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Rhize: Coaching for effective social action

Rhize’s training programmes are equipping grassroots organisers with the skills to more effectively build movements that give voice to people who have been traditionally excluded from participating in governance processes.

Today, we are seeing more people-powered movements than ever before, and these movements are engaging with a range of issues from democracy-building and anti-authoritarianism to racial justice, climate change, and human rights. But the rise in collective participation alone does not guarantee success against the rise of repression and the closing of civic space people are facing around the world. In fact, while the number of movements has increased, their relative success rates fighting for freedoms and safety have declined.

Arguably, skills are the most critical long-term investment for movements. Yet passionate and committed – but often inexperienced - organisers across the world frequently duplicate each other’s mistakes. The essential skills for effective action can easily be learned if given the opportunity. The required diversity and numbers needed for movements to succeed means that leaders at all levels must be empowered with the capacity to recruit and train others to take collective action. 

Rhize is an organisation that addresses this challenge by building and training a global network of movement-building coaches who in turn are able to train and support grassroots movements in their local communities. Rhize provides coaches with strategies, skills, and resources to partner with and train activists in their community, creating a force multiplier effect that helps movements independently sustain and grow their impact. 

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Photo courtesy of Rhize

After six years of building and perfecting its coaching model through working with and learning from coaches around the world, Rhize launched the Global Coaching Fellowship. This is an annual, six-month programme that brings together movement leaders, coaches, trainers, organisers, and activists working with movements to learn from each other and gain new skills. Coaches are involved in the development and execution of this programme at every step, from participating in the selections process, to giving feedback on the curriculum, and the financial resource management tools they use.

The graduates of the Global Coaching Fellowship are a crucial aspect of Rhize’s Sector Education work to ensure large funders and international organisations understand how to support movements. Through running tailored trainings and projects for these groups, the graduates continue to expand their training repertoire and their network, while also creating a source of sustainable income for the organisation.

With Luminate’s support, Rhize is looking forward to launching the second cycle of the Global Coaching Fellowship in Africa, and then to expand the programme to additional regions around the world. 

Luminate remains committed to movement building and supporting grassroots organisations. Rhize’s training programmes are equipping grassroots organisers with the skills to more effectively build movements that give voice to people who have been traditionally excluded from participating in governance processes. We are proud to be part of Rhize’s efforts to make this a reality.