End of Year Highlights 2015

Featuring news (in sequence) from El Salvador, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bolivia. (July – December)


San Salvador, El Salvador
World Vision (WV) El Salvador, July

There are various on-going initiatives in Latin American countries and the first GULL mid-point event took place in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador during July 2015. WV El Salvador has been facilitating development in the areas of health, education and environmental conservation since 1975. During its 40th anniversary year, WV El Salvador is deploying GULL in support of personal and professional development for its staff and communities.

The first stage, led by the National Director, involves 65 staff members. In time, the plan is to cascade more widely to staff and partner communities to help build resilience in one of Latin America’s most troubled countries.


(Above left) World Vision El Salvador staff celebration completion of the foundation stage of their GULL journey.

(Above right) Patricia Hartasanchez, GULL’s Regional Vice President, Latin America with members of the national office team.




GULL’s work with young adults
Pretoria, South Africa 4-7 November

The 13th World Congress of the Action Learning and Action Research Association (ALARA) took place in South Africa during November and Richard Teare gave a keynote address entitled: 'Ready for Life and Work? Designing Professional Development Pathways with Marginalized Young Adults.'

ALARA also facilitated the launch of the second book about GULL’s work. The book is called 'Designing Inclusive Pathways with Young Adults' and it draws on innovative approaches used by GULL and partner agencies with examples from nine countries. This is the second in a series of books on the topic 'Learning and Development for a Better World.'


(Above left, centre) Co-authors Prof. Lesley Wood, Dr Judith Kearney and Dr Richard Teare launch the new book

(Above right, centre) Prof. Ortrun ZuberSkerritt, GULL’s Regional President, Australasia was recognized at the ALARA event for her outstanding contribution to action learning and research in a book dedicated to her lifelong work.




Sapphire Rd. Primary School, Port Elizabeth
Sunday 8 November

On the 18 March 2015, Sapphire Road Primary School (SRPS) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa began a GULL pathway to assist parents to help their children with school work. SRPS serves a low income community with high levels of unemployment and so a collaborative approach (with teachers and community members learning together) is facilitating stronger relationships and a deeper understanding of what is needed to better support educational development.

A pathway mid-point graduation took place at the school on Sunday 8 November and uniquely, parents and teachers received awards at the same level. Outcomes to-date also include a number of income generating projects that are yielding wider community benefits.


(Above left) A joyful community celebration with the support of Dr Phumzile Langa, Director General of Rural Education.

(Above right) School Principal Bruce Damons led the parent-teacher pathway with GULL which is now expanding




Lighting the Lights of Wisdom
[Theme] Sri Lanka, 28 November

Participants from all nine provinces of Sri Lanka gathered in the capital Colombo on 28 November for the 35th anniversary of the community agency Samadeepa Samaja Kendraya, the 15th Session of the Peoples’ Assembly of Sri Lanka and for the award of honorary titles (Ambassador for Justice) by Samadeepa, Proficiency proved honorary titles by the South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG) and for the 6th GULL graduation. Inclusion is a key feature of this annual event and the ceremony opened with a procession featuring traditional music and dancing followed by prayers led by representatives of Sri Lanka’s main faith groups. The significance of the event merited coverage on the main evening news, national television.


(Above left) A traditional dance group, accompanied by two drummers.

(Above right) Representatives from Sri Lankan’s largest faith communities (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam) each holding their respective sacred book.




South Asian Academy with GULL
28-30 November, Sri Lanka

The South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG) has secured broadranging endorsement for its work with GULL. Among others, the Minister of Education sent a message of support and congratulations. Steady progress during the past six years is reflected in the growing number of participants and by the maturity of the SAAGG pathways based on action learning, proficiency-proved service and commitment to good governance. SAAGG has recently developed a profile of its work with GULL in the form of ‘50 Facts’ about action learning. In the coming year, SAAGG intends to enhance its framework to enable participants to quantify the return on investment arising from their GULL award.


