To develop the leadership capacity of civil society organizations and communities affected by TB, the TB Europe Coalition launched a pilot mentoring program «3C to End TB: Competence, Confidence, Change».
Civil society leaders from Azerbaijan, Belarus and Uzbekistan have attended mentoring sessions over the past three months on topics relevant to work in the nongovernmental sector. First of all, this is the strengthening of organizational skills and interpersonal communication skills: leadership qualities, effective communication skills, conflict resolution, problem solving, and the like. At the same time, the task of the mentor within the program is to jointly identify the problem, suggest possible options for solving it and motivate fellow program participants to take actions that will lead to the necessary changes.
Parvana Valieva, executive director of the Public Union «Saglamliga Khidmat» from Azerbaijan, told us about her impressions of participation in the program.
TBEC: Could you please provide a short feedback regarding mentoring?
Parvana Valieva: Mentoring program provided by TBEC is very crucial in building capacity of TB advocates to be more successful in communication with decision-makers and policy-changers to end TB.
I am lucky to had this opportunity with Paul Somerfield, my wonderful coach. His continuous support and mentoring through 3 months played a very vital role in my professional career, as well as, engaging with TB response meaningfully, improving relationship with existing partners and launching new partnerships.
The program taught me self-confidence, self-presentation and communication strategies those I thought were my weaker sides in my activity before taking the program.
My mentor approached me individually in teaching the leadership skills, effective communication and negotiation that suits my position and role of in the society. During the couching sessions, I have learned communication and presentation techniques that I use in every day working, as well.»
TBEC: What do you like?
Parvana Valieva: I liked to listen my mentor as he is a very experienced person in development of communication skills. I developed my own communication techniques while collecting knowledge from the mentor and trying them in real life.
During the program, I also had a chance to get information on the latest WHO guidelines in TB treatment, prevention, diagnosis and care from Jonathon Stillo. And I think a good TB advocate need continuously increase the knowledge on the latest recommended TB care, new approaches and innovations to push the decision-makers to keep TB up to date in the country.
TBEC: Did it help you in your work?
Parvana Valieva: Feeling confident helps me speaking confidently while important events. I have learned to take good notes during the events, and using notes while presenting; collecting information about decision-maker before meeting with them for any request and etc.
TBEC: Maybe you could provide some examples?
Parvana Valieva: During the mentoring program some important meetings and conference took place and I had a chance to apply the skills of negotiation and self-presentation I have learned from my mentor in practice. And I succeeded in some negotiations, building partnerships with decision-makers personally thanks to the mentoring program.
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The pilot mentoring program was implemented by the TB Europe Coalition within the “Challenge Facility for Civil Society” EECA grant funded by Stop TB Partnership.