Another success story for BRIDGE from Timor-Leste, the land where BRIDGE was born. The 10 day Train the Facilitators (TtF) workshop conducted from 2 – 13 May 2016 at the nuns João Paulo II training facility, Comoro, Dili. The workshop was conducted fully in the Tetun language for Timorese Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs): Commissão Nacional de Eleições (CNE) and Secretariado Técnico da Administração Eleitoral (STAE).
In the opening ceremony Senhor Jose Agosthinho da Costa Belo Pereira, President of CNE stated “BRIDGE is a global electoral product, therefore please use your time to learn as effectivly as possible to be an electoral player in the world.”
Senhor Manuel Acilino Branco, Director General of STAE said “BRIDGE does not come with answers therefore find as many solutions as possible while you are in this room to the problems and challenges you face so once you go back to your municipal you don’t wait for answers from Dili but act and face your daily challenges.”
Ms Megan Brewer from the Australian Embassy in Dili said “Australia acknowledges that Timorese conduct best election practices in the past, this workshop will enable you to do even better election practices. Good luck with the workshop and good luck with your coming elections.”
20 participants attended full 10 day workshop, 12 participants came from STAE and 8 participants from CNE. They were selected based on full consultations between the in-country BRIDGE Coordinator, CNE executives and STAE’s management. A range of selection criteria were put in place consisting of facilitation abilities and skills, roles and responsibilities in the work place and attentiveness and positive performance while attended BRIDGE workshops in the past. Those diligent and dedicated participants came from all over the municipalities in Timor-Leste.
It was a momentous and undeniable success for those dedicated facilitators: Senhor Deolindo Deo Ramos (CNE), Jose Soares Fonseca (CNE), Senhor Karceres Ximenes (STAE), Senhor Ivo Sarmento Caldas Rangel (civil society). The team was led by in-country AEC BRIDGE Coordinator, Augusto Ximenes Pereira.
The energetic and tireless facilitators will be upgrading their workshop facilitation to Accrediting level.
Here are some of facilitators’ expressions I quote below:
Ivo Rangel said “Positive and constructive feedback have transformed timid and less confident participants to become courageous and self-confident. It’s all thanks to the environment created by the facilitators which nurtures and encourages the development of the participants. I am honored to be part of that transformation.”
Jose Soares Fonseca said “Things made me so happy is that I am part of the TtF facilitator team to facilitate fellow friends from CNE and STAE. I am pleased because with this training I am able to learn more from my fellow facilitators and also from participants to increase my ability and experience. Through this workshop I also upgrade my facilitation skills from workshop to accrediting level. This gives me another responsibility and learning experience. I congratulate all fellow friends for your semi accreditation process and also to my fellow facilitators who become accrediting facilitators.”
Karceres Ximenes said “I am very proud because I have been waiting years for the TtF to be implemented in Timor-Leste. Additionally, this training is fully organized, managed and conducted by Timorese. I really appreciate and thank the BRIDGE office and the genuine cooperation between AEC, Australian Embassy and DFAT in Canberra to make this training happen. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the TtF workshop as a facilitator. This TtF also helps our Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs: CNE and STAE) to prepare human resources to implement electoral education for the coming 2017 general elections and also other democratic elections to come in Timor-Leste.”
Deolindo Deo Ramos said “one of the happiest moments in my life is facilitating training for facilitators. By presenting activities in this workshop it improves my facilitator skills. On the other hand, this TtF program is a very important part of preparations for 2017 elections. I am also hoping that after this workshop I will be able to get my accreditation.”
There were some financial management problems and bureaucratic issues but these were overcome and the workshop progressed. The participants were energetic and active and the workshop achieved its goals with positive contributions. The facilitators were cohesive and were a great benefit to the workshop. Last but not least, supportive cooperation was provided by CNE, STAE, the Australian Embassy in Dili and tireless support was provided by the colleagues in the International Services Section (ISS) of the Australian Electoral Commission in Canberra.
The workshop is not only intended to give participants and facilitators a chance to acquire new skills, but also to enable professional networking and peer support among colleagues from other municipalities and organizations. Talented and committed staff will be able to apply BRIDGE learning in their daily work in preparation towards the 2017 general elections in Timor-Leste and for elections to come.