One of my colleagues presented an exercise where we each went through the skills section of our job descriptions and identified areas where we felt we needed to improve. She then revealed a very user-friendly, online resource with hundreds of free courses. After creating our logins, we perused the courses relevant to our specific responsibilities. These bite-sized courses are mostly under an hour, targeting specific skills like business writing, photography, project management, etc.
It was simple, accessible, relevant, and free.
Professional development in rural Ethiopia is just as beautiful, but has slightly different (as in, huge!) implications. Food for the Hungry (FH) Ethiopia has been running professional development trainings for rural farmers for years, most recently in the Mid Highlands in Sasiga. Smallholder farmers are offered courses on vegetable and fruit production, bio-intensive farming, sustainable irrigation, and a whole host of other agricultural practices.
And it's making a big difference. Fufa is one of the farmers who participated in FH's trainings about a year and a half ago. He had a field and ambition, but needed a skills upgrade to get the full potential out of his land.
|TENDING CABBAGES ON IRRIGATED LAND|
After the training, he said he's developed a new awareness of the existing resources available to him, as well as the knowledge for how to make the most of those assets. As part of the training, Fufa received free vegetable seeds (not unlike my free, online courses) that helped him grow a thriving garden.
Now, his family eats a variety of foods like beets, cabbage, and onions. In addition, he harvests enough to make 1500 Birr ($98CAD) by selling vegetables in the market.
Not only did Fufa gain a new level of proficiency from his professional development, he also achieved the capacity to clothe, house, and feed his family, as well as provide them with healthcare. It's been very satisfying, to say the least. He's developed his own source of income and takes a newfound pride in his progress.
FH trainings are simple, accessible, relevant, and free. But their impact is on a whole other scale. Here's to all of us getting even a fraction out of our professional development as Fufa did!
GIVE FRUIT & VEGGIE SEEDS