February 21, 2011

The day started early in the morning with a one day training system.  We were practically busy the whole day, but though a long tiring day, the iEARN spirit was at its peak.  With the agenda with us we set off…..

First it was the ice-breaking time with a simple introduction. It was plain that the iEARNers were ready to start a long day even Mohamed the smallest participant.  It was a good kick off to start with the question “Why are you here?” - the answers were impressive and organized

It was a good intro to start with the Egyptian revolution by Tarek Mamdouh.  We shared our opinions and reviews then we realized how similar they were the Revolution and iEARN projects as how both develop by the youth who are believing in what they are doing and you shouldn’t underestimate iEARN just like the underestimation of the revolution.

To Self Discovery presented by Shaimaa Atef we set off and with an amazing values we walked out, such as accepting ourselves just the way we are, also that each member is special in his own way.  We had an activity to discover ourselves by listing our strength, weakness and priorities. Then we moved to our relation with surrounding societies and the stages of participating in them.  Over the session we understood how important it is to have passion about what you do and how passion can turn anything into something great and perfect.  Another important thing we learnt over the session was the problem tree analysis.  We were told that any problem consists of roots which are the main reasons of the problem.  The stem which is the problem itself and the leaves which are the effect of the problem so you have always to deal with the roots not with the leaves.

Then it was the time for the brief about iEARN projects with Shaimaa Atef one of the founders of MDGs Only with your voice globally, Ahmed Mamdouh the head of MDGs and SU (Students Unlimited) in iEARN Egypt and Mohamed Elsayed & Karim Waheed, the heads of YouthCAN in iEARN Egypt.  It was a good chance for all the participants to know more about the projects and the strategy for them this year.

One of the good sessions was the team building by Tarek Mamdouh  It started by an activity that covered all the aspects relating to team work that lead to the comparison between the group and the team, and the Manager and the leader.  What was also useful was the tips to get good team work like rule shifting, taking notes and the mutual respect between all the team members.  The iEARNers were ready after the session for the activity of building a tower with simple materials like papers, straws and markers using the skills they’ve just learnt.

If you were wondering “How to make a project?” then this session was by you! Alaa Abd El-Rahman started telling the steps of a successful project the first step simply was to choose the project by brain storming; then you have to select the objectives (they must be clear for people); third by using your objectives write the action plan and don’t forget to make a backup plan.  After that you can start applying your action plan.  Finally you should write a report to evaluate the whole project.  Also don’t forget to use your simple available materials and to know no matter how small your task was you are a leader in your position.

Then we moved to the iEARN forums session by Mohamed Emad.  It was about how to use the online forums as it’s the place where all the youth can meet to share their Ideas, They started to see how to open and how to log in step by step.  Also they learnt how to add discussions and how to post messages.  Then they posted messages to by themselves.

Then we had the lunch break - it was a good chance for all the iEARNers to deepen their relations and to build friendship bridges between each others.

What was really impressive was the photographing session by Maheeb Fouda.  First we knew what are the steps of photographing, the equipment and the different camera types.  We talked about the history of photographing and Elhassan Ibn el haithim, the real founder of the camera.  Then we moved to photographing rules like the Focus in the photo, the colors, the drama in the photo and the motion, then it was the questions time when everybody asked Maheeb about photographing and camera types.  We ended by evaluating some photos by our Acquired information and it was good to see us criticizing the photos in a right way, although our knowledge about photographing was short.

Off we went to the time management session taught to us by Mohamed Omar.  At first we were handed out a planner of the week that would help us to have better time planning then we were taught about the time waste reasons and how to avoid them.  We even saw a video on procrastination. It was very helpful. Mohamed also gave us an example of how a few minutes could help make a difference and how we should set a goal in front of us so that we won’t get distracted and waste a lot of time. It was then the time to actually know how much free time did we have.  It was through a handout that we knew we were really bad at time management and had so much free time that we needed to let go of some of our daily activities or reduce their hours. We were also given another time management handout where we had to answer some questions to know if we have a decent university/school life with also a balance direction in the university/school.

At the end of the day we learnt that in iEARN it was our duty to teach and be taught, we learned no matter how much knowledge you have, you must go on learning more one of us even referred to a verse in Quran (وَمَا أُوتِيتُمْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا) [الإسراء: 85].  It was then the time for the group photo we went down stairs and Maheeb then took couple of great photos for all the iEARNers saying “iEARN Rocks”.

Overall it was a teaching experience but also with lots of fun with the iEARN spirit where we could all say that we walked away with lots of experience and whole new concept about everything.  There was nothing left except for us to pass the knowledge we just gained to all of our team members and community.

- Report from Shadwa Alaa, Yara Ashraf, and Shadwa Alaa and Yara AshrafandAlaa Abd El-Rahman Mohamed

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Related Links >

MDGs Project

SU (Students Unlimited Project)



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