Recently, we hosted a capacity-building training for our Heart-Centered Impact Coaches (HCIC) as part of our goal to provide our pool of volunteers with continuous opportunities to develop personally but also in their role within our foundation.
HCLF believes in providing opportunities for lifelong growth and establishing a strong foundation where our volunteers feel confident in their ability to mentor themselves in order to mentor others during our programs. For this reason, we offer training sessions known as ‘capacity-building’ that support our Heart-Centered Impact Coaches in further developing and strengthening their skills and abilities as peer coaches: help them connect, empower and inspire young people during our activities.
Following recent activities, our HCICs have shared feedback on their experiences based on interactions they’ve had with youth during HCLF’s Impact Activities and how they wish to know how they can strengthen their ability to process and support youth who exhibit different types of emotions and behaviors. Another important aspect that HCICs have indicated in debriefing moments is the need for tools on how to process their own emotions during and after an activity. In relation to this, they also expressed an interest to receive conversational techniques that would support them when guiding and assisting groups of youth who lack the trust and confidence to openly express themselves amongst their peers. Furthermore, our peer coaches wanted to be more informed on what are the current protocols that exist when navigating sensitive information that may be indicated by participants during interactions in activities.
Based on this feedback, we prepared the first Capacity Building training consisting of two sessions. The first session was facilitated by Teodora Goloiu, a clinical psychologist specializing in personal and group cognitive-behavioral therapy. Ms. Goloiu provided an interactive session on the topic of ‘how to manage emotions as a peer coach’. The second session was a presentation by Efraim Suurendonk on the ‘Codigo di Proteccion’ (Code of Protection).
Being supportive and a listening ear to young people can be challenging for peer coaches to manage sometimes as their own emotions can surface, to support the peer coaches in their role Ms.Goloiu made an inventory of the concerns of the peer coaches to create an engaging and creative environment for the HCICs to come up with their own strategies to solve the challenges they encounter. This allowed the HCICs to build a list of guidelines that they can apply when working with young people in future Impact Activities. For example: “My role today is to create a compassionate, safe, and comfortable space where everyone in the group can express themselves openly without fear of judgment”. To ensure that the peer coaches also receive tips to manage their emotions after the activity is done, Ms. Goloiu engaged with the peer coaches to uncover different self-care routines that each individual HCIC practices and shared a few self-care skills or habits that she uses to process and regulate her emotions such as breathing exercises, physical activities, and more.
The second session was a presentation by Efraim Suurendonk on the ‘Codigo di Proteccion’ (Code of Protection), a recently launched protocol that professionals use when there is (suspicion of) child abuse. As an organization that works with youth, HCLF believes in the importance of educating our volunteers about protocols that exist in reporting signs of child abuse, especially when hearing sensitive information that could indicate that a youth may be in an unsafe situation. During this session, the HCICs were able to learn about the steps that are used to signal when a youth is believed to be in a harmful situation and the necessary procedures to follow to ensure that the proper protocols are met.
Does this training inspire you to learn more about the possibilities that await you as a future Heart-Centered Impact Coach? Click here for more information.
This HCIC Capacity Building training is part of the project Connecting Hearts, which is co-funded by Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben, CEDE Aruba, and Super Food Plaza Cares Program.