14 Jun Getting to Know the Young Chiclayans
Originally Posted By Nicole Secker, A Volunteer at EQWIP HUBs Chiclayo, Peru.
Many “cliché” thoughts went through my mind when I started writing about the young people in Chiclayo, Peru — thoughts like getting to know them has been a revealing experience that has changed me, and that their smiles are the greatest rewards. However, things are sometimes clichéd for a reason: they are rooted in truth. Although my experience may not be unique, the special thing is that the young people I work with are unique individuals just like me. Though I am facilitating a youth employment curriculum that is taught in other EQWIP HUBs knowledge centres in five other countries, our experience in Chiclayo is unique because of these people.
I recently finished facilitating a module on employability for 16 young people. The course covers everything from writing a curriculum to Peruvian law regarding the rights of workers. I was nervous on my first day. I was alone in front of 16 new faces, hoping to share something worth their time, and more than that, I had to do it in Spanish. Spanish is my second language, and although I can communicate effectively, I had no illusions that it would be perfect. The only consolation was that I had helped a Peruvian facilitator, Luis, in various classes with these young people, and we worked well together. I hoped his patience combined with my efforts would be enough to smooth out the language challenges that we would likely encounter. My hopes were realized.
During the 10-day course (4 hours a day), I watched young people grow in confidence when writing curricula, practicing interview skills, and recognizing safety issues in the workplace. Self-confidence in my teaching abilities also grew, even in a second language. The participants were engaged, and many showed leadership skills that I had not seen before. When I got to know each student, finding a new side of them was like receiving a gift. Their growth was the greatest achievement.
Now I am preparing for a new course on entrepreneurship and I am very excited to once again meet with these young people and spend more time with them. The course will focus on developing business ideas, and I am confident that I will be very impressed by their ideas and passion.