Daniel and Lauren were in Suva, Fiji for part one of the Training of Trainers (ToT) course from the 25th to 29th of November. The ToT course assembles participants from Fiji (4 participants), the Solomon Islands (2) and Vanuatu (3) to partake in two trainings in Fiji and Solomon Islands.
The ToT course prepares local staff in the Pacific Region to deliver basic wheelchair service training. Over the past 10 years, basic wheelchair service training has predominantly been carried out by international organisations such as Motivation Australia, making the ToT course a really exciting step forward in empowering local staff in this sector!
Part one of the ToT process was a five-day course which gave the participants an opportunity to hone their skills as presenters and teachers through a series of learning and practice sessions. Participants were able to learn from Lauren, who has a wealth of experience in wheelchair training delivery. However, the course was also designed to encourage learning from each other and development through self-reflection.
Before the training began, Lauren and Daniel were very aware of the importance of supporting each of the nine participants from three different countries to work together as a team. But there was no need to worry! Right from the beginning everyone showcased all the skills, consideration and respect it takes to successfully work together.
“It was fantastic to be a part of,” reflected Daniel upon his return home.
Working in groups of three, the participants practised presenting basic wheelchair training modules. Standing in front of a group and speaking is a natural fear for most of us and the participants were understandably quite nervous to begin with. However, as the week progressed we saw more and more smiles and laughter, as the participants relaxed and let their personalities shine during their sessions.
It was very inspiring to see the support and encouragement the participants gave each other throughout the training, despite their different professional and cultural backgrounds. Nobody let a language barrier hold them back from making others feel involved and respected. Similarly, the leadership displayed by each of the participants was exemplary. These factors enabled a very successful training and they are hugely encouraging signs for the future of wheelchair service training delivery in the Pacific.
But this is only part one! Part two of the wheelchair training continues in the Solomon Islands in March next year, where the ToT participants will deliver a whole basic wheelchair services training package under the supervision of Lauren and Daniel.
Tablets funded through the Pacific Leaders project are currently being used by the participants to communicate and plan the training. We can guarantee a mixture of nerves and excitement will be in the air as the participants kick off the training next March, however, we are confident they will do great. The best of luck to them in the meantime, and stay tuned for the next update!
Motivation Australia would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) to the Pacific Leaders project; Ossur Australia for donating materials and equipment; the Frank Hilton Organisation (FHO), the Spinal Injury Association (SIA) and Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS) for donating wheelchairs for the training; the Fijian MoHMS, FHO, Vanuatu Society for People with Disability, the Vanuatu Ministry of Health, the Vanuatu Ministry of Justice and Community Services and the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services for allowing leave for the participants.
Running this inspiring course would not be possible without support from our donors. We can guarantee that any donation large or small will be greatly appreciated by this group of wonderful people as they continue their journey onto becoming trainers!
If you would like to support or offer assistance to the ToT course or the Pacific Leaders project, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or reaching out through our Facebook or Instagram pages.