Date: 09/29/2019
Type: Training of Trainers
Location: Situbondo, East java, Indonenesia
Trainer: Russell Maier
Participants: 38

Our three day GEA training of trainers program in Situbondo East Java, Indonesia is complete and we have 38 new trainers!

The ToT was planned over the last three 3 months. The GEA was so humbled to be able to share our program, as requested, initiated organised and owned by the Situbondo local government and the environment agency of District Situbondo. Such an intiative is a huge step for a government program. By officially investing in people’s capacity and by tackling head on environmental problems the Situbondo government is setting the example for other cities to follow. The government officials share how they saw ecobricks as a way to work together with people, tackling the plastic problem at the root individual and household level. Now with a regimen of trainers, they can mobilize the full community through workshops distributed though the city.

We also used the three day workshop as an opportunity for our senior trainers to experience running a full Training of Trainers. We had four senior trainers join us. Each had an opportunity to lead aspects of the workshop. At the end of each day we convened to discuss how things went.

The ToT was prepared over three month. Crucial to the preparation were Nina and Corry, on the ground in East Java, who liased with the Situbondo government to ensure the necessary arrangements. In the end, despite challenges of a non-ideal location, we were able to work with the government officials to sort out new accomodations. In the end, the training sessions all had appropriate venues and flowed smoothly.

Our first day, the workshop was opened by the local environmental department director. Despite some misconceptions on the nature of ecobricks his overall passion prevailed and set a positive and focused tone for the ToT. The participants all introduced themselves. Ani and I introduced ourselves and I shared my story of how I discovered ecobricks for myself in the Northern Philippines. In the afternoon we presented the Environmental, Plastic and Ecobricks. We ran out of time for ecobrick making which was pushed to the next day.

On Day 2, Ecobricking making and module making flowed great thanks to the invaluable and masterful assistance of our senior trainers. Participants had a chance to try module making for themselves and to present the slides from the presentation. This went well and Ani, myself and the senior trainers were able to share feedback.

Day three concluded with the awarding of the certificates to participants. As per the request of the city officials we also game time for participants to make a community group and decide on a vision for moving forward. It was very interesting to observe the shift in energy as we gave way to allow them to plan in their own style. The passion to move forward, running trainings and make ecobricks was palpable. The 38 trainers formed an association and developed a timetable to move forward with city wide trainings– all within 30 minutes!

During one of the trainee presentations, a participant was apparently joking around on the slides featuring animales suffering from plastic pollution. I took offense to this, stood up, cut off the entire group, and had them stop their presentation. My reaction, loud voice and agitation were pretty extreme as I explained the importance of these slides and that the suffering of animals was not funny, and indeed was one of the main reasons we were all here.

My reaction was explained afterwards by Ani, however, the rest of day was overshadowed by this, and the participant never fully recovered face from my critique.

The wrap up sessions with our senior trainers each day after the regular ToT were invaluable. We not only had a most enjoyable time sharing coffee and tea, but it was invaluable for Ani and I to process the day and, I beleive, for the senior trainers to validate their experience leading aspects of the workshop. Once day soon they will be on their own leading the ToTs and these sessions felt absolutely crucial for sharing our insights and intuitions for moving forward.

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Indonesia, gobrik