SoLF had a conversation with Sohail Rathore, a community trainer who explains the power of speaking multiple regional languages; the satisfaction of reaching out and learning something new from a diverse group of individuals in the process, and focusing more on outcomes rather than the hindrances along the path of community training in Pakistan.
SOLF: Tell us a little about your journey of becoming a trainer?
S.R.: I used to be a Research Officer at Oxfam earlier. Later I joined Karachi Youth Support Network (KYSN) – the first youth center in Pakistan as a Research Trainer. It was then that I thought of being part of the Train The Young Trainer (TTYT) program offered by SOL. The exposure and learning given by some of the finest trainers of Pakistan was overwhelming. TTYT helped me in becoming a certified trainer after which I never looked back.
SOLF: What are your strengths as a community trainer?
S.R.: I can speak Sindhi, Siraiki and Dhatki, which makes my trainings interactive and accessible. The trainees feel quite comfortable sharing their experiences with someone who speaks the same language as them especially those who live in remote areas and have limited exposure to the concept 0f community development. My command over several local languages helps me mingle with various communities with ease and I consider this as my biggest strength.
SOLF: What has been your scope of community trainings?
S.R.: I have worked in the capacity of a social mobilizer, have done plenty of social work, conducted trainings on global warming and have been a part of Active Citizens training sessions.
SOLF: What would be your best experience so far?
S.R.: DOSTI’s Training of Teachers (ToT) has been one of the best experiences as a trainer where the participants were open to new suggestions and tolerant of new ways of doing things. It was really encouraging to be appreciated and listened to people who I would consider my father figure.
SOLF: What keeps you motivated as a community trainer?
S.R.: I love volunteering for social welfare projects whenever I get the opportunity. I take privilege in the fact I can influence my community positively through my training skills and this is precisely what keeps me going to facilitate trainings, one after the other.