Working with the youth in Sudan

By Asjad Alnoo, Regional Center for Training and Development of Civil Society, Sudan, 2018 -19 Diploma Course

Regional Center for Training and Development of Civil Society (RCDCS) is an organisation that focuses on civic development education and my focus area is youth leadership. The organisation worked with the youth in the struggle by providing support, especially water, supplies and temporary shelter when they have sit-ins and demonstrations. RCDCS also provides a platform for the youth to speak about how they feel and what they are going through in the Sudanese context.

TFT has had a very positive impact on me. It has given me power to do things I never imagined. I have become much more confident, I learned to listen more and I can now see things from other people’s perspective. I also have more respect for other people’s opinions. I learned the importance of dialogue and I use it with my friends and family. Dialogue is especially important in the current context of the country.

The TFT methodology motivates me and I constantly find myself having many new ideas. The Holon had a great impact on me; it made me realize that I can make a change, and that change starts with me, and then has a ripple effect to my family and then the community. I used the Holon with a group of young people and it had impact on them. Before the workshop, the youth felt as if there was nothing they could do about their situation and the way things were going on. They realized that they could also make a difference, and it starts with small changes that they themselves can make. They became more politically conscious and most of them became part of Sudan’s Revolution by joining demonstrations in 2018-19, in circumstances whereby many lives were lost-fighting for freedom and justice.

Currently I am working on a project named ‘Developing and Supporting Pro-democracy Neighbourhoods Committees for Advancing Political Transition’. This project is designed to use the TFT methodology to build youth capacity and knowledge in different concepts such as development, democracy, good governance and stereotyping. I have been using the TFT Book II to talk about development.

Other TFT tools such as the session of conducting discussions and conversations, the Cooperation exercise and the World cafe have also been very helpful in workshops. I started working on a project in Rive Nile state, Aldamer, where I trained 25 people aged between 20 to 60 years old and discovered that the change process starts inside the training hall. One participant told me: “I feel this workshop changed my mind and my worldview, especially on respecting others. This workshop is different and it touched my feelings and my emotions. It makes me think deeper about how the system works around me. Through this workshop I discovered that I have knowledge and that change starts with me. I will continue to work on this project in 18 states in Sudan. Within this project, my TFT country team colleagues (Jumana and Ala) and another facilitator, Eman, will design a TFT training manual for neighbourhood committees.

I work with different groups in different places using the TFT methodology and I have seen the difference that these trainings make. For me, it was important the example of a girl who used to come to the workshops but she was always quiet and shy; she never participated. I kept on inviting her. With the tools I gained at TFT and in the TFT Thinkwell, I learned how to increase participation in my workshops. Small group discussions were a helpful tool and encouraged her and others to participate. I watched her participate more and grow much more confident. Now there is a difference in the way she walks, the way she talks and the way she behaves. She is even part of a team that we have put together as a facilitation team. For me this is something to be proud of.