Training of Trainers (ToT)

In April 2017, 11 people from 5 countries came to Cape Town, South Africa. The time had finally come to start the highly anticipated training of trainers (ToT) programme. The two year programme kicked-off with a workshop to learn the basics of being a trainer.

The different backgrounds, knowledge and cultures of the candidates added to the learning experience while the contagious enthusiasm of the participants enabled further personal and professional growth.

Arif (Indonesia) explains:

“This programme is excellent for building networks, sharing experiences, skills and knowledge with colleagues from other countries."

The curriculum focused on the various types of training and learning methods as well as dealing with resistance, classroom management and public speaking skills. Incorporating music and dance in the form of a hip-hop workshop was useful in overcoming (the very common) fear of standing up in front of a group. The idea behind it was that if you can train out of your comfort zone, you will be able to train anything. And where some started off shy, at the end of the day everyone showed off their dancing skills in front of the group.

Zara (South Africa):
“What helped me the most in learning was the how uplifting it all was. I have always been very nervous to get up in front of a group and speak, and the ToT assisted me in overcoming my fear of public speaking.”


Role play is often a large component of trainings and this particular skill was taught by Mainlines Ferry van Barendregt. Ferry brought his past skills as a training actor to good use by leading the group in warm up exercises, followed by presenting public speaking skills. The team was then given various realistic training scenarios for role play, which they successfully completed in front of each other.

Mainline would like to congratulate all of the ToT participants in successfully completing the first training weeks. They can now function as assistant trainers back home. Upon completion of the first year of the ToT they will be able to design and implement harm reduction training in their home country. After the second year, a select group will continue becoming international trainers.

Mainlines' trainers

Ferry Barendregt is a trainer at Stichting Mainline, and was asked to help facilitate the Training of Trainers (ToT) kick-off in Cape Town, South Africa. Along with Jos Luteijn who initiated the programme,

the programme got off to a strong start. Here in his own words is an impression of Ferry’s experience abroad.

Ferry Barendregt:
“Training this diverse group was very special, because the participants came from different countries, cultures and religions. Despite these differences, everyone shared a common goal of improving the health and rights of people who use drugs – a marginalised population who are often forgotten or ignored. Having a common goal and vision made it possible to train such a heterogeneous group. They were eager to learn, to ask, help each other out and to perform. I also learned from them as they inspired me with their ideas and perspectives. I really look forward meeting them again in their own country.”
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