This case study profiles GULL community applications in Kenya initiated by Compassion International, the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK), Tearfund, World Vision International and others in September, 2009.

"GULL presents to me a source of hope. I have been facilitating for Tearfund since 1997, and we have worked hard to perfect the church and community mobilization process (CCMP) so that it empowers the church to engage in integral mission in its immediate community. We have seen powerful results of impact - transformation in people's lives, to the glory of God. I have focused on equipping the teams who will carry the process forward when I’m not there. Again, we are seeing great results of passionate, self-driven teams that are causing amazing changes within the church and the community. It is for these teams that my heart cries. I long to keep them motivated, for indeed they are doing great work and I know that GULL is the answer, with the support of Tearfund and others. The potential for growth and expansion is so great I almost cannot imagine it." - Francis Njoroge, Consultant & CCMP Facilitator, Africa



Community-based action learning in Kenya

“Traditionally, we worked with apprenticeships and GULL draws together all the connections via its holistic approach. We learn not because we are in a classroom – but because we are living. GULL brings this broad-based learning to everyone.” Dr Sarone Ole Sena, Learning & Support Director, Compassion International, EAA/Africa.

“There are many people who have not had a formal opportunity to learn yet they have a lot of knowledge about how to farm and sustain the community. GULL will empower them, build capacity and equip them to work more effectively for themselves and for the wider community.” Church Pastor

“What excites me about GULL is the opportunity to recognize the efforts of those who are creating change and impact. Typically this is driven by community members who do not have academic qualifications. GULL can affirm their God-given potential.” Francis Njoroge, Consultant and Tearfund Facilitator, Africa



1. Recognizing practical professionalism , Sep 09

Sunday 20 September 2009: Sarone Ole Sena (left), Learning & Support Director, Compassion International, East Africa, Richard Teare & Francis Njoroge (right), Tearfund's Lead Facilitator, Church & Community Mobilization Process (CCMP). We discuss the ways in which the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) can support community-based action learning and recognize the advancement of practical professionalism and expertise in Africa.

1-2: Francis Njoroge: "Recognition (and certification) will build confidence, encourage, equip and empower those who are creating change. GULL triggers self-confidence – it affirms that they can do it! Many people feel held back by a lack of opportunity – YET they are professionals because of the transformation they are causing in their village."

3-7: Sarone Ole Sena: "Few companies in the world today base their employment decisions solely on academic attainment. In contrast, professionalism is a process that is developed ‘by doing’ reflecting and refining over many years."




2. Cascading GULL in the community
Senior leader ownership: GULL Doctor of Professional Studies

Tuesday 22 September 2009: GULL briefing and discussion in Nairobi hosted by the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK) and attended by representatives from Africa Christian Missions International, Compassion International, FPFK, Tearfund and World Vision International.

A GULL doctoral group is established for the leaders of the participating organizations, chaired by Sarone.


1. Sidney Muisyo, Country Director, Kenya (now Regional Vice President) Compassion International: "GULL is especially interesting because it provides customized learning at low/no cost – normally customized items are very expensive."

2. Sena Ole Sena, Learning & Support Director, Compassion International EAA/Africa: "We are so used to someone else deciding the curriculum for us ... Action learning has been used in many contexts – to champion a cause and to journey towards a self improvement goal and to facilitate change and improvement for others."

3. Jonas Njelango, Country Representative, Sudan, Tearfund: "As CCMP is home grown in Africa, we want to continue to lead and to develop the process. GULL provides us with a systematic way of learning and sharing what we know with the community."



3. Action learning in the community

Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September: A workshop in Wuaso Ngiro, Narok, Maasai region, exemplifies the interactive nature of action learning. All the participants are actively engaged via small group work, singing, dancing, praying, role playing and story telling.

(Left) Participants, Action learning workshop, Wuaso Ngiro, Narok, Maasai region.

1. Sarone Ole Sena explains his guiding framework (the LePSAS model) for implementing community-based action learning: Learner-centred (Le) – the objective is to encourage the learner to engage and to identify their own learning needs so that they can identify a problem and/or potential (P). This prompts self-discovery (S) and action (A) guided by the Holy Spirit (S).

2. A second step (SHOWeD) guides and supports the implementation process and enables participants to move from dependency (I can’t do anything on my own) to independence (I can do it!) and finally inter-dependency (we can do it together). As the learner commits, he/she is encouraged to see (S) for themselves and to reflect on what is happening (H) in the situation (e.g. What is the problem?). This prompts open (O) discussion and questioning – ‘Why?’ (W) and finally We (what are we) going to do (D) about it.

A goal of education is to help the learner to succeed in life. If a child learns a few core skills and abilities, he/she can build on them and apply them throughout life:

Micael Olsson (left), Global Education Advisor, World Vision International, Girma Begashaw (centre), National Director, World Vision Kenya and Salome Ong’ele (right), National Education Co-ordinator, World Vision Kenya.

3. "Real learning occurs in the school of life and so why don’t we recognize this pathway too? GULL is addressing this so that each of us can build on core lifeskills that will enable us to make a difference in our own lives and for the wider community." Reflections by Dr Micael Olsson, Global Education Advisor, World Vision International.



