Mid Year Highlights 2018

Features news from the Ivory Coast, Rwanda, the UK, Malaysia, the USA, Jamaica, Kenya and Rwanda.


Ivory Coast
Abidjan – Saturday 13 January

GULL has proudly supported the African Church and Community Mobilization (CCM) process since 2008 (in 16 African countries) and on 13 January, a mid-point graduation event for West and Central Africa CCM trainers took place at a Theology College in Abidjan. The training of trainers (ToT) workshop number 3 (08-21 January) was organized by Tearfund and attended by participants from eight countries in the region.

The group of experienced CCM leaders are playing a key strategic role in poverty reduction by overseeing wider CCM implementation and training new facilitators in their respective countries. As this is a challenging, long-term commitment, participants are equipped via regional workshops.


(Above left) The mid-point graduation (GULL professional Master level 2 Certificate) is a cause for great celebration.

(Above right) CCM founder, Francis Njoroge and Richard Teare.




Kigali – Wednesday 31 January and Thursday 1 February

GULL began working with World Vision Rwanda in May 2014 and on Wednesday 31 January, three senior staff completed their GULL projects as follows: Denis examined ways of reducing the cost of agriculture production and the benefits of mentoring young entrepreneurs; George undertook a technical analysis of birth registration issues in Rwanda and possible action; Jean Lambert evaluated the social return on investment (SROI) from water and sanitation projects.

Jean Lambert now works for Water Aid and as an outcome of his study (developing an SROI framework), Water Aid Rwanda received a three year grant project with a total budget of almost £750,000.


(Above left) GULL graduates Denis, George and Jean Lambert celebrate with their families.

(Above right) Members of the new GULL professional Master group that began on 1 February, facilitated locally by George.




United Kingdom
Online book launch, Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 February

To mark GULL’s tenth anniversary year, co-founder Richard Teare published a book about workplace and community-based lifelong action learning. During the ten year period, GULL has supported initiatives in 55 countries and the book draws on Richard’s work prior to GULL’s launch and from 2007-2018 - with reference to some 50 examples.

The book poses this question: Why is it that in the 21st century the place where a person is born still determines their life chance? The book aims to explain and illustrate the transformational potential of self-directed lifelong learning. As one response, it also outlines how a systematic approach can be provided to those who are traditionally excluded - the low paid, the marginalized and the millions of people who are living in poverty.

Part 1 covers key concepts; Part 2 focuses the workplace; Part 3 the community and Part 4, GULL networks.


(Above left) The Amazon Kindle e-book version was published on Monday 5 February

(Above right) Amazon paperback version published on Tuesday 6 February For more details see: Amazon.com ‘Lifelong action learning’ by Richard Teare.




United Kingdom
London – Thursday 15 March

GULL is pleased to support the lifelong learning of mature professionals and one way of doing this is to enable them to reflect on many years of practice. Tim and Barbara (picture below) have decades of experience in developing countries; Barbara has specialized in developing health systems in Malawi and Tim facilitates lifelong learning at the UK-based charity, Tearfund. On the 15 March, Tim and Barbara received their GULL certificates at an informal event in London.


(Above left) Barbara used her study to reflect on the impact of her work in public health in the developing world over the past 25 years, with a specific, in-depth focus on her efforts to establish sustainable health care in Malawi.

(Above right) Tim explored the boundaries of and opportunities for ‘creative learning’ in developing country settings. He has pioneered ‘Bibliodrama’ an active form of learning that engages with participants more effectively than conventional training and among other issues, he reviewed its impact.




Kuala Lumpur – Saturday 12th May

GULL South East Asia (SEA) was established in 2010 and its founder and leader, Vincent Tang has developed an innovative network of associate centres in Malaysia and beyond, spanning both workplace and non-commercial community service applications that integrate skills training with GULL’s approach to lifelong action learning for personal and professional development.

All the centres develop and apply in- demand industry skills so that that the students are immediately employable when they complete their GULL pathway.


(Above left) Vincent is pictured with students from ‘The Glam’ a professional make-up academy. The students were participating in the Academy’s Graduation Make-Up Fashion Show ranging from bridal image make-up to professional hair styling and beauty make-up.

