Since travelling to Bangalore India in May 2014 to help launch the McGuire Programmes brand new region, I’ve been back seven times to instruct the McGuire Programme courses and to help people who stutter take back control of their speech and achieve a better quality of life just like I did back when I joined the program.
My first journey to India was a real honour. To think of the journey I’d been on since joining the McGuire Programme and the struggle I had communicating with the world. Now being invited to the other side of the world to help other people who stutter develop skills to speak and communicate eloquently and say the things they want without feeling scared and panicked.
It was an honour to get to kick start the new region for the McGuire Programme in India. Having spent over 12 years on the programme in the UK, attending additional refresher courses, helping to organise support group meetups and Improvement Days for the UK region of the programme, I have built up a wealth of experience and knowledge so taking this to India was an absolute joy.
Getting to India was an experience in itself. Having to organise time off work, apply for visas, overcome jet lag and of course, be careful what I consumed (eating and drinking). Unfortunately, I wasn’t careful enough on my first trip, but that’s another story!
Every course I instructed in India over the last six years has helped between 5 and 15 new participants with many more returning for follow-up refresher courses to top up their speaking skills and techniques. I’m always amazed at the stories and backgrounds I hear from new students in India, a real inspiration to myself and others, some of the new students travelled from far away places such as Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bangladesh to attend courses.
I’ve experienced numerous McGuire Programme courses worldwide and a course is pretty much the same the world over with subtle changes to suit the local cultures and languages (plus the personality of the instructor of course). India has 22 official languages and over 1600 mother tongues in use, it could have been very difficult to cater for everyone, but thankfully, every participant I have met has spoken English beautifully so thankfully there weren’t any issues language-wise.
Since the inaugural India course back in May 2014, I’ve witnessed this McGuire programme India Region go from strength to strength with graduate members going for Voluntary Staff Training to become coaches themselves, thereby giving back something to the programme in order to continue the ‘cycle of help’.
After all, I believe that the McGuire Programme is a ‘super support network’ of people who stutter helping people who stutter.
I am very proud to hear about our program’s worldwide coaching network volunteering to take new students from the Indian Region under their wings. Not only during a course but also to help guide them for the first 6 to 12 months after their first McGuire Course. I know they will be giving the new students; time, experience and a passion to grow and become strong, eloquent speakers. I am privileged to have been by their side during the first few days of making disclosures to family and friends, their work colleagues. Part of my coaching is to motivate them to make the practice phone calls and street contacts and, of course, to be there for them when things don’t go quite the way they hoped. We’ve all been there including myself, which is why the McGuire Programme is so different.
I am happy to say that the McGuire Programme India now has hundreds of members, scores of coaches and one of the programme’s highest success rates. Why is that you might ask? Well, it’s because of the dedication and determination of all of its members. From the Regional Director to the coaches and graduate members who work tirelessly to overcome their stuttering.