4. Establishing the foundations, Jan 10

In January, 2010 more than 150 participants completed their foundation level work (professional Bachelor (B), Master (M) and Doctor (D) level 2). The objective was to begin a cascade, starting with a small number of organizational leaders (DL2) to community leadership (ML2) and thereafter to the volunteers (tutors, health workers, key resource persona and others) supporting Compassion, FPFK, Tearfund and World Vision.

This section features a range of typical outcomes with commentary by participants at all levels on: the process, the value of customization (via the personal learning statement), using the GULL narrative format to reflect on routine activity, the outcomes summary (the return on outcomes form) and the personal, community and organizational benefits.

Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK)

Lanoi Paramuat (right) Project leader, FPFK Anti-FGM project (DL2): "We have seen many benefits from integrating FPFK-Anti FGM with GULL. We have a big team of volunteers and we are not able to pay them or recognize their incredible work. GULL is an answer to our prayers – at last, we can recognize the impact of our teams in transforming our culture and sustaining change."


Compassion International Kenya

Mark Egelan (right) Partnership Facilitator, Narok Compassion International (ML3): "I have 30 tutors undertaking the GULL Bachelor pathway – it has integrated very well with our curriculum as the GULL system provides a way of enabling the tutors to evaluate their own work and it also recognizes their contribution. The tutors are very enthusiastic. "



Catherine Mbotela (left) Program Director, Compassion International, Kenya (DL2): "GULL has come at the right time. I see it impacting our people and making the Church stronger by enabling every church to develop. It ties in with releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. "



Sarone Ole Sena (left) Learning & Support Director, Compassion International, EA and D Prof group facilitator: "GULL is a prayer answered. GULL starts with a few (so that they can experience action learning for themselves) and it cascades to the many. The power of GULL lies in multiplication. Catherine is supporting Mark and Mark is supporting the tutors and so on. "



Staff and volunteer tutors from Compassion assisted project KE 593, Narok, Kenya

1-3: Compassion assisted project KE 591

4. Compassion assisted project KE 599

5. Compassion assisted project KE 824



1. Jonas Njelango

2-3: Peter Gitau (formerly Country Representative, Tanzania)

Jonas Njelango, Country Representative, Sudan, Tearfund (DL2): "My GULL journey is a great learning experience. I am learning to reflect in a systematic way so that I can review and improve my own skills and the management of Tearfund’s operations in Sudan. "


World Vision Kenya

1. Girma Begashaw (left) National Director, World Vision International, Kenya (DL2): "The GULL process is very helpful and empowering. I recommend it to all my staff. Additionally, GULL offers huge potential in terms of recognizing the sustained effort of community level volunteers. They work with us and make things happen. This is an ideal way of providing self-development to them. It is my prayer and commitment to implement GULL in WVK first and then throughout WVI. "

2. Salome Ongele (right) National Education Coordinator, World Vision Kenya (DL2): "The GULL process has enabled me to address a leadership challenge that has held me back for a long time. In several months – I have been able to make a major personal breakthrough."

3. Evans Osumba, Development Facilitator, World Vision Kenya, Olenton Area Development Programme (ADP)



5. Graduation in Narok, Maasai region

More than 250 people attended the foundation level graduation event for D, M and B level pathway action learners on 30 January, 2010 and there were 150 graduands who successfully completed their foundation level work.

Key Resource Persons, FPFK Anti-FGM project (BL2) More than 250 people attended the foundation level graduation event for D, M and B level pathway action learners on 30 January, 2010 with some 150 graduands of the pilot phase.


6. GULL and the performance management process at Compassion International Kenya

On Monday 27 June 2011, the Compassion Kenya leadership team and Richard Teare met to discuss ways of interlinking Compassion’s performance management process (PMP) with the GULL system. The outcome of the meeting was a commitment by the leadership team to pilot a PMP-GULL Professional Doctor of Management (D Mgt) pathway.

The purpose here is to assist the team to sustain their own personal and professional development and integrate the process of reflection, action learning and collaborative working with existing roles and responsibilities. After piloting the PMP-GULL linkage, the leadership team will cascade the process to other staff who will be able to combine their annual performance planning and appraisal with work and community-based projects that lead to GULL’s Professional Bachelor or Master degree. Entry to the appropriate pathway is determined by the seniority of the participants.

(Right) The Compassion Kenya leadership team (left to right) Samwel, Justus, Catherine, Christine and Joel.


How can my organization get involved?
Thank you for reading this case study. Do please think about what you can offer and how you might inspire others in your organization to get involved. Together, we can bring hope and opportunity to the many people around the world who do not have access to lifelong learning. GULL works with organizations that share our vision for universal access to learning in the workplace and in the community. If you would like to affiliate with GULL's network movement, please review the 'Affiliation' section at the GULL website - There are no membership fees or other barriers to participation - we'd like to work with you to harness all the skills and abilities that your organization can offer in order to help others to learn, grow and develop. Please note though that GULL does not have the resources to support individual learners and it is for this reason we can only correspond with organizations via their nominated representative(s).


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