(Above right) A model in bridal attire with her student make-up artist.




Kuala Lumpur – 8th Annual Graduation, Sunday 13 May

GULL’s 8th Annual Malaysian Graduation took place on Sunday 13 May 2018 at the Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA) in central Kuala Lumpur. We are proud of the fact that many of our graduates left school with few qualifications and did not anticipate that they would be able to gain professional awards that affirm their readiness for employment.


(Above left) Students from one of the centres who attended this year’s graduation. GULL’s inclusive approach spans young and mature participants, the latter often holding senior leadership roles. Michael Dieh

(Above right) Chairman, MEi Group. As Michael had to travel on the graduation date, he organized his own company celebration and dinner at the One World Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Thursday 10th May.




Kuala Lumpur – an industry-education partnership

The GULL associate centre network focuses on developing professional practice skills and all students must demonstrate attainment of a range of skills in each centre’s own realistic work environment prior to receiving GULL’s professional Certificate or Diploma awards. This requires enthusiasm, commitment as well as learning how to reflect, change and develop professional attitudes and habits.


(Above left) Not all students are able to attend graduation – especially those who live far away but the annual group photo is one of the highlights.

(Above right) Kashif, Richard, Vincent and others are planning an industry-wide publishing project focusing on skills training for careers in the Malaysian tourism industry. The 18- month project will involve a large team of industry stakeholders.




College Access Now (CAN) - Seattle, Friday 18 May

CAN serves low-income students facing barriers to college admission and graduation who are nearly four times more likely to leave college after their first year than students from higher income families. CAN works with Elinor Alexander, co-Director of EducateSuccess to implement an action learning pathway centred on College coaching for university graduates serving as CAN volunteers.

CAN with GULL graduates: Elinor and her colleague Dee provide training on the essentials of effective coaching and help the volunteers to apply these principles in their school placements. The volunteers also work on their own development. CAN’s Executive Director, Guadalupe Torres (back row, centre) is a strong supporter of the pathway facilitated by EducateSuccess with professional recognition from GULL. Writing in her GULL Learning Summary, CAN volunteer Chelsea Braun said: ‘My development goals are now mainly professional in nature as I have realized that I need to focus more on my personal needs and plan ahead. I will be applying to a do a second year at CAN and I already feel much better-prepared to work as a counsellor or advisor in a college setting, which is my ultimate goal.’




Gulf - Tampa, Tuesday, 12 June

The Eastern Division, Eurest has been growing for the last five years at an average of 8% year and the Eurest-GULL initiative focuses on internal people development in support of this expansion. Eastern Division President, Mark H Maloney comments: GULL’s mission in our organization is to find the next generation leaders with the confidence and energy to help us to continue growing.


(Above left) The first of five GULL professional Bachelor level 2 (Certificate) graduation events took place in Tampa, Florida on 12 June, when five delegates received their certificates.

(Above right) Gaudy M Briceno said: I am grateful to my mentor and senior leaders that saw something in me that I had not seen myself. My coach helps me every day and provides feedback that has boosted my confidence. I feel that they trust and believe in me so I don’t want to let them down and I know I am going to keep growing.




SouthEast - Charlotte, Wednesday, 13 June

Eurest is a member of the world’s largest catering company, Compass Group Plc. Division President Mark Maloney reports: We are generating $36-40 million a year of new business and we need to develop our own people to operate and manage all these new marketplaces.


(Above left) The second of five graduation events took place in Charlotte, North Carolina on 13 June, when ten delegates received their certificates.

(Above right) De Quann Franklin comments: GULL has helped me to address what I realized were ineffective time management habits. Now, I plan ahead and so I can anticipate what is likely to happen much more confidently than before. I started in the dish wash, then moved into cooking and now I am motivated to learn more about management.




NorthEast - Boston, Thursday, 14 June

Program coordinator and Eurest District Manager Brian Gottlob explains: The Eurest-GULL journey – began in 2008 and in 2018, we are graduating 49 delegates, supported by 30 mentors across 7 regions. All this year’s delegates were carefully selected from among 100s of associates – you demonstrated a desire to move your career forward and you put in the time to complete the work.


