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PO Box 2826
Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

Toll Free: 1-800-793-9455

© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

Pathways to Wellbeing

Pathways to Wellbeing (Pathways) is a training program that empowers people to adjust their mindset and use God’s gifts so that they can flourish in all aspects of their lives, families, and communities.

Pathways is a holistic training designed to spark behavior change in which participants own their development process. It is designed to be delivered alongside other more in-depth interventions to address multi-dimensional challenges faced by people living in poverty. As an adult training program focused on less literate populations, Pathways is delivered through a participatory and engaging facilitation approach using compelling, relatable stories as a way to invite engagement in relevant topics, supported by activities and audiovisual presentation support.

The Pathways to Wellbeing Methodology

Adults, particularly those with low literacy, learn best through engaging training that is relevant and immediately applicable to their lives. The Pathways training deploys this best practice in adult learning. For example, the training sessions are centered around a story in a setting familiar to participants, about a protagonist they can relate to. The subsequent discussion invites input from participants, asking them to describe what happened, to analyze the experience, to relate the story to their own situation, and then to invite participants to consider how their own thinking and behavior might change based on the lessons of the story. In this manner, the training sessions invite participants on a journey from emotional engagement to changes in knowledge, attitudes, and practices.

Integrating Pathways Training Into Development Programs

We invite organizations and participants to work together to identify and address multiple barriers to holistic development. The concept is that development organizations can focus on their primary development interventions while empowering clients to address more holistic development issues. The ability of the Pathways training to be integrated into any organization’s regular program operations is enhanced in the following ways:

  • The training curriculum (topics, session components, and delivery options) has all been designed with this use in mind.
  • The supporting materials (the Program Manual and supporting materials, and the Facilitators Guide and supporting materials) enable flexible implementation.
  • The Training of Facilitators (TOF) process offered by Opportunity International, and its partners empowers organizations and facilitators for effective delivery.


The Structure of Conversations

Storytelling and discussion are the central activities in all Pathway sessions. The sessions can be delivered in 30-minute, 60-minute, or 90-minute timeframes.

As depicted in the diagram below, a full 90-minute session includes review of home practice work from the previous session, a warm-up exercise, the story presentation followed by discussion, a presentation of key ideas, group practice, reflection using a selected phrase of verse, and explanation of the home practice. The shortened sessions spend less time on some elements and cut other elements altogether, but all contain the core elements of storytelling and discussion.






The Modules Topics

The modules in the Pathways training proceed from an internal to external and ever wider focus, as presented below:

Module 1: Foundations, focus on the sense of self
Module 2: Financial wellbeing, address personal and business finances
Module 3: Physical, mental, and spiritual self-care
Module 4: Family
Module 5: Community
Module 6: Environment

These modules have been depicted visually in a poster that is part of the training materials and which can be presented or provided to client groups.

Accessing & Leveraging Values

The Pathways training nurtures and leverages values and attitudes that motivate positive behavior and life changes. Initially, the training engages surface values emphasizing, for example, that discipline is needed to save regularly, or to pay for children’s education.

Then, the training seeks to uncover hidden values that may hinder positive behavior and engages enabling values to counter those undermining obstacles. For example, a client may not save because he or she values taking care of people, and so will forgo saving to give a relative money for an emergency. In this manner, the training seeks to help clients not only engage surface values, but also counter resistant behavior by engaging hidden values.

The Pathways to Wellbeing Training Package

Opportunity offers to support organizations to deliver the Pathways training. The resources for the Pathways training consists of two sets of materials:

  • The Program Manual: This manual is intended to help organizations prepare to implement the Pathways training. It is accompanied by additional supporting documents:
      1. Session outlines that can be printed out on large note cards or regular paper
      2. Session materials list for session preparation
      3. M&E Summary and sample M&E templates
  • The Facilitators’ Guide: The Facilitators’ Guide presents the curricular content of the different conversation session across 6 modules. It is accompanied by additional supporting tools:
      1. Video and flashcard stories
      2. Worksheets for in-class and home practice
      3. Training progress poster

Opportunity’s Knowledge Management team is here to help, offering tailored solutions to your organization’s holistic training needs, training of master trainers, and support during the training process. Consult with our team to begin your journey to delivering the Pathways training.

Contact us for more information and for a Program Guide: [email protected].

Are you interested in Holistic Community Assessment to help determine community needs and goals?

Opportunity’s Pathways training emerged from an innovative holistic community assessment method that uses story-capture to understand and gauge community needs and goals. Learn more»