It is often said that there is a time for everything under the heavens. This is day number 4 at the IkamvaYouth National Strategic Planning Workshop. It has been a rollercoaster four days. At the heart of it all has been the dynamic; driven and extremely passionate Ilana…our trainer and coach. Today the focus was on coaching skills. The emphasis was on coaching being a very liberating tool when applied correctly. That people should learn to listen with their whole self; body; mind and heart. This is especially true for our learners who need to have their voices liberated. The coaching lessons are geared towards equipping us with the necessary skills to help our learners to open up and deal with their issues; when they need to.

The one on one sessions with group members gave us an opportunity to practise and also recognise areas that we need to work on. We need to make a conscious and concerted effort to be able to apply what we have learnt. This includes working on our body language; tone of voice and doing away with any preconceived ideas that we might have about particular situations affecting our learners.  

The most important lesson we took away today is that when dealing with our learners we have to suspend our pasts; our current situations and be completely present…for them. We need to make sure that we do not put them in a situation where we project our views and feelings onto them; forcing them to see the world through the windows of our shattered souls; knowingly or unknowingly.  What they need is for us to create the emotional as well as the physical spaces they need to be the best that they can be. They need us to create platforms where they can write their own life stories. There is no greater gift that we can give them; except; maybe; for the free hugs that were offered by the Ikamvanites this morning.