From personal growth to leadership in unions: Building a narrative of change through the ITUC-Asia Pacific/DGB BW Mentoring Project

Mar 2024
United Nations
Women, Youth

As the ITUC-Asia Pacific/Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB) Baden-Württemberg (BW) mentoring project in Southeast Asia wraps up this year, capturing its transformative impact becomes crucial. To achieve this, the project organised a two-day training on the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique on 19-20 February 2024 in Manila to leverage the power of storytelling in amplifying the impact of the ITUC-Asia Pacific mentoring program.

Unleashing the power of personal stories

Under the guidance of Joe Sutcliffe, a worker's rights consultant from the UK, the two-day training explored the concept and methodology of a story of change. This methodological approach was deliberately selected to systematically gather, document, and analyse the profound changes facilitated by the program.

Participants learned how these stories capture meaningful shifts in individuals, organisations, or communities. Through hands-on exercises, participants honed their skills in collecting and analysing stories, focusing on themes of personal growth, inclusivity, and leadership within their unions and organisations.

The participants discovered that MSC extends beyond simple storytelling. Instead, it delves into the underlying reasons why specific changes are deemed the most significant by project stakeholders. This deeper understanding provides invaluable insights into the processes, circumstances, and contexts that drive change, thereby contributing to enriching the project's implementation in its final year.

Initiating the collection of stories of change

The training session kickstarted the identification of the initial eleven stories of change. A dominant narrative emerged – one that highlighted the pivotal role of integrating women and youth into local union committees and bodies as a catalyst for fostering leadership among these underrepresented demographics and promoting gender equality within union operations and activities.

Participants are now poised to lead the story collection process by documenting achievements and changes inspired by the project from 2022 until May 2024. This collaborative endeavor, which is integral to the project's end-of-project objectives, will enable ITUC-Asia Pacific to compile a comprehensive narrative of change from its affiliates. The consolidation of this narrative is slated for launch during the regional women and youth camp scheduled later in 2024.

Sixteen (12 were women) mentors and mentees from Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines participated in the MSC training.

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