recall that when I first started working with World Vision, I was told that our core business is transformational development and I believe that God has given each of us gifts and to bring about change in our communities, we must learn to share these gifts.

The workshop has been a blessing to me – thank you for bringing GULL to Bourgainville it will bless our community.” Gail

(Left) Joseph (Right) Gail , WV PDG cascade leaders

“During the week, I have come to realize that learning has to be customized so that every GULL participant can resolve their own challenges. Our main purpose at World Vision is to meet the needs of those we serve and support and I see that GULL provides a closely related enabling framework that provides a development pathway for each one of us that we can later pass to others.” Joseph

“I have found this workshop very challenging as I sought to embrace the concept of GULL and of action learning. I feel that it is possible to read-up on these topics without fully understanding and it is helpful to have this explained in person. I have always set personal goals and related these to work and family life in terms of improvements that I would like to make, but I haven't always followed through. In completing a Personal Learning Statement this week, I know that I can achieve the goals that I have set for myself because I‟ll be using a more formal process and working with others. I know that in 12 months time, I would like to have developed myself so that I am a more positive person, able to have a positive influence on others. I live in a settlement where we face many problems, such as lack of fresh water and disaffected youngsters – they don't have jobs and they feel hopeless. I have pondered for a long time about how I might be able to help them, but I didn‟t know how I could bring them together and work with them.

Now, with GULL, I have seen that I don't need to impact a lot of people – just a few – so that they can in turn, cascade the process to others and multiply the impact. At work, if we can each cascade GULL to a few volunteers and beneficiaries, we can be agents of change – let's see what happens in the next 12 months and how many people we can reach.” Grace

(Right) Grace, WV PDG cascade leader

This week's experience has been overwhelming and I can see how GULL can revive in me the ability to sustain my own, self-directed learning. I now understand that if I take responsibility for my own learning, then I am the best teacher for myself and via GULL, I can be better – not only personally, but professionally. As I reflect on Sir Paulias Matane's PUPPIES illustration – I realize that I have purpose (P) for my life and that I have been useful (U) and productive (P) – but that I haven't been progressive (P) in my thinking and actions. The workshop has helped me to realize that if I am to be better, I need to change and progress. As a Papua New Guinean and WV staff member, it is very encouraging to see and hear the support for GULL from our Governor General, the Prime Minister and our National Director.

I see the challenge for me and my colleagues here is to ensure that in helping ourselves to progress, that we can pass on our experience and help others to participate in GULL too. As we went through the outcomes mapping exercise yesterday, I realized that the pieces of the puzzle all now fit together. Not only that, I realized that each of us as individuals can help ourselves individually and collectively help many others via the outcomes mapping process. I know that we can have a greater impact in working with the communities this way and bring more depth and quality to our work. I am excited about the next steps. Melinda

(Above) Melinda, WV PDG cascade leader

“I am thinking about undertaking a GULL journey myself together with my direct reports and if they are able to cascade to their own direct reports, it might be possible to manage with more direct reports than an ideal management structure would allow. Ideally it is meant to be three, but once it reaches five and beyond it isn't possible to stay in touch with everybody. In terms of my own philosophy, I want people to blossom and grow toward their fullest potential. I want those I work with to fulfil their own vision and dreams and not just meet my expectations. GULL addresses this nicely because of the emphasis on a dual track of personal and work-related development. I think that the GULL system is a good fit with our World Vision performance review process and I'd like to explore how the GULL pathways and cascade process meshes with this, especially as we reach out to community volunteers with the combined life skills and GULL initiative.

There is no way to go to a college to train in applied life skills and so if we're not all doing and practising life skills development you don't develop – it has to be applied in your life and it has to be action learning. So, I'm filled with anticipation about how this might work – especially when you find your inner strength, calling and capabilities and realize how you can best contribute to something bigger.” Micael

(Right) Micael, WVI cascade leader

(Micael – continued) “I feel so passionately about the four 'R's – reciprocity, respect, relationship and responsibility and my whole life journey has been one of surprises and 'ah ha's' – about the value of engaging with people who are unlike me and seeing room for growth in dialogue with them. I mentioned that I wanted to finish the book I am working on and so one of the things that I am thinking of doing with the GULL pathway, is to get a draft of that done this year.” Micael

“Firstly I would like to say thank you to our Heavenly Father for making it possible for me to attend this workshop. Throughout the week what I have been learning is important – especially the role of GULL in facilitating action learning. Our role in community development is challenging and if we don't find a way forward, we won't be able to improve. I can see now how GULL will help each of us to improve and how we can cascade the process to the communities so that they can participate too. Raymond

(Above) Raymond, WV PDG cascade leader


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