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You Don't Need to be an Expert to Host a #YALILearns Session
July 14, 2016

To facilitate a #YALILearns session, you don’t need to be an expert. As long as you are interested in the topic you would like to discuss, you can lead a session! You can easily use the YALI Network online courses and facilitation guides to lead a discussion in your area around whichever of those topics is of interest to your community.

Kerry Byamungu standing in front of group of people in chairs (Courtesy of Kerry Byamungu)
YALI Network member Kerry Byamungu holds a #YALILearns session in Tanzania. (Courtesy of Kerry Byamungu)


The courses are designed so that of all the information is provided by the videos, audio files or transcripts. Instead of being a teacher who has to come up with a curriculum, you are a facilitator. In other words, your job is much less formal than someone who is expected to deliver a lecture or have all of the answers. Instead, you are a fellow member of the group, one who is driving the discussion and encouraging everyone to participate.

A #YALILearns session doesn’t have to feel like a classroom either. Facilitation is about empowering others. A skilled facilitator will create conditions in which a group can work together effectively. They will also steer everyone back toward the end goal whenever the discussions get side-tracked.

Joyce Ikpaahindi, a YALI Network member in Nigeria, saw the need to develop in her community a stronger sense of how to engage effectively in public service to bring about change. She designed a #YALILearns session around the YALI Network Online Course “Strengthening Public Sector Service.”

“To set up my session” Ikpaahindi said, “I first needed to find a suitable space to accommodate 21 people. My department at the Federal Ministry of Works was willing to provide the space and equipment needed to host the event.”

Ikpaahindi also enlisted the support of two 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows, Fatu Ogwuche and Benjamin Dankaka, who shared their experiences on the Fellowship program and also their leadership experience in the Nigerian public sector. “Real-life examples and experiences shared by the Fellows proved to be quite popular with the participants,” she said. “A good #YALILearns event should be as practical, engaging and hands-on as possible.”

Three people standing in office (Courtesy of Joyce Ikpaahindi)
Event organizer Joyce Ikpaahindi (left) with 2015 YALI Fellows Fatu Ogwuche and Benjamin Dankaka (Courtesy of Joyce Ikpaahindi)


As long as you have the willingness to share knowledge and make a difference in your community, you can facilitate your own #YALILearns session.

Interested in learning more about #YALILearns? Learn how you can facilitate your own session on our #YALILearns page.