Samar and N. Samar AEWS Learn to Lead

Samar and N. Samar AEWS Learn to Lead

The program, “Increasing Agricultural Productivity Towards Food Security and Poverty Alleviation: Extension Support to the 22 Provinces with High Poverty Incidence” aims to provide farm families with extension services towards the improvement of living that is, increasing their income by making their farms productive and engaging in farm enterprises. Through the partnership formed by ATI and the Local Government Units (LGU), the program is set to provide technical assistance to different farming and fishing communities to some 22 poorest provinces in the country, Eastern Visayas being one of them.
 
However, this calls for thorough planning to ensure the participation and commitment of the beneficiaries as well as to secure the sustainability of the project. Thus, the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center 8 conducted a participatory planning and project proposal making workshop among community organizers and extension workers playing the major role in its implementation.
 
The activity enabled the participants from the provinces of Samar and Northern Samar to identify approaches and strategies that would promote participation in activities within the program. Participants also simulated participatory planning, monitoring, and evaluation as well as demonstrated facilitation skills in bringing out ideas by engaging the participants.
 
Through group discussions, it was observed that thorough planning is indeed crucial to ensure the participation and commitment of the program beneficiaries. It was also observed that facilitation skills are best demonstrated through the inclusion of games and other methods such as role-playing. Participants also appreciated the simplified format of a project proposal provided by ATI, since according to them, formulating one back then deemed to be difficult.
 
“I highly salute ATI on how they conduct trainings, their facilitation approach, the resources used and accommodation. Activities were very enjoyable, simplified, but still, we really learned a lot,” Ms. Michelle Helbolario, an Agricultural Technician from Daram said as she gave her impression. She further added that the training was very useful especially as they expose themselves back to the field as extension workers. She also appreciated the way games were used as a way to approach farmers and in data gathering. The topics discussed, on project proposal making, for her, was also very helpful as they’ll be seeking assistance for funding from other agencies. 
 
Consequently, Mr. Lino Turla, a participant from Lavezares said, “Of all the trainings that I have attended, I was impressed with this one because the activities were simplified for us to easily understand. Now, as we go back to our municipalities, the success or failure of this program is now in our hands.”
 
Thirty-five (35) participants from Samar and Northern Samar areas attended the Batch 1 of the “Learn and Lead: Evoking Participation and Formulating Proposals” conducted on April 17-21, 2017 at Calbayog City.