Opening Retreat: A Time to Learn, Bond, and Set Goals
How much learning, bonding, and visioning can be achieved over the course of a week? A great deal, as our 2022 Equity Initiative Fellows discovered during their Opening Retreat, held April 22-29 in Hue, Viet Nam. These 28 dynamic professionals, who range in age from 28 to 45 years old, engaged in learning sessions about health equity frameworks, leadership principles, and defining personal values, as well as informal team-building exercises and friendly competitions designed to help them gain comfort with each other.
Fellows actively contribute to the teaching and learning by sharing their own experiences. Through the “River of Life” exercise for example, Fellows sketched their personal stories in the form of a river, highlighting the internal and external changes that have influenced themselves, their families, and their communities, which they then shared with the group. Additionally, Fellows had a chance to work on their coaching skills as they coached their peers. Fellows also presented about their respective countries, touching on lighter topics like the latest slang words, to history and culture, and more pressing issues in the social, political, and economic sphere. Opportunities for reflection were woven into the program, so that Fellows could consider what they had learned about themselves and each other, supplemented by sessions like a cultural site visit, a cooking class, and other activities which brought many lighthearted moments to the busy week.
By week’s end, Fellows could draw on their personal exploration and group bonding to craft a team mission and vision: “To be congruent, compassionate, and inclusive in how we collaborate with each other, so we can achieve global health equity and well-being for all.” We are confident that these 2022 Fellows will build on the camaraderie that defined the Opening Retreat over the course their induction year, and as they develop their own plans to promote health equity.
15 February, 2024
8 December, 2023