The Voice team Nigeria Linking and Learning event 2 was indeed a memorable time for Center for Ability Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE Nigeria) grantees and other Voice global grantees second batch, both the past and current to meet in person to share ideas, stories, experiences that support each other’s work, organize peer-to-peer sharing of skills and knowledge, to check in with each other and to expand their imagination. This program is grantee-centered, and it is not about Voice but the grantees and rights-holders groups. This aims to promote connections between grantees and linkages to local platforms that will go on after Voice has seized to exist. Voice rights-holders groups came together to learn about each other’s situations and challenges to build solidarity and create opportunities for different voices to mutually support each other. It leads to new ways of sustaining connections and collaboration beyond Voice.
In general, Voice in Nigeria supports the following target groups:
-People with disabilities
-Women facing exploitation, abuse, and/or violence
-Age-discriminated groups (seniors, youth, & children)
What unfolded was a brilliant collaboration with the Cognito and NINE team, facilitating the learning experience by bringing new insights alive in how we want to work and inspiring the linking and learning sessions to the specific needs of the grantees and offering them facilitated discussion sessions to move from design to implementation.
Participants were asked, including Voice Team Nigeria, to reflect on their practices, needs, and communities. They explored what each other is doing, see what has happened before, and learn from what others have done. Try new ideas, new methodologies, and new ways of working. If it does not work, then reflect on why and start the process all over again. If it works, reflect on how can it be better. Linking and Learning is a continuing process because:
When people connect, learning starts.
When people listen, learning enhances.
When people do and act, learning deepens.
There was an increase in the participation of other stakeholders in Communities of Practices. A lot of learning on Communities of Practice leads to changes in their setup and in the active engagement of grantees in shaping these communities.