By Sanae Benaadim
Imagine Empowerment Facilitator
HAF Office Manager & Volunteer Coordinator
Thinking back to the beginning of my volunteering at HAF, I attended the first Women’s Empowerment workshop. I was an excited, conscientious, and avid learner who was motivated by understanding the unknown. I loved exploring myself using the IMAGINE workshop tools long after this first workshop experience. Back then, I did not hesitate to talk with Fatima Zahra, HAF’s lead Imagine facilitator, to become an apprentice and demonstrate my passion to learn more about this magical program.
I have loved attending the three observation workshops with my mentor Amina over the course of the last year. The next step was then to facilitate the Imagine workshop during two days known as the “Learning Phase,” which took place on July 8-9, 2021.
For several reasons, it was a true honor to have the opportunity to replicate what I have learned, read, and researched of the IMAGINE workshop during the Learning Phase. I discovered that preparation and knowing the background of the workshop participants is very helpful as a facilitator. I know perfectly the language and materials to use in order to motivate participants and to create an environment that enables them to talk freely and share their thoughts and feelings. Also, I noticed that, as a facilitator, it is important to reference one’s personal experience to encourage participants to share as well.
The Imagine mentor, who evaluated my performance through her own participation in the modules, provided feedback that was good and helpful for me. Since I am eager, I found it easy to incorporate her feedback when I started my session. On the other hand, it was helpful when the mentor facilitated the “Growing Edge” exercise with me. From that moment, it became clear to me how I will conduct the next workshop without any “limited belief” on my own part. Importantly, using the IMAGINE methodology and adapting it according to the participants’ background, plays a major role in conducting the workshop effectively.
Now, I will conduct three workshops as a practice. By the end of 2021, I will receive a certificate from the Empowerment Institute as an official Imagine facilitator.
In conclusion, the two days of the Learning Phase were incredibly impactful for me. I realized my true potential and ability to conduct the IMAGINE workshop on my own. My passion for this important experience and work has continued to grow since the beginning. I am thrilled to now be able to be a vehicle to help women and girls discover what they want and how to attain it.