These workshops were conducted from 5-8 May and 12-15 May 2014 at the Joao Paulo II training centre in Rai Kotu, Dili. Each workshop encouraged 30 participants to develop knowledge and skills in electoral administration across the districts of Timor-Leste. The participants were identified by senior management of Commissão Nacional de Eleiҫões (CNE) and Secretariado Técnico da Administraҫão Eleitoral (STAE).
The participants for each workshop comprised of 50% attendees from CNE and 50% attendees from STAE.
The opening ceremony guests included Dr José Belo (President, CNE) and Sr. Acilino Manuel Branco (Director General, STAE). Both of these guests spoke about the value of BRIDGE and its adult learning style, the importance of electoral training and the increased collaboration between the two Electoral Management Bodies.
A fantastic team of facilitators encouraged and supported each other to ensure successful workshops: Gordon Marshall (Lead Facilitator, AEC), Augusto Pereira (Accrediting Facilitator, AEC), Lisa Bradford (Workshop Facilitator, AEC), Ivo Rangel (Workshop Facilitator, Independent), Pedro Laurentino da Silva (Workshop Facilitator, Independent), Deolindo Deo Ramos (Workshop Facilitator, CNE), Honorio Cruz Silva (Workshop Facilitator, CNE) and Karceres Ximenes (Workshop Facilitator, STAE).
The workshop provided an opportunity for three semi-accredited facilitators to progress to workshop facilitators. Our new workshop facilitators are: Jacob Correia (CNE), Maria Auxiliadora Boavida (CNE) and Henrique Soares (STAE). An opportunity to gain experience with the adult learning style of BRIDGE facilitation was also provided to Elvis Caeiro dos Santos Lopes and Marquita Immaculada da Costa, both from STAE.
In true BRIDGE style the activities saw the participants sing, dance and debate their way through a fun, safe, welcoming and encouraging learning environment. It was obvious through the smiles and laughter throughout the workshops that the participants were enjoying themselves. This was also supported by the comments provided by the participants each day.
Personally as a workshop facilitator on my first international deployment, I found the experience extremely rewarding and consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the wonderful team of facilitators in Timor-Leste as well as 60 representatives from the two EMBs. The dedication, passion and integrity shown among the group was truly inspiring.