Twenty one representatives from National Electoral Commission (NEC) and Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) gathered in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, to take part in a BRIDGE Train the Facilitators workshop held from 28 April to 9 May 2014. Ten of the participants were women. The facilitation team composed of Zefanias Matsimbe, Shalva Tskhakaya, Emmanuel Kawishe and Khamis Issa Khamis. The workshop was funded by the UNDP Tanzania, under the project Democratic Empowerment Project (DEP).
The workshop introduced the participants to the BRIDGE learning methodology, which has a strong emphasis on adult learning techniques by capitalizing on individual experience, knowledge sharing and peer learning.
Despite the fact that participants had no training and/or teaching background, quickly caught on with the BRIDGE methodology and excelled in facilitation of sessions and delivery of ice-breakers and energisers. The facilitator team had the pleasure of watching every participant develop and grow during the two weeks of the training. All twenty one participants were granted with a well-deserved semi-accredited status and with the intentions of gearing towards full accreditation through organizing BRIDGE modular training in their country. These intentions were strongly supported by both NEC and ZEC leadership present in the opening and closing of the workshop. Both NEC and ZEC Chairpersons honoured with their presence in the two moments.
Participants clearly appreciated the training, many of them referring to it as a “life-changing experience”. Participants said they enjoyed each and every moment of the training and look forward to using BRIDGE methodology and training techniques in their training programmes, particularly for the coming referendum and biometric voter registration.
One aspect that clearly came out was the importance of positive feedback, which helped to lift confidence and improve facilitation skills of the participants.
Both NEC and ZEC are commended for good selection of participants with potential to become BRIDGE facilitators.