Free Thought Bus Tour and Training of Trainers on Democracy and Good Governance

In its work with Jordanian and Syrian refugee youth, the Friedrich Naumann for Liberty (FNF) took a step forward by educating seminar participants to assume the role of teaching other refugee youth on concepts of Democracy and core elements of Good Governance. For the teaching a bus was rented to act as a class-room on wheels and to provide transport for trainers and participants.

Training of Trainers on Democracy and Good Governance

After training around 160 Syrian and Jordanian participants on concepts of Democracy, Good Governance and Human Rights, the Foundation chose 25 participants to take part in advanced trainings on these concepts and on liberalism. Finally, 14 participants (10 Syrians, 4 Jordanians) were chosen to participate in a Training of Trainers (ToT) that focused on concepts of Democracy and core elements of Good Governance.

Participants were mainly from the Southern Governorates of Jordan, Ma’an and Karak. They arrived on Thursday, October 28 to Amman, and started a full weekend ToT given by long-term colleague May Shalabieh, and by Yazan Azzam. The workshop started with an introduction into the concept of training and defining the methodology and training tools.

Keeping in mind that they will do training on democracy and good governance, participants started Friday with planning session for their future training workshops, which included setting the goals of their sessions and workshops, defining session’s titles, instruments used and contents.

Participants were divided into groups, according to their area and topic of interest, and they prepared presentations according to the guidelines presented by the trainers of the foundation. Enthusiasm was all over the place, participants stayed up late at night and were in the venue before anyone else to prepare more and be ready to present their presentations by the end of Saturday.

After having another preparation session on Saturday morning, participants started presenting, with a great interest, everyone showed a great improvement, trainers had comments on the contents and skills of the participants, and they worked on them enthusiastically before the “Free Thought Bus Tour.

The “Free Thought Bus Tour” took place on the 13th and 14th of November.

At 7:00 in the morning, participants from Amman together with the trainer Yazan Azzam left the city to join their colleagues in Karak and Ma’an for the Free Thought Bus Tour.
The idea of this tour is to collect participants with the ‘Free Thought Bus’ and bring them to a one day workshop on Democracy and Good Governance.
After two weeks of preparations and coordination efforts done by the participants, they showed a great development when they ran the whole workshop on their own. All of them felt a high level of ownership towards the project.

The ‘Free Thought Bus’ arrived in Karak at 9:00 am after one hour collecting participants, we headed to ‘Princess Basma Center’, where the workshop took place.
Participants Omar Al Hraki, Mohamamd Khattab and Abdullah Sallom presented on Democracy, its definition, types, the relation between Liberty and Democracy, and on election processes.

The second session was with Heba Sotal, Belal Sotal and Shahed Tarawneh who talked about elements of Good Governance. After the workshop ended, the ‘Free Thought Bus’ drove the participants back to their homes.

Saturday started as early as Friday, the ‘Free Thought Bus’ headed to Ma’an from Karak. Jordanian participants Lujain Majali and Abdallah Abdoh joined their Syrian colleagues Abeer Shami, Yousef Zeidan and Hussam Shamalieh.

A new bus tour started right after we arrived in Ma’an, participants were collected from 5 main areas, then we headed to Bashar Abu Darweesh Venue, where we held our workshop. Same topics as in Karak were discussed, but with different methodologies, which the participants had chosen by themselves.

Many participants showed a great interest in the topics of the two workshops, and they found it easier to understand when it is coming from young people speaking their language.

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