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Launched in October, 2007, GULL now has participants in close to 40 countries and a wide range of applications in workplace and community settings. Our work is endorsed by numerous governments, leaders and institutions and it celebrates the potential of self-directed lifelong action learning to bring about development and improvement. I should like to thank GULL’s global team for their on-going support and my hope is that the reader will be inspired by these personal highlights from 2012.
President, Global University for Lifelong Learning
Kajo Keji, South Sudan - January
Church & Community Mobilization (CCM) with GULL
The Episcopal Church of Sudan is facilitating change in local communities to enable the local church and its community to achieve greater self-reliance. It involves a self-directed holistic learning journey that closely mirrors GULL’s philosophy and approach to community development. GULL is integrated with CCM so that the outcomes can be recognized and certified.
(Above left) CCM-GULL graduates pictured with the District Commissioner of Kajo Keji County, Bishop Anthony Poggo and other guests.
(Above right) Church pastor Timayo and his wife are now in their 70s and after retiring, they struggled financially. The process of CCM has helped them to grow much of their own food.
Lire community, South Sudan - January
(Above left) Before CCM: Timayo’s old house, (Above right) The impact of CCM: Timayo’s new house
Church and community mobilization (CCM) is a remarkable catalyst for community-led change and sustainable development as illustrated by the photographs above. Pastor Timayo and his family had spent many years living in their old traditional house (Above, left) and after they were introduced to CCM, Timayo and his family used their collective resources to build a new permanent house (Above, right). All the new house materials were locally sourced and the house was designed and built by the family themselves. Similarly, before CCM, the family had little food - now they have 1,000 pineapple plants and many other fruit, vegetable and livestock resources.
Soroti, Uganda - January
Church & Community Mobilization (CCM) with GULL
The Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) operate 5,000 churches in Uganda and PAG’s approach to holistic ministry aims to address the needs of communities using the CCM process. On Saturday 21 January, the largest procession ever seen in Soroti assembled in the town centre. More than 1,200 CCM-GULL graduands marched from the town centre to the venue of their GULL recognition ceremony.
(Above left) Revd. Simon Peter Emiau, PAG’s General Superintendent in Uganda with Jane Achaloi, the CCM national coordinator.
(Above right) The graduation procession from the town centre was led by a brass band.
Iringa, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya - January
Church & Community Mobilization (CCM) with GULL
Since the introduction of CCM to Tanzania in 1998, a great many communities have initiated on-going projects that are led by the communities themselves. On Wednesday, 25 January, newly qualified CCM facilitators were joined by three Bishops from the Africa Inland Church and the Anglican Church of Tanzania for their GULL recognition event at Iringa’s Anglican cathedral (below, left).
In September, 2009 a small group of NGO leaders based in Kenya, began their GULL journey together and after cascading their experience to many hundreds of people, the lead group completed on 28 January 2012.
(Above right) Lead NGO group member, Dr Jonas Njelango celebrates with his family and friends after the ceremony held on Saturday 28 January in Nairobi.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - April
CNH Corporate School launch and GULL annual graduation event
The South East Asian real estate organization CNH Land launched its own corporate school in affiliation with GULL on Thursday 19 April. This event was followed by the annual graduation event on Saturday 21 April to celebrate the outcomes of more than 400 GULL participants. The 2012 graduation was attended by two GULL Pro Chancellors.
On 20 April, Dato’ Dr Vincent Tang, GULL’s Regional President, SE Asia (pictured below right, on the left) and Richard Teare signed a Companion of Alliance with the Princely House of Kasperski-Ladedz. Vincent is pictured receiving the certificate from Prince Andrzej Kasperksi-Ladebz.
(Above left) The Corporate School launch with guest of honour YB Senator Gan Ping Sheau, Deputy Minister of Youth & Sport, Malaysia (centre).
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka - August
On Saturday 18 August the South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG) hosted its annual award ceremony in conjunction with the community organization Samadeepa Samaja kendraya, the Peoples’ Assembly of Sri Lanka and GULL. The SAAGG-GULL relationship began in January, 2010 and SAAGG’s objective is to help develop skilled ‘job providers’ (rather than qualified ‘job seekers’) – a significant initiative given the fact that there are high levels of unemployment and low average household incomes in the rural areas.
