This is a reflective piece from Lore Remmerie, a Master’s student who spent a few months as a research intern with the YIELD Hub team. Lore attended our 2nd Action Learning Cycle representing Rutgers. During this time, she also had the opportunity to learn how the YIELD Hub creates an authentic and open learning environment for organizations participating in our Cycles.
Time is scarce, and opportunities to exchange information and learn from one another are often lacking, despite the fact that every professional and organization still has so much to learn. So, I wonder, where are the classrooms for professionals and organizations to unpack, share, and expand their knowledge to continue learning as students in global health?
Currently, I’m in the final stages of completing my Master’s in Global Health and preparing to enter the workforce. This transition can be pretty uncomfortable, as many of you may have experienced or will experience. But to be honest, knowing organizations like YIELD Hub exist, makes me feel more at ease. Allow me to explain why.
Throughout the past two years, my Master’s program has provided me with valuable knowledge in global health. While the courses were undoubtedly enriching, I believe that the most significant source of learning came from my fellow students. Every interaction, and every discussion I had with them over the past years, has been a significant source of knowledge. All students brought their personal and professional backpacks with goals, experiences, and learnings into this Master’s. It was really meaningful to unpack, exchange, and fill these backpacks together.
Now, as we approach graduation, we are all about to enter the global health workforce as “experts in global health”. Personally, I find this title somewhat uncomfortable. Perhaps “students in global health” would be more appropriate, as the backpacks we have started to fill will never be completely full. There will always be more space, for exchanging goals, experiences, and learnings once we set foot into the working field.
Sadly, the harsh reality is that the professional arena leaves little room for being a student.
“Stakeholders, such as youth-led organizations, community-led organizations, youth serving organizations, international NGO’s, academic practitioners, donors, are not actively engaging in conversations with each other, despite facing interconnected problems. There is not enough continuous effort for people to meet and share their experiences, and exchange what is working and what is not working.”Richard Dzikunu, YIELD Hub Action Learning Groups Lead.
And that is where I see the value of the YIELD Hub. The YIELD Hub works to improve young people’s partnership in Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) by facilitating action learning processes for different institutions and stakeholders working within the field of SRHR. The Hub uses action learning, a problem-solving method used to generate innovative solutions to complex problems, to develop new and creative ways for adolescents and youth to get involved in Adolescent and Youth SRHR.
“The whole goal of action learning is to bring together a group of people, who come from different backgrounds, but are affected by the same issue. They discuss their experiences and issues from different perspectives, and then collaborate to develop solutions or ideas that are unique to each individual.”David Imbago-Jácome, YIELD Hub Director.
I had the privilege of participating in the second action learning cycle focused on measuring and evaluating youth participation. It was an incredible experience to be part of ‘the YIELD Hub classroom’ alongside professionals and organizations from diverse backgrounds. Similar to a traditional classroom setting, creating learning opportunities for such a diverse group of students can be challenging, as each has their own learning objectives and areas of expertise, and keeping everyone motivated is important. However, the YIELD Hub team successfully fostered a learning environment that embraced and utilized this diversity to enhance everyone’s outcomes.
So let’s learn together with the YIELD Hub, and contribute to the promotion of meaningful youth participation in adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive rights, while continuing our growth as “students” in the field of global health.