From 4-6 May 2018 Action on Body Confidence training brought 42 participants from 15 countries together in Nairobi, planting the seed for participants to launch ABC in their Member Organisations. The Owl Patrol reflects on their experience of DAY 2:
The day began with ‘Morning Reflections’ by the highly animated Elephant Patrol, reminding participants what it means to be body confident. It is easy to end up being physical in our comments and verbal exchanges unknowingly at times and therefore, the morning reflections served as a reinforcement to center our thoughts and actions on the worth of our character.
This session was followed by the ‘Build Me Up’ activity: Participants were asked to write one thing they like about their ‘Eyes’ (a favourite part of body), ‘Heart’ (own favourite personality trait) and ‘Feet’ (a favourite thing they love doing). These notes were then pasted on the board through an interactive engagement between the facilitators and participants. All of us were then told that the board signify us as a group. It was wonderful to learn how strengths when shared together has a powerful effect on us as a group. We could all truly SEE the change in the session.
Next, it was time to get more comprehensive with our action plans in this PLAN the change phase. We were all given some time to reflect within ourselves and identify our personal passion through an issue we feel deeply about. In 3-2-1 Advocate, we expressed our thoughts and ideas through the circle activity. In two circles facing one another, all of us had the privilege of verbalising our ideas and also being listened to with a new random friend. This has truly increased our confidence as the activity allows us to support each other.
We then proceeded to the next activity where each group were given a different issue or problem to work on. All groups came up with very engaging, realistic and thoughtful action plans to go about the problems. For instance, in one of the groups where Body Shape was a dire concern, the group members thought about holding workshops where the participants will be walked through a journey of documenting street beauty in various stages to witness how their perceptions can be altered. We were all guided to write and produce objectives which were SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-specific). In our action plans, we were also exposed to think about the barriers, power people and influencers who will pay significant roles in our advocacy.
After the break, all the participants were guided through the activity pack for 7-10 years. In the first activity, we were given some time to draw the Perfect Princess based on a list of attributes discussed in each group. In this activity, we realised that not only the perfect princess does not exist but fearfully, they have been overly represented in many children’s books, product packaging, advertisements, etc. This brought us to realise the bigger role we can play as girl guides to challenge the Image Myth and to bring about the change in action on body confidence.
Following that, we had fun playing the Barrier Game. We were asked to walk to our goal in the opposite direction with selected participants being the ‘barriers’ such as advertisements, social media and girl magazines. We realised that it was harder to reach our goals when the barriers were mounting, hence the need to carefully plan our action plans and address the power people who have power over our barriers. With an agreed problem and goal voted by all the participants in the next session, all groups were given some time to discuss our action plan. In this session, it was eye-opening to learn the various action plans which can be produced for the same issue.
In the MAKE the change phase, all participants were guided through three important elements to consider when running our projects- how to monitor our projects, how to influence people and how to build our team. The group discussion has enabled all of us to address important key components and also share ideas on how things can be done.
Next in the SHARE the change phase, all participants were exposed to the U- Report, the Free Being Me website and Facebook page. The issue on the challenge of sharing results online for the younger participants were raised but also resolved with the agreement that the sharing can be done by the unit leaders or designated person in charge.
Overall, the day has been entirely fulfilling with all planned activities fully accomplished.What made the training even more memorable was the various seating positions changed among the participants to get to know more friends and engage in different ideas throughout. Not only that, the energizers produced by the Lioness patrol were catchy and stimulating. Throughout the day, many pictures were also captured by the professional-like photographers in the Baboon patrol. The smooth running of the programme is also credited to the Mosquitoes patrol with the Cobras ensuring that all activities were kept within time. Last but not least, the day wouldn’t have come to this rewarding closure without the team of dedicated facilitators and translators who are all unwavering in their energy, focus, love and commitment. We’ve all had a great and empowering Day Two!!
By Owl Patrol (Shareen Yong Yong, Sara Akram, Kartin Wanjala, Mi Miso, Lilian Damie, Dephence, Justine Yogangmadji)