Having witnessed the Taqaddam programme evolve from scratch over the past six months, it was a truly incredible experience to see the delivery of Taqaddam, in the project lead’s country—Egypt. Together with two of our talented facilitators, Naomi and Ped, I travelled from the UK to Cairo, excited to see what the project would look and feel like in action.
We started our trip with a day of touring round the venue, holding briefing meetings with HSBC and the country team, and preparing materials and logistics. As the evening approached, we were ready for the inaugural day of Taqaddam workshops in Egypt.
On the morning of the first workshop we were greeted by bright skies and a host of school coaches from around the country pulling up at Victory College in Maadi. Smiling, enthusiastic students spilled out, ready to embrace their day of learning.
Inside the school hall, James Hampton, Deputy Director of the British Council in Egypt welcomed us all and introduced the day. After this, it was over to Naomi and Ped for a morning of character strength building and growth mindset development. Their delivery style provided the perfect vehicle for the students to really grapple with the content, with interaction and experiential learning at its’ heart. This spirit continued into the afternoon sessions, where students were divided into three groups and rotated around a “skills carousel.” The young people learned about working in a team whose task was to create the tallest spaghetti tower; they got creative finding innovative solutions to problems they face in their communities; and they looked at their own weekly schedules through the lenses of being organised planners. We were very grateful for Tamir, a teacher trainer from the British Council in Egypt, for delivering an engaging and inspiring organised planner session.
The second workshop was equally as fruitful. With Gail Campbell, Director of Education for the British Council in MENA, opening the day we were off to a very strong start. Each teacher was delighted to proudly introduce their students to the other four schools in the room at the start of the day, and the young people were energetic and eager to throw themselves into the tasks at hand. The feedback from the students and teachers during and after the event is a testament to the hard work the British Council country team have applied to the project.
All in all, the launch of Taqaddam in Egypt was a great success. We can’t wait to see how these promising young folk progress through the programme and beyond.
Written by Anna Rowlands