Mid Year Highlights 2016
ALARA (Action Learning, Action Research Association) January
Following Richard Teare’s keynote address at the ALARA 2015 World Congress in South Africa, ALARA (which is headquartered in Australia) and GULL entered into a reciprocal affiliation arrangement in January 2016. ALARA is a network of people and organizations interested in using action research and action learning to generate collaborative learning, research and action to transform workplaces, schools, colleges, communities, voluntary organizations, governments and businesses.
ALARA’s vision is that action research and action learning will be widely used and publicly shared to achieve a more equitable, just, joyful, productive, peaceful and sustainable society. To view GULL’s ALARA profile please see the ‘Research’ section at the ALARA website.
Compass North America, Thursday 7 January
At a review and graduation event held on the campus of the University of Miami, GULL participants from Chartwells Higher Education (CHE) and Eurest Dining Services (EDS) received their professional Bachelor pathway midpoint awards from Steve Sweeney, President, CHE, Mark Maloney, Division President, Eastern States, EDS and Richard Teare.
CHE participant Octavio Wilson said: GULL offers the most motivating program that I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve worked at the University of Miami for 20 years and I’ve seen a lot of initiatives come and go. This is different – it has really motivated me to learn more.
(Above left) GULL participants and facilitators from CHE and EDS are continuing and cascading GULL to their hourly-paid associates across the USA.
(Above right) On behalf of GULL, Richard Teare (Centre) thanks Mark H Maloney, EDS Division President (Left) and Steve M Sweeney, CHE President (Right) for their encouragement and support.
Montego Bay graduation event, Saturday 9 January
GULL Jamaica has pioneered a doctoral pathway for senior practitioners and guest speaker Ashley-Ann Foster, Attorney-at-Law had this to say about GULL’s work in Jamaica: What does Jamaica need today? I think it is implementation of the kind of transformation agenda that is advocated by GULL. We must adopt this approach for the betterment and empowerment of all Jamaicans.
(Above left) Ashley-Ann Foster, Norma Taylor, GULL Jamaica President, Dawn Lemonius and Richard Teare. Dawn comments: The GULL experience was life- changing – it enabled me to build on my experience and expertise and it facilitated both personal and professional growth.
(Above right) Kirkland Anderson comments: I began academic post-graduate research seven years ago but as I gathered data, I realized that a traditional path would not take me where I wanted to go in my life and career. My GULL doctoral project enabled me to advise Jamaican farmers on the ways in which they can sustain small scale farming in response to threats posed by globalization.
Tuesday 12 & Wednesday 13 January
GULL has been active in the Caribbean region since 2008 and has supported workplace learning in Antigua, Aruba, the Bahamas, Curacao, Jamaica, St Lucia, the Turks & Caicos Isles and since 2013, St Maarten.
On Wednesday 13 January, Richard Teare met Theophilus Thompson, President and Ashma Berkel, Training Director of the Caribbean Institute for Social Education Foundation (CIFSEF). CIFSEF and GULL have agreed to affiliate in support of CIFSEF’s island-wide training for hospitality industry workers, community members and unemployed youth. This is an exciting initiative that has the potential to reach and help many people.
(Above left) Richard Teare, Ashma Berkel and Theophilus Thompson
(Above right) Karl Bourne, General Manager of the 257-room Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Philipsburg, St Maarten leads GULL’s work with Sonesta Resorts and the planned Sonesta Academy with GULL. Karl was also instrumental in facilitating the meeting with CIFSEF to broaden GULL’s on-going work in St Maarten.
Birmingham, Thursday 21 January
On 21 January the Birmingham UK branch of the public service union ‘UNISON’ held its annual learning conference and invited Richard Teare to speak about GULL’s work around the work with low income communities and marginalized youth. UNISON is one the UK’s largest trade unions, serving more than 1.3 million members. The union represents full-time and part-time staff involved in the provision of public services in both the public and private sectors.
The event was attended by more than forty branch activists, union learning representatives and members interested in UNISON’s role in personal learning and development. Among other initiatives, Richard spoke about aspects of GULL’s work that feature in the book ‘Designing Inclusive Pathways with Young Adults’ (Sense Publishers, 2015)
(Left) Richard Teare presents a copy of the most recent book about GULL’s work to the UNISON conference organizer, Donald McCombie (front, left). Many of the conference participants said that they felt inspired by GULL’s approach to lifelong action learning and they suggested an array of potential applications for the UK.
