In the last years I delivered quite a big number of trainings in Forum Theatre either for introducing the method, developing skills in using it or for multiplying it (both nationally and internationally) and with each learning process that I am leading in this subject I am growing more and more.
I had many roles in what matters a Forum Theatre Project (actor, joker, coordinator, evaluator, facilitator, trainer, etc) and as a Trainer my main target is to motivate my participants to believe in the impact of the method and use for making a change in the society.
Usually I handle with 2 types of participants and various reactions:
- Participants that are getting really into the method as multipliers, actually in using the method in a short time (youth workers –new or older in the field – the older one are more courageous and ambitious; trainers/ facilitators – many of them wants to be just trainers in the method without actually working in the field with it – which is a huge error and I am paying attention to them; volunteers with big dedication to social work and change;
- Participants that even if they like the method they will not actually going to use it (volunteers – new or older that they are not ready to take big responsibilities – they need a support group in their organization that will lead them; “training tourists” – they are coming for other reasons not for changing the society – but they enjoy the process; busy people – working already in too many projects and areas , even if they have the capacity they will not use it because of time and personal availability) ;
- There is also another group of participants that is not liking the method (which usually is much smaller than the others) because they suspect it of manipulation, to heavy, easy to lead to conflicts or violence, not having a real impact, etc (these people stigmatize the method without actually giving it a chance and without trusting other workers in the field : usually they are the people that know already everything)
Recently I delivered with my colleague from A.R.T. Fusion a training in Ireland for various volunteers and youth workers across Europe. The energy of the group was huge and the motivational vibe of them was quite strong in the last day of the training.
After the training some of the motivated people started to use it and share their experience with the others. Some of the people that were about to use it are felling that the time is passing and they are falling in the second category (they are sharing to me this feelings); Some of them think already they know so much they can do a training by themselves (as I was telling before).....
Where I want to go with this post? Well I am trying to underline the role of the trainer AFTER the training!!! He has to manage, feed and motivate the energy and the motivation of the fresh new babies Forum Theatre multipliers in order to make sure they will be able to manage. I am writing this because many of my colleagues don’t do it and they are feeding their self esteem as trainers based on the strong feeling and motivation that the participants have in the last days of the training- which is wrong and selfish!!!
In all of my trainings besides the post training work, coaching and motivational work that I am doing I am strongly underlining my help and my availability any time after the training when they have a questions, need some support or want to share to write to me; i want to make them secure and having a support in exactly the person that wanted to developed them some skills!!!
So....Forum Theatre Multipliers...don’t forget your mission and keep on going in changing the world in witch we are living!!!