What is happening to the Catalysts before arriving on the field and/or starting their mission ? Discover the Welcome weeks made by LP4Y !
Pauline Delaporte, Booster Talent
Welcome Weeks have been an LP4Y basic for years. Originally it would be a time to gather physically and bring together coordination team members to help the new Catalysts to dive into their mission right when they arrive on the field.
It would take place in a central city of the zones where LP4Y is committed; in Manila or in Delhi. During two intense weeks, around 60 Catalysts would experience the values that make the DNA of LP4Y. They would open their eyes and heart to the realities of exclusion that so many Youth and their families live in, their incredible strength to bridge the gap to join the included world, and how meaningful our motto : "Together we can" becomes.
The Covid 19 pandemic started a week or two after the February 2020 Welcome Weeks. Thanks to these two weeks, we were stocked up in motivation and dedication towards our mission. Hard to quantify how much this played a role in the incredible agility and team spirit that the teams showed during the uncertainty of the first months of lockdown.
Difficult also for us to imagine what the Welcome Weeks of August 2020 would look like. LP4Y pedagogy is based on the "learning by doing" principle for Youths, but also for Catalysts. How could we respect this, without being able to gather everyone one on the field? How to build a team spirit and make the new Catalysts understand the positive spirit and the "no judgment" atmosphere that all Catalysts share?
Crises are without doubt challenging, but they can also be huge opportunities. The Youth LAB mobilised close to 30 Catalysts who were under lockdown to create the Digital Welcome Weeks. The profits are undeniable. Catalysts following the Digital Welcome Weeks get to learn from a much larger panel of experiences from Youth and Catalysts, they get to see a diversity of slum in which the LP4Y Centers are included, they get to interview Youth in Nepal as well as Youth in Philippines, they get to be the angel of co-Catalysts whom they might never meet in person, but with whom they will undoubtedly work with. In addition, for LP4Y organization and capitalization it also means that the entire coordination team has an opportunity to speak with one voice and discuss the best ways of implementing LP4Y solutions.
The Digital Welcome Weeks, and the ones we used to have in person have different advantages. The challenges of the pandemic forced us to find new solutions - and what is certain is that we will not get back to our old way of doing things. We will continue improving - to find more and more solutions for Youth Inclusion.
Together we can !
Salomé Jacqui - Projet Leader MEI South Asia
The Welcome Weeks. Our 2 very first weeks in LP4Y. 2 weeks of training to understand what, who, where, when, how. As a consequence of the COVID pandemic, LP4Y had to adapt the Welcome Weeks to a Digital format on the Digital Inc platform. Some modules are created to explain the LP4Y fundamentals, what is the Catalyst posture, the MEI, to meet the Youth and the community, or to explain the different missions. Brief and debrief are organised at the beginning and the end of the day to explain the planning, share feelings or ask questions, and some activity with Youth / Catalysts on the field are occurring to create a first link with the different countries of mission. More and more Catalysts from those countries are recruited, implying an organizational agility about timings and feelings : working as a Catalyst in your own country is different from working as a Catalyst in a foreign country.
Sharing time is an important pillar at LP4 Y when we come together, to know how everybody feels about a learning session, about their experience and their own vision. Here are some quotes from the final sharing time wrapping up the first week:
"You made us closer."
"I will remember a thousand things. I feel a lot more confident. I am sure I made the right choice. I saw professionalism and kindness. I feel like I belong to LP4Y.”
"We are all different but we still have the same mindset for the Youth! Thank you the Talents team for the recruitment.”
“The community challenge was so fun. I talked with neighbours I hadn't seen for a long time!
Intense and crazy weeks. At the end of the day, I wanted to do more, I had too much energy. Positive energy coming from all of you. I can't wait to see the pedagogy in action.”
“I first said that I wanted to go out of my comfort zone, and this comfort zone I imagined is not the one I am experimenting here.”
“You don't need to be perfect. You will learn day by day.”
"We feel like it is normal to be vulnerable."
“We are equal, the Youth and the Catalysts.”
“Before I was stressed up, after the inception training I was in orange, and now I am fine. I am happy I met my future co-Catalysts.”
“I feel that my future is calling me.”
During the last sharing and to wrap up the session, Jessica shared with us a poem she just wrote, being inspired by all the Catalysts sharing their thoughts:
Born in different places
Raised in diverse experiences
Been around different humans
We all are distinctive beings yet
Something connects us
Something binds us
That something is our heart.
Heart that holds compassion and love for the world at large.
Heart that believes in equality
Heart that see every other human as one's own
Heart that believes everything is possible together.
Thank you LP4Y for your essence.
The L stands for life in LP4Y but for me the hidden deep meaning behind L stands is Love for community at large.
Thank you for connecting all of us with a compassionate heart together.
Jessica Arora - Fresh catalyst, Coach in Chennai