ICA:UK & Fourmis du changement France support ToP training with ICA Benin

The ICA:UK Board recently approved a grant from the Village Volunteers fund as a contribution towards the training of women’s groups and Lambassa ICA Benin staff in ICA’s Technology of Participation. This article describes how the project came about and what is planned in the training.

At the meeting of European ICAs in hosted by ICA Ukraine in Kiev in November, a conversation between Jonathan Dudding of ICA:UK and Lan Levy of Fourmis du Changement in France explored the idea of delivering ToP training in French in West Africa. Two months later a request for just such a training came from ICA Benin and, after some discussion, the current project was agreed. Lan Levy (pictured) writes…

At the beginning of the year, we were contacted by ICA Benin. The latter, created in 2004, works with local communities on rural development projects such as water and sanitation, agriculture, environment and women’s empowerment. In 2009, ICA Benin became a member of the Huairou Commission, a global network focused on empowering women. Through this membership, they are working on initiatives such as Women Land Link Africa (WLLA) and Volunteer Care Giving for people living with HIV. As members of the Huairou Commission, women’s groups involved in projects participated in several activities of this network in Benin. Women’s leaders participated in numerous meetings in Accra, Ghana in 2009, Lesotho in 2010, Zambia in 2011, Tanzania and Kenya in 2012.

But, on the ground, they need methods like the ToP for community mobilization and the launch and implementation of projects. That’s why they are looking for the support of Fourmis du Changement to give the training in French. This workshop will also be an excellent opportunity for members of the ICA Benin board to learn more about project planning methods and special training in graphic facilitation. That’s why Nicolas and I decided to go help Benin in their initiative.

The training will take place over 5 days in July. In addition to ToP methods the training will also introduce graphic facilitation to the participants. There will be 30 participants all together, drawn both from the Huairou Women’s Groups and from the ICA Benin staff members.

The project will be financed through a contribution from Village Volunteers, by Fourmis du Changement who will cover the cost of the trainers’ travel to and from Paris and who have been successful in attracting sponsorship from two companies to cover the cost of facilitation materials (Neuland and Goood, and by ICA Benin who will contribute to some of the costs through in-kind donations.

This post was written for ICA:UK’s Village Volunteers newsletter, June 2019 – become a Village Volunteer sponsor.