Agents of Change in the Pacific

11 April 2024

Participatory learning during the Agents of Change training in the Solomon Islands

The global roll out of Agents of Change took another step forward recently as two new groups of participants were launched on the course in the Pacific.

In Papua New Guinea, clergy, Mothers’ Union members, religious sisters and brothers, youth and others from the Diocese of Popondetta took part in six days of in-person training. These were the first people to try out the new theology of leadership module, which sets the biblical framing for becoming an agent of change.

“It was a joy to see the participants engaging so deeply with the new leadership theology module – to see it come to life in their hands after all the careful work that went into it”, said Elizabeth Perry, the Anglican Alliance’s Programmes Director. She continued, “Nothing beats face to face delivery of the Agents of Change course. In-person training allows for participatory learning through group activities, discussions and games. It means participants can share their ideas and experiences, greatly enhancing learning and building up confidence”.

The training was facilitated by Dennis Kabekabe, Acting General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG) and Tagolyn Kabekabe, former Anglican Alliance Pacific Facilitator from the Solomon Islands, alongside Elizabeth. They were greatly helped and supported by Annsli Kabakabe, the Communications & Community Development Officer of ACPNG, who also contextualised the safeguarding module using the Safe Church Commission’s How to Start guide and local safeguarding materials.

“Having local facilitators, who can make the course materials accessible to the participants, for example by facilitating discussions in the local language, makes a big difference”, said Elizabeth. “Dennis Kabekabe has led Agents of Change trainings in every diocese in Papua New Guinea and is highly skilled in enabling participants to engage with the materials. It was great to work alongside him – and also to meet one of the graduates of an earlier course he led.”

Stallon Ihove took part in an Agents of Change course Dennis led in Lae. Here, Stallon speaks about the impact Agents of Change has had on him.

The second group to be launched was in Honiara, in the Solomon Islands. Twenty four participants from diverse backgrounds including Franciscans, Melanesian Brothers and Sisters, clergy and Mothers’ Union members, took part in the three-day training. The course was arranged at short notice, when Elizabeth’s scheduled return to Papua New Guinea had to be cancelled due to the deteriorating security situation there. Many thanks to Tagolyn Kabekabe and ACOM Missions Secretary, Fr Nelson Bako for organising the training and facilitating alongside Elizabeth.

One participant reflected on the course: “Thanks to this module I understand how to THINK when there is a community project… I really enjoy this new knowledge and believe it will help me contribute in looking after my family, work place, church and community.”

Whilst in the Solomon Islands, Elizabeth visited Hautabu, the site where an early graduate of Agents of Change, Brother Lent SSF, carried out his project. In this video, Brother Lent talks about his reforestation project, now a mature forest, which is home to native trees and many animal species.

Please join us in praying for all the participants in these courses as they continue studying the modules.

Agents of Change was developed by the Anglican Alliance to help Anglicans anywhere in the world tackle poverty and bring about transformation in their local communities. The course equips participants with the skills and knowledge needed to set up a development project in their local community. It looks at every stage of the process – from coming up with an idea… to planning… to managing a project… to monitoring and evaluating it. The course teaches both practical skills (such as how to write a budget and how to do a risk assessment) and values (such as being inclusive and being transparent).

The advancement of Agents of Change is possible thanks to the generous support of the Trinity Church Wall Street Leadership Development Initiative.

The theology of leadership module was developed under the Trinity Wall Street Church grant by Paulo Ueti, the Anglican Alliance’s Theological Adviser, Clifton Nedd, Caribbean Facilitator, Revd Canon Rachel Carnegie, Executive Director, and Elizabeth Perry.