World Vision International

Learning for life - in the community
The Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) recognizes the achievements of self-directed learners who succeed in reaching the personal and professional objectives they set for themselves; thanks, in part, to the structured support of peers, a mentor, and… in the World Vision setting… their Area Development Program (ADP) staff supervisor. The personal objectives are very much like the Individual Learning and Development Plans that are part of all staff performance reviews in World Vision. Not surprisingly they have a lot to do with core skills, what we are calling ‘essential life skills’ when we teach them to children in our ADPs. And the professional goals the GULL system calls for are very much the performance objectives we each develop from the annual work plans of our section or division.

Learning in the community - for everyone
Put yourself in the shoes of our local partner volunteers. Imagine not having a degree or being able to go to university but then having opportunity to earn a degree based on your progress in meeting your annual performance objectives… one recognized by many of the governments, companies, and development organizations you work with, in any case. It’s a win for your employer who gets improved outputs but it’s a win for you too both in terms of your personal growth and in terms of the recognition you receive for what you accomplish. That in itself is motivating. Finally, all the effort you have put into improving life in your community is being noticed and rewarded. In addition you get a widely recognized award and credentials that you can use the next time a development organization comes to your area looking for assistance.

World Vision, Compassion, Tearfund, other NGOs and GULL ... the possibilities ...
It works for World Vision because we need a way, outside of direct remuneration, to motivate local partner volunteers… the ones who are in direct contact with the children we seek to empower. We know that if the development of their life skills and their life purpose is on track, they will do a better job of nurturing life skills and life purpose in the children they work with. It works for Compassion International and for Tearfund for the same reasons. And it works for company employees and government public servants in a growing number of countries around the world, again for the same reasons. It’s a win-win both for the employer or volunteer organization and for the employee or volunteer!

January, 2010.

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