(Above left) A community singing group at the annual event.

(Above right) The SAAGG – GULL leadership team for Sir Lanka pictured with the GULL Pro Chancellor for Sri Lanka, the Reverend Monk Dr Karagaswewe Wimalananda Nayake Thero (Centre, right)




Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Thursday, 3 December

The new book 'Designing Inclusive Pathways with Young Adults' features (in chapter 5) the remarkable story of Tang Chee Sing (Pastor Joseph) and his wife Lee Ching Mun. In 1992, they opened an orphanage which they called ‘House of Joy’ (HoJ) and during the years that followed, developed an effective self-help process that Joseph calls ‘Training, Service, Revenue’ (TSR). Today, HoJ supports more than 120 people and the TSR approach not only assists Joseph and his team to identify the gifts and talents of young residents but enables HoJ to operate small businesses that help feed those in care and fund the on-going work. It was a pleasure to give Joseph his copy of the book.


(Above left - left to right) Richard Teare, Pastor Joseph and Dato’ Dr Vincent Tang, GULL’s Regional President, South East Asia (SEA). Joseph and Vincent designed the HoJ with GULL pathway and Vincent provides on-going support.

(Above right) Siew Chee Wing, Principal, Harold’s Academy (a GULL SEA associate centre) together with Dato’ Vincent Tang.




Visits to Malaysian Associate Centres
Ipoh, Saturday 5 December

GULL South East Asia (SEA) has developed a wide network of associate centres in Malaysia. Most of the centres provide skills training for school leavers and by linking action learning to personal and skills development, the associate centres are able to provide pathways that lead to GULL’s professional Bachelor degree for students and also staff options for skills updating and career development.

On Saturday 5 December, Vincent Tang, Jan Phang and Richard Teare visited two centres in the city of Ipoh, the capital of Perak state and one of the largest cities in the country. It is located 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur. Ho Choy Sun (below right) trained for 13 years to learn the techniques of traditional Chinese therapy.


(Above left) Ho Choy Sun provides a free service to the community and he is pictured with some of the volunteers that he is training. Richard Teare interviewed a number of patients with serious medical conditions – all of whom said that together with on-going medical treatment, traditional therapy had facilitated pain relief and other benefits.




Visit to Malaysian Associate Centres

Chef Siew Cake Art & Culinary Sdn. Bhd. is one of the leading bakery colleges in Malaysia and its work draws on the finest ingredients – sourced from around the world. Coupled with this, the quality of teaching and learning at the college is highly regarded by employers and renowned practitioners augment the work of full-time staff. Small groups of students learn specialist skills in a state of the art environment and to advance, all staff regularly participate in national and international competitions. The blend of personal and professional skills acquisition is closely aligned with action learning and GULL’s approach to lifelong development.


(Above left) College Principal and Founder Esben Chiew pictured with Vincent Tang and Richard Teare. GULL is proud to recognize and certify the College’s young professionals.

(Above right) Members of Chef Siew’s team pictured below their ‘Innovations in Chocolate’ signage.




El Alfarero Bible School, Bolivia
Monday, 7 December

El Alfarero began in Sucre, Bolivia in 2001 and since then, thousands of students have benefited from its courses and the institution is well regarded by churches and the city authorities. In 2013, El Alfarero opened a project in Santa Cruz and in 2014, El Alfarero affiliated with GULL and launched a Master of Professional Studies (M Prof) (Strategic Leadership) with an emphasis on youth ministries (El Aprendiz).

El Aprendiz is based on individual mentoring relationships that facilitate holistic change. The taught element comprises 30 modules in 6 areas of study. On Monday 7 December, three M Prof students graduated from the theory phase (M Prof level 3) and will now implement individual ministry projects to complete their professional Master pathway.


(Above) Principals Debbie and Graham Frith with Rolando, Fernanda and Yngry. Graham adds: It was a very special evening of testimony and we look forward to what God will enable them to achieve in the project phase of the Master degree. Congratulations!


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.

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