(Above left) The third of five graduation events took place in Boston, Massachusetts on 14 June, when nine delegates received their certificates.

(Above right) Isobel Wilder said: The main benefit for me was self-reflection and in learning how to do this, I realized that I was not comfortable or easily able to deal with ‘confrontation’. My mentor helped me to learn how to handle difficult interpersonal situations and now I am more effective in these situations.




Mid-Atlantic - Richmond, Friday, 15 June

In reflecting on progress to-date with GULL, Brian Gottlob said: What I’ve seen this week, is that the ‘light bulb’ has been switching on everywhere we have visited. Managers, mentors and above all, delegates understand the value and importance of action learning and this year’s cohort of graduates will strengthen our company.


(Above left) The fourth of five graduation events took place in Richmond, Virginia on 15 June, when nine delegates received their certificates.

(Above right) Tom Padgett explains: I was recently promoted to chef/manager and the GULL program has really helped me to prepare for this new role. I have been working to hone my skills and abilities (especially in administration) and it has helped me to develop more self-confidence.




New Jersey - Princeton, Monday, 18 June

The annual Eurest-GULL graduations attended by senior leadership, mentors, managers, family and friends is one of the reasons why these events are memorable and perhaps for some, life-changing. All delegates reported on changes that have occurred, typically candidates said: I learnt how to step back, review my work and make improvements. It has helped my inner confidence.


(Above left) The fifth and final 2018 graduation event took place in Princeton, New Jersey on 18 June, when 16 delegates received their certificates.

(Above right) Brian, Mary-Beth, Richard and Mark: GULL would like to thank them for the excellent organization and professionalism of this year’s Eurest with GULL events.




Kingston, Friday, 22 June

Around 100 guests gathered at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Friday evening, 22 June to honour the lifelong action learning of Dr Richard Bennett, Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) faculty member and GULL participant. Professor Fritz Pinnock, President of CMU described Richard as self-driven and visionary: As the CEO of Border Patrol, he has taken the company to the highest international standard and his achievements have positioned him as one of the key players in the security industry and for Richard, the customer is king. Richard Bennett (left and below) is also well known as ‘Charlie Chaplin’ a respected Jamaican deejay, musician and composer.


(Above left) Richard Bennett receives his certificate from Fritz Pinnock and Ibrahim Ajagunna (CMU) and Richard Teare and Norma Taylor (GULL)

(Above right) Richard Bennett with his family




Church and community mobilization, Saturday, 30 June

Francis Njoroge, founder of the church and community mobilization process (CCMP) and church leaders from different denominations were among those who celebrated with 115 CCMP with GULL participants at a graduation held near Nairobi, Kenya on 30 June. The groups began in 2011 and 2012 respectively, with workshops followed by application. Francis offered his congratulations: You changed yourselves, helped the church to change and then you went out to communities, homes and individuals and you helped to transform them – not one or ten but hundreds of people.

Among others, several community participants testified how CCMP had helped them to overcome poverty and establish thriving micro enterprises.


(Above left) CCMP with GULL participants and invited guests assemble for their graduation

(Above right) Richard Teare, Francis Njoroge (for GULL) with Bishop Muriuki and a CCMP with GULL graduate.




GULL network development, Monday 2 and Tuesday, 3 July

Several of World Vision Rwanda’s senior staff (Aimable and Edward) have been working on their GULL projects for the past four years and on 2 July, we celebrated completion at an event in Kigali. Amiable explored ways of working more effectively with communities: This strand of my work took two years and more than 1,000 people gave us feedback on their strategic priorities and objectives so that we could re-focus.

Edward said: So far, 2,900 jobs have been created as an outcome of my village savings and loans scheme association (VSLA) project – many of them have purchased cows that provide them with a valuable source of income (milk and meat) – yet, they were initially considered to be too poor to own their own livestock - others have built their own houses.


(Above left) Aimable Nsengiyumva and family members

(Above right) Edward Musoni and family members both pictured with George Moses Kwehangana, GULL’s honorary leader, Rwanda and Richard Teare.




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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