Teaching Self-Directed Learning
December 1st 2016. Dylan Pritchard, CAC Global Citizen, writes about Nepal during our week with Go Sports Nepal.
Go Sports Nepal was a great program to open up my three-week stay in Nepal. Go Sports Nepal, founded by Sunil Shrestha, is based out of Gothatar where Mark and I stayed with a very welcoming family. Gothatar is a tight knit community where it seems that everyone knows everyone. Sunil’s father founded a school, his mother owns the oldest shop, and Sunil is the founder of Go Sports Nepal. It was very cool to experience my first week in Nepal with a family that is so well established in their community.
Every morning, Mark and I would wake up and have a very quaint breakfast, because breakfast is not a big meal in Nepal. We would have bread and tea. Nepalese people really like tea! It seemed every 30 minutes they would have at least one cup of tea. I had a lot of tea but definitely not that much. After that we would ride to the school where the training was held on the back of a motorbike or scooter. Once we got to the school we would check people in then hold the training session. Right after the training session we would have lunch at the school and it would almost always be momo’s, which is like a dumpling. Mark and I looked forward to lunch because we now love momo’s. After that we would have some downtime where we would either relax and plan for the next day or go and explore Kathmandu or the surrounding community. Then for dinner we would always have dal, which is a native food to India and Nepal, along with bhat, which is rice. The only four words I needed to survive this past week were: momo, dal, bhat, and namaste, which is the greeting in Nepal. After dinner we would finalize our plans for the next day then go to sleep. Pretty eventful day that gave us some insight into what a normal Nepalese day would look like.
When Mark and I arrived for training on the first day, we came to find a lower number of participants than we expected. Despite this, Mark devised an awesome program where we did the absolute best with what we had. This week it was only Mark and I overseeing the program so I did a lot more coaching. I thought I started off a bit rough but by the end of Friday I felt that I got a lot better at the delivery of the social impact in the exercise while also letting the exercise flow and be fun for the participants. The progression was made possible from all the learning I did while watching Mark and the feedback he gave me. As for the participants, Mark and I had to teach the CAC curriculum from scratch as there were no returning members from the program held last year. Even though we had to start from the bottom and make our way up, we felt that we made tremendous strides in large part due to the week planning by Mark.
The participants started the week off by being very silent and not really answering the questions we asked, and if they answered it would be one-word answers. By Thursday they were answering our questions and expanding on their own thoughts. It was on Thursday when we played a game called “Say No to Trafficking” when we saw that they understood Self-Directed Learning for social impact. Child trafficking was a very important topic that needed to be discussed because trafficking is a huge problem in Nepal. The game is a very simple tag game with very complex social messages. It is basically a game where the taggers are the traffickers and the runners are the children. Interwoven into the game are how the traffickers capture the children and how the children can stay safe with the help of friends, family, coaches, and local programs. The game was a huge success because Mark thoroughly prepared on how to present the game, teach the social messages, and make it fun. The participants walked away from that game not only knowing how to teach their kids to be safe from trafficking but to also teach them about Self-Directed Learning.