Study Circles for Social Change Programme

Study Circles for Social Change Programme

Study circles enable small groups of participants to learn together, and from each other, about how to advance their interests and needs using a democratic, interactive and participatory method of education. Study circles of grassroots leaders in trade unions and community organisations are essential for building vibrant democratic organisations with an active membership.

IFWEA supports affiliates to develop a study circle programme through training and mentoring study circle facilitators to build confidence, encourage critical thinking and promote active participation. The programme also supports online interaction between study circle facilitators in different countries to share experiences on curricula, materials and pedagogy of study circles and build a global knowledge community.

Get involved:

  • Share your study circle curricula, materials and methods and meet up with study circle facilitators from other organisations  by joining the IFWEA – Study Circles for Social Change community on Facebook here
  • Promote study circles in your organisation through running the various courses available on the IFWEA online labour  academy – click here for OLA  and contact the IFWEA secretariat for support with this: email
  • To find out more about study circles:
    • Do the “Facilitating Study Circles” Course which is an open course on the online labour academy here
    • Contact the IFWEA secretariat:




CLASS NEPAL’s Educator Goma Pandey facilities Women Leadership Course in Nepal, run by SEWA in India – using the Online Labour Academy (OLA).

Goma Pandey taught participants using the study circles methodology in face to face and online sessions. Participants therefore completed the Women’s Leadership Course and become more proficient on Internet Technology. She says: “The participants are so comfortable in IT now. The course of SEWA has inspired us to make a course in Nepal as well on Women’s Leadership, adopting some of the references we found the Indian course.


facilitator: Thandiwe Mandlevu (23 years old)
topic: Basic Sewing Skills


Learning Objective:
– Organizing the young members of the Lorna Mfolana Parents Movement (LMPM) into a study circle through sharing basic sewing skills


– Drawing and Cutting
– Designing and Sewing
– Practical and Prize giving


Learning  Outcomes:
– The study circle facilitator’s skills were tested
– Participants learnt basic sewing skills through producing various items
– Members of LMPM were able to interact and get to know each other


“The participants were excited  although they struggled a bit with the sewing at first, but they enjoyed it. Some of the participants discovered their passion for sewing and are very much interested in taking it further as they learnt a lot about drawings, cutting and different kinds of stiches. I am happy about the study circle. I am still struggling as I never went to school but taught myself the sewing skills”.
“I learnt how to organize and facilitate. I also learnt about creating a learning environment and structure. To share knowledge through running a learning event”.