The Power of Peer Learning
I always have in mind Helen Keller’s quote “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” and I truly believe that real change does not happen with one person, or one organization, but that it’s a collective effort.
For some time I have been thinking about my work, on the impact that we’re doing and how it can be improved, and participating in the Professional Fellows program organized by Legacy International is providing me with a valuable chance to reflect on this and learn how to magnify the positive outcomes.
The program is offering many learning spaces, such as trainings, hands-on work experience in an American organization, coaching on longer-term professional goals and learning from Peer Fellows.
Although all the learning spaces are useful in their own ways, the part I feel I’m most interested in is Peer-learning: coming with 15 other fellows from Egypt and Algeria, understanding their projects, ideas, and the challenges faced by them in their own contexts, how they overcome these challenges and learning from them about best practices has been very enriching for me.
The Peer-learning spaces in the program are countless. Informal learning spaces from living together and being deeply involved in each other’s lives, and the deep conversations we have while we’re commuting to work, to more formal learning spaces, such as the collective brainstorming meetings we have to develop and consolidate our follow-on projects that we’re planning on implementing in our countries, and the critical questions that everyone asks in the training which reflects their massive experience.
The Peer-learning concept developed in the program has had many effects on me as a participant, not only did it helped me gain knowledge on many topics and fields, but also helped me develop my interpersonal skills, such as learning to work in teams, critical thinking, communication and problem solving skills.
The examples of Peer-learning are limitless. The dedication of my Egyptian and Algerian colleagues helped develop my idea for the follow-on project. I benefited a lot from others working on social entrepreneurship by engaging in critical conversations on the common challenges we have been facing and learning from their experiences.
This wouldn’t have happened without the incredible work that the Legacy International team has been doing. They are not only facilitating the program, they are part of the learning journey, providing us with the platform to optimize our experience of never-ending knowledge.
Author: Lobna Elewa
Lobna has spent years working in civil society. Through her work, she has built a strong network of social entrepreneurs, start-ups, and volunteers from all over Egypt increasing her knowledge on various development sectors. Lobna believes in developing the skills and capacities of professionals working on entrepreneurship programs. She strongly believes that through supporting social innovators for the MENA region, society will see a reduction in poverty, inequality, unemployment, health risks, and women’s disparities.
Learn more from the Fellows in the Fellows Blog