Presenting Umunthu at the International Facilitators Conference

In November 2016, the AGHCA’s very own Programmes Officer Rodger Phiri traveled to Kenya to present our participatory, arts-based approaches at the International Association of Facilitators Conference held at the Catholic University of East Africa. This year’s theme was "How will we create opportunities for participatory growth in Africa and beyond?" The conference attracted over 60 participants from 16 countries and 4 continents.

In his session, Participatory Growth through Umunthu, Rodger explored how the Pan-African concept of Umunthu can serve as an effective way to frame discussions around the rights of marginalized communities. He encouraged participants to sketch the meaning of Umunthu in order to spark a discussion around what the concept means to each individual and across cultures. He then led participants through a series of interactive games and activities, some that can be used to energize participants during workshops and others that bring to light key questions and ideas around stigma and discrimination. Balloon stomp was a favorite – a balloon is tied to each participant’s ankle and the objective is to pop another person’s balloon while simultaneously protecting your own. Though tremendous good fun, the activity also makes it clear just how difficult it is to take care of one’s own when one is too busy trying to burst someone else’s bubble!

Rodger’s session attracted all the big names in facilitation in Africa and Europe. Delighted, he observed: “It was a great experience and an honor for me to facilitate a session to fellow internationally renown facilitators and receive positive feedback both publicly and privately from those who attended.”