Friday, 5 September 2014

Reflecting on reflections

“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.”
-          Nelson Mandela
As well as our activities with HSB, the volunteers take turns leading weekly Group Discussions which allow us to reflect on topics which often come up during ICS placements. This week, as our placement speeds towards its end, we’re all taking a minute to reflect on our reflections, so without further ado:
On an international level the need for an increased north-south dialogue is often discussed but the weekly group discussions have taught me that this global conversation should not be left to the politicians alone. As young people we have a collective voice that can have an impact on world affairs, especially as there are so many global issues that we feel the same way about, for example the worrying rate of youth unemployment (47% of the worlds unemployed are young people!!!). Of course, the group discussions also threw up many controversial subjects, like homosexuality and globalisation, but by engaging in debate we were all able to develop greater tolerance and respect of each other’s opinions.
I personally have learnt a lot from the group discussions, before them I didn’t know much about a few of the topics that we discussed as a group. The main topics that I feel taught me things were Introduction to International Development and Peace and Conflict. I found it very interesting the different views and opinions the group had and how it sparked heated but friendly discussions, as members of the group were passionate about how they felt and their beliefs. This made me start to think how I feel towards these topics.  
I enjoyed having a debate about Peace and Conflict; it was a good experience for me because I am very passionate about the subject. Out of all the subjects we discussed it was the one I had knowledge on and I didn’t feel like I was put in a tight spot. I expressed my opinion and my beliefs on the matter, if people liked them or not, I’m not too sure, but I was pleased to see a spark on conversation come about from some of the things I said.
If these group discussions have taught me anything, it is to be more tolerating of other people’s opinions, no matter how strongly they feel about something I can’t expect them to feel how I feel as we’re all individuals.
Les sessions de discussion en groupe sont un cadre d’échanges et de partage tout d’abords de connaissance mais aussi de valeurs humaines. Les thèmes abordés sont des thèmes qui résument nos vies quotidiennes. Au cours de ces discussions, nous avons approfondi nos connaissances sur des notions comme le développement durable, l’équité et bien d’autres. Cela nous a aussi permis de nous mettre en situation d’échanges dialectiques qui s’avèrent très importants pour la culture de la tolérance face aux réactions et aux divergences des autres. En somme, plus que des discussions, ces séances constituent une école de la vie.
The group discussions are a way for the volunteers to exchange and share knowledge, as well as human values. The themes discussed are relevant to our daily lives. Through the discussions, we have deepened our understanding of concepts such as sustainable development, equity, and many others. They have also allowed us to put ourselves in a position of dialectical exchange that is very important to the culture of tolerance for differences and difference of opinions. In sum, more than talk, these sessions are a school of life.
The Millennium Development Goals are a topic we often come back to


En ce qui me concerne, j’ai eu à traiter deux thèmes différents. L’un parlant de « ICS et vous »  et l’autre parlant de « l’égalité et la justice sociale ». C’est un moment très riche en enseignement, en apprentissage  et en renforcement de niveau et capacité. Chaque volontaire prend la parole et exprime son point de vue clairement.

As for me, I have led two discussions, “ICS and You” and “Equality and Social Justice”. I find the group discussions to be a rich learning moment, which reinforces our levels and capacities. Every volunteers has a chance to speak and clearly express their point of view.


Pour commencer, il faut dire que nos discussions étaient  très animée  preuve de l’implication de tous les membres de l’équipes. Très souvent, CEDRIC et moi étions en désaccord sur bon nombre de question, et Mr TANKOANO essayait de temps en temps  de calmer les ardeurs de tout le monde. Féli a certainement été très œuvré à rendre ses discussions enrichissante pour tous, en résolvant la difficulté de langue. Ainsi, certaines discussions comme « l’INTRODUCTION AU DEVELOPPEMENT INTERNATIONAL ; EQUITE  ET JUSTICE SOCIALE OU ENCORE, PAIX ET CONFLITS » on suscité des intérêts  particuliers. L’un dans de bon moment d’apprentissage mutuel, et  donc une pratique appelé à être pérennisé l’autre, ce fut.

For starters, it has to be said that our group discussions have been animated throughout, bearing witness to the engagement of all members of the team. Very often, Cedric and I have disagreed over a good number of issues, and Tankoano has tried from time to time to calm everyone down. Felicity has been really helpful in making the discussion open to everyone, by interpreting between French and English. Some discussions, such as Introduction to International Development, Equality and Social Justice, as well as Peace and Conflict, have really helped to bring out the group’s specific interests. The group discussions are a great moment for mutual learning, and an exercise which will have a lasting impact on all of us.

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