Being part of CLP’s International Training Course

By: Dilek Sahin (Turkey)

Dilek Sahin with fellow CLP alumni
I can’t believe that I am writing this blog only a short while after attending CLP’s Conservation Management & Leadership Training course as a winner of a CLP Team Conservation Award. It took two years to get ready for submitting a proposal to CLP and another year to get an approved project. This may seem like a short time as you read this but not so when you live it.

So, why is this training so impactful? Is this really such a big deal? The answer is yes! You can find many courses on leadership, project planning and communication individually. But remember, you need to allocate extra energy to thinking about it all in a conservation context when processing the information given by these courses. In CLP’s training these topics are presented and every single detail is all about conservation- a unique opportunity.

Not convinced about how unique it is? Imagine that you are in the same room with 21 young people from 12 different countries who all have common purpose, passion and motivation. And imagine that these people have different backgrounds, experiences and cultures to share. Add some extra beauty by 5 conservation experts in different subjects, each is serving to you, each is there for you, doing everything to help you understand the concepts and apply them in your own projects and careers. And finally 5 more people; the CLP Staff, organizing and facilitating the training, not from the office, but from inside the room with you in order to experience every moment again and again. They do this year after year, to learn from the experiences and make improvements to the future trainings. It is such a great room, full of experienced molecules that enter your blood sooner or later.

This training has actually just one aim: to make you sustainable and impactful in conservation. This is done by providing you necessary skills in leadership, project planning, communication and fundraising and by expecting you to spread the word.

This is not a typical training where someone gives information and you listen. You cannot predict what activity you will be a part of in five minutes; it is so interactive and so alive! You suddenly find yourself dancing, browsing donors for a real project on the Internet, interviewing in front of a camera, singing a silly song or designing a drama. All activities have certain take home messages that push your limits in thinking.

I think the best part of this training is getting to know CLP. To realize that your one-year project is not their only focus, but you are! CLP is not only investing in projects, but is also investing in people, in you. I personally feel very strong by knowing this. That’s a great way to feel special. Long live CLP!