Nairobi, Wed 13 and Thu 14 April
For several decades the church and community mobilization (CCM) process created by the Kenyan, Francis Njoroge has facilitated transformational change. The UK- based charity Tearfund views CCM as an effective way of releasing people from poverty and since 2008, GULL has sought to recognize the efforts of the many participants who play a pivotal role as agents of change across the African continent. However, the CCM process is challenging and the purpose of the review and development meeting in Nairobi was to design a continuing pathway from professional Bachelor to Master of Professional Studies (Church & Community Leadership) for deployment across the Tearfund West and Central Africa region.
(Left to right) Francis Wahome, Assistant Head, Tearfund West & Central region, Richard Teare, Levourne Passiri, CCM regional Catalyst and Francis Njoroge, CCM Founder.
Kigali – Tearfund Rwanda, Fri 15 & Sat 16 April
In 2013, Tearfund Rwanda and Burundi began using GULL in support of its CCM deployment via a network of partner agencies and church denominations. Our first graduation event took place at the Solace Ministries conference centre on Friday 15 April and CCM participants from every country region came together to receive professional Bachelor pathway Certificates and Diplomas.
(Above left) As the CCM with GULL participants had travelled from the length and breadth of the country, the event included ‘share and compare’ workshops with plenary session feedback.
(Above right) More than 40 GULL graduands participated in a joyful procession to celebrate advances towards greater self- reliance in low income communities.
The inaugural CCM with GULL graduation event was attended by a number of national church leaders including His Grace Onesphore Rwaje the Archbishop of Rwanda, the General Secretary, Evangelical Alliance of Rwanda, the President of the Pentecostal Church, Rwanda and the Vice President, Presbyterian Church, Rwanda.
These and other church leaders were present for the workshop plenary session and were thrilled to hear the outcomes. It was also encouraging to hear of their support for GULL and the Archbishop commented on the importance of recognizing (via GULL) all that has been accomplished so far – and is to follow!
(Above left) Emmanuel Murangira, Tearfund Rwanda and Burundi Country Representative and the Archbishop of Rwanda.
(Above right) CCM with GULL graduates proudly hold their certificates after the ceremony.
Kigali – World Vision Rwanda, Mon 18 & Tue 19 April
In May, 2014 a team of senior managers from World Vision Rwanda (WVR) began using the GULL system for their own professional development and to integrate WVR’s community development models with the GULL system. The aim was to enable several groups of community volunteers to pilot customized GULL pathways designed to encourage greater self-reliance. The WVR lead group thought that the opportunity to participate and attain GULL certification would be a significant incentive on the journey to greater financial independence. At a graduation event in Kigali on 19 April, the volunteers confirmed this. They said that WVR’s training on loans and savings coupled with GULL’s action learning approach had enabled them (pilot groups of young adults and farmers) to make significant advances in micro enterprise. They also said that they felt re-defined by professional recognition and certification.
(Above) Some of the pilot group participants and WVR managers proudly hold their GULL certificates.
During two days of review and celebration, the World Vision Rwanda (WVR) team spent time exploring ways in which GULL could further assist community members to develop the pilot GULL pathways designed to enable them to work towards a more secure future. In essence, our approach mirrors GULL’s motto – Enabling YOU to make a difference in OUR world: All continuing GULL students must share their learning by serving as facilitators for new groups – introducing them to WBR’s models for self-help and GULL’s action learning process.
(Above left) George Moses Kwehangana is WVR’s legal and advocacy specialist. George also assumed responsibility for coordinating the WVR with GULL work and with his senior colleagues, a firm foundation has been secured.
(Above right) Richard Teare and Abebe Nigatu Endalew, Director of People & Culture, WVR, present GULL’s honorary doctorate to George Gitau, WVR national director and GULL champion. Thank you George for your resolute support for our work together.
GULL Annual Graduation event, Kuala Lumpur Sun 8 May
Although the Malaysian workforce is becoming more educated, companies are finding it difficult to recruit employees with the right skills (Star newspaper, 7 May 2016)
More than 300 people attended the annual Malaysian graduation ceremony on Sunday 8 May. Organizers Dato’ Dr Vincent Tang and Jan Phang were delighted by the success of the event which celebrates the work of a network of 40 GULL associate centres in Malaysia.
(Above left) Vincent Tang (left) is GULL’s Regional President, South East Asia and his work in Malaysia focuses on school leavers (with few, if any academic qualifications) who undergo skills training to become young professionals in their chosen fields. In so doing, GULL’s work is helping to address Malaysia’s skills gap.