(Above left) As it is a multi-faith event, all the religious leaders are invited and the procession is led by a tabernacle hosting the holy book of each religious group.
(Above right) The annual ceremony incorporates prayer and musical performance. Notice also the flag that carries Buddhist, Christian and Muslim symbols among others.
Londolovit, Lihir Islands, Papua New Guinea - September
A sustainable future?
In 2007, the population of the remote Lihir Islands was estimated at 18,000 people, almost all of whom live a subsistence lifestyle. To ensure that a higher proportion of Islanders are able to benefit from self-directed development, an innovative savings and loans scheme was launched at the 3rd annual Personal Viability (PV) - GULL graduation on 28 September. The scheme will provide the finance needed to support the creation of new micro and small enterprises in Lihir and more widely.
(Above left) Lihir Island boys prepare to perform traditional dances at the celebration following the graduation.
(Above right) Sir Paulias Matane, 8th Governor General of Papua New Guinea and GULL’s Founding Chancellor, congratulates Samuel Tam, Founder of ‘Personal Viability’
Tijuana, Mexico - October
Recognizing the impact of community volunteers
On 20 October a group of community volunteers in Tijuana completed their GULL professional Bachelor degree. World Vision’s Dr Patricia Hartasanchez comments: “It was remarkable to see how this group who began the journey with a low level of self-confidence, were able to speak publically about their many achievements and the ways in which they had been able to help their community. The fact that the group were being publically recognized caused them to cry tears of joy.”
(Above left) An early childhood development centre in Tijuana, Mexico and some of the volunteers who pioneered GULL’s action learning process in their community.
(Above right) GULL participants relax with their certificates after the ceremony and pose for photographs with Edward Mooney, GULL’s Chairman (right of the picture).
Guatemala City, Guatemala - October
GULL Guatemala: Hope for Young Adults
A GULL workshop on Wednesday 24 October brought together an array of churches and NGOs in Guatemala and they are now deploying the GULL system in support of their work with marginalized groups. For Example, ‘Young Adults With Purpose In Guatemala’ is a movement of young adults (most of whom were formerly street children) aged 18 to 25 who have recently left childcare. Given that most do not have relatives to assist them, the ‘Young Adults’ movement is using the GULL system to provide action learning pathways in preparation for employment – or self employment – with mentor support. (Below, left) Jonathan Welford is GULL’s National President, Guatemala. He is also the Movement Coordinator, Young Adults with Purpose in Guatemala.
(Above right) A meeting with a Young Adults group in Chimaltenango, an hour’s drive from Guatemala City.
World Vision Lanka, Sri Lanka - December
Evidence-based learning and recognition for staff and communities
World Vision is implementing a nationwide programme called ‘Learning for Transformation’ (LfT) with GULL. The aim is to better equip 250 World Vision frontline staff with action learning skills via a group of 26 LfT cascade leaders. In turn, the frontline staff will cascade LfT with GULL to the communities that they are supporting in 40 locations around the country. This is the first national initiative of its kind in Sri Lanka and it will enable large numbers of people to engage in a self-development process and work towards greater self-reliance.
(Above left) Nigel Goddard, developer and lead facilitator of World Vision’s ‘Learning for Transformation’ (LfT)
(Above right) LfT cascade leaders, World Vision Lanka, demonstrate that they are ready for action!
China - December
The formal launch of GULL China, 28 December 2012
To round-off the year, came one of largest and most exciting events – the formal launch of GULL in China on 28 December. GULL has been operating a mirror website in Chinese for the past two years and the number of Chinese speaking GULL participants is growing rapidly. The event attracted significant media interest in China and GULL Regional President, Vincent Tang was interviewed by national and satellite TV companies.
(Above left) The formal launch of GULL in mainland China was attended by more than 500 delegates from across the country.
(Above right) Dato’ Dr Vincent Tang, GULL’s Regional President, SE Asia (centre) with members of the GULL China leadership team.
GULL is a non-profit public benefit corporation registered in California, USA. GULL’s mandate to confer professional awards is based on a statement of recognition offered in perpetuity and signed by the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on 10 April 2007. GULL is also endorsed by other Governments, Leaders and Institutions.