Project Happiness Training Takes Place in Guyana
Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th March 2016, are days to go down in history. Sixty-five participants gathered at the Ministry of Education’s National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) building, Georgetown, Guyana to participate in the first ever two day Project Happiness training, led by Founder and CEO of Project Happiness, Randy Taran, Director of Operations, Brook Dorff and Regional Director for the Caribbean (also Chief Happiness Officer at ReThink), Amanda Fernandes.
The programme has been fully embraced by the Government of the Republic of Guyana, and the 65 professionals included officials from the Ministry of Education, NCERD, teachers, schools’ welfare officers, subject specialists, guidance counsellors and representatives from several non-governmental organisations.
The 9 lesson Curriculum featured in the Train the Trainer Course is designed to improve students’ focus, emotional resilience and their ability to make better life decisions. These skills form a foundation for young people’s success not just in school, but also in their adult lives. These “soft” skills are often overlooked in schools and at home under the assumption that children learn them innately. By teaching children these skills from an early age they are better equipped, emotionally and socially, to handle life’s challenges as they mature. With the ever-increasing demands of daily life, it is the perfect time to introduce these methodologies.
The session covered each of the 9 lessons taught in the curriculum:
- Lesson 1 Happiness – long term & short term
- Lesson 2 Appreciation – the power of appreciation: gratitude matters
- Lesson 3 Passion and Strengths – building on your strengths
- Lesson 4 Perspective – the power of perspective: making choices that work
- Lesson 5 Inner Meanie & Inner Friend – learning about mindset
- Lesson 6 Ninja Mastery/Emotional Management – developing emotional management
- Lesson 7 Empathy – the 5 steps to greater connection
- Lesson 8 So Similar – celebrating differences & appreciating our common core
- Lesson 9 Share Your Gifts – bringing forward your talents to make a difference
For each lesson, the participants were guided through a “Mindful Moment” in which they were encouraged to close their eyes and be present in the here and now. The Mindful moment was then followed by an introduction to the objectives of each topic, after which they engaged in all the activities they will eventually be doing with their students.
In one particular activity, participants were asked to form an “Appreciation Circle” in which they were to tell the person to the right of them what they appreciate about them. In another activity participants were asked to “Cross the Line” each time they had experienced a situation named by the facilitator, for example: likes ice-cream, has a child/children, felt alone, or been discriminated against. The situations got increasingly more serious. In this activity participants learned how similar they were to their colleagues in the room and how much they could learn from and support one another.
The activities did not stop there! Participants burst out into song and dance at the sounds of Pharrell Williams hit, “Happy”.
It was truly an enlightening, fun filled two days and all of the participants agreed that the only negative thing about the workshop is that it was too short! Probably the best negative feedback ever!
In the words of the First Lady, Her Excellency, Mrs. Sandra Granger, as a result of this workshop “participants are now equipped with the skills to encourage and empower beneficiaries, particularly children in schools as children who feel good about themselves are less likely to commit suicide.