Celmonze Aesthetic Academy, Damansara - Mon 9 May
Celmonze Aesthetic Academy (CAA) is the first beauty-wellness business school in Malaysia to offer GULL’s professional development pathways to its national network of beauty consultants.
The CAA’s graduation event was held at the Royal Chulan Hotel, Damansara on Monday 9 May. The ceremony and dinner recognized the professional attainments of more than 50 beauticians and beauty business managers – some of whom have used their action learning studies to develop thriving businesses.
(Above left) CAA with GULL graduates
(Above right) AM Tay CAA’s Chief Operating Officer and Joecess Lim, CAA Education Director thank the event organizing committee for a memorable graduation and celebration evening.
Visit to Eduvo Academy, Kajang, Wed 11 May
Eduvo Academy (EA) founders Vincent Chew and Keith Ngai provide technology skills training for school leavers seeking to prepare for the world of work.
EA’s action learning approach is closely aligned with GULL’s philosophy of self-directed lifelong learning and EA seeks to balance personal growth with skills training and work placement application. On Wednesday 11 May, Vincent Tang and Richard Teare visited EA to meet the co-founders, staff and students.
(Above left) EA’s young students and staff pictured with Vincent Tang and Richard Teare.
(Above right) Keith Ngai (far left) and Vincent Chew with Richard, Vincent and one of the EA staff members (far right).
Philadelphia – Mon 23 May
Eurest is one of America’s largest employee dining providers and its 15,500 associates serve more than 705,00 customers each day. GULL has worked with Eurest (Eastern division) since 2008 on the provision of work-related development pathways for its hourly team associates. Our participants typically lack prior academic qualifications and access to further and higher education is too costly.
In October 2015, a new cohort began in Philadelphia and on Monday 23 May, participants and their mentors gathered to receive the GULL professional Bachelor level 2 Certificate. Prior to this, students worked on aspects of their own development and a unit-based project.
(Above left) Senior Divisional Vice President Bill Daley welcomes the GULL participants and their mentors.
(Above right) Every GULL student benefited by working closely with an experienced business mentor.
Charlotte – Tue 24 May (Eurest with GULL continued)
On Tuesday 24 May the first Eurest with GULL group based in Charlotte, North Carolina received their professional Bachelor pathway level 2 Certificates.
Commenting on her personal growth, GULL student Shameka Lawing said: One of the biggest gains for me is being able to speak in front of others and GULL has developed my confidence to the point where I can do this. I feel much more accomplished now.
(Above left) Richard Teare, Shameka Lawing, Shameka’s mentor and Divisional Vice President Jeff Robertson. Shameka’s mentor said: Shameka is one of the most financially- minded people I have met – she caught on extremely quickly, especially given the fact that she had never had the opportunity to learn before about the things she investigated in her project.
(Above right) The Charlotte-based GULL students pictured with their mentors.
Church & Community Mobilization – Fri 27 May
GULL’s launch event took place in October 2007 at the National Parliament in Papua New Guinea. Since then, there has been GULL activity in 55 countries – most recently in Zimbabwe.
GULL is proud to support the African-authored Church and Community Mobilization (CCM) process in African countries spanning East, Central, Southern and West Africa. CMM is essentially a self-help process for participants and entire communities and dramatic improvements are reported – everywhere. GULL’s role is to recognize the changes that occur and the array of outcomes.
The first CCM with GULL graduation in Zimbabwe took place on Friday 27 May.
(Above left) Some of the proud graduates – for most it was the first time they had been formerly recognized and they felt proud and motivated to continue.
(Above right) Lead facilitator Enock (Stan) Hanya is congratulated by Dr Francis Njoroge, CCM Founder and GULL Ambassador.
Salvation Army International, London -Thu 16 June
The Salvation Army is the UK’s largest independent provider of social care and works in 126 countries.
The Salvation Army is working with GULL to pilot a development pathway for its Project Officers in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Our objective is to provide a framework for personal and professional development that will enable staff to enhance the effectiveness of their work with communities.
(Above left) On Thursday 16 June a team based at the Salvation Army’s headquarters in London began their own GULL journey. Richard Teare (for GULL) will work with the lead team as they create and then pilot GULL pathways for staff. Richard will meet with the team every few months to help them to review progress. This is an exciting initiative that will enable us to introduce lifelong action learning to many more people.
(Above right) Salvation Army staff offer to chat and pray with people outside their London HQ.
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.