Coady Diploma in Development Leadership participant Moshira Zeidan of Egypt is enjoying her time at Coady and enjoys learning from her peers. PHOTO: Emily Hiltz
Coady Diploma in Development Leadership participant Moshira Zeidan of Egypt said she finds the Coady a good environment for learning.
Zeidan first heard about Coady in 2011 when they implemented a program in Egypt called ACE (Active Citizenship Engagement). Zeidan said the environment she felt in the workshops in 2011 is the same as she feels today.
Zeidan said, while at Coady, it is especially interesting to get to learn about the cultures and experiences of the other participants.
“We are 19 countries participating and we are 41 persons from these countries,” Zeidan said. “[It is interesting] when you hear about their experiences and about their development jobs in their organization or in their communities.”
Zeidan said learning from their challenges helps her to reflect on how she can change things in her own community.
“How can I deal with this problem like they have done?” she said.
Zeidan works as the executive director for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Egypt called Youth Association for Development and Environment. Their main goal is to engage youth with development and leadership roles in their community.
Zeidan said the activities they use to engage youth include capacity building as well as taking them into the community to implement initiatives.
“In the school we give them some supportive activities to let them feel confidence in how they can be a leader of the group,” she said.
Zeidan believes the best part of her job is the youth. She talked about their role in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and said it was an important milestone for them.
Most jobs have their challenges and Zeidan said with her job, the challenge is that the youth in Egypt aren’t used to the new teaching approaches. She said, in the beginning, working with the youth was difficult because they couldn’t talk about themselves or reflect on new ideas from workshops. Another challenge is for the older workers at organizations to accept the youths’ new ideas.
She said it’s also difficult to find new approaches for her organization, which is why she came to Coady.
After less than a month of classes, Zeidan said she has enjoyed learning about self-esteem and respecting yourself.
“This is a first for me, for my personal learning and also for my organization – how to make a theory of change for you and your organization,” she said, adding learning about education as a tool to change the community has been important.
This is Zeidan’s first time to Canada and she said she has found people friendly and open-minded.
“From the time I came from the airport, I found it very inclusive and an inclusive environment,” she said.
Zeidan has also appreciated the neighbour program the Coady facilitated for diploma participants.
“If you need a neighbour here in Canada they arrange a meeting between the students and other neighbours here in Antigonish and we start to make a relationship between ourselves,” Zeidan said.
“It’s very great for me to have friends from Canada and arrange for weekends with each other.”
She said everyone at the Coady is patient and she appreciates their open door policy.