Saturday, November 2, 2019

Representatives of CSOs Brainstorm and Update Communication Skills


                          Participants representing different CSOs in workshop

Civil Society Organizations from Yaounde, Douala, Bamenda and Buea have attended a 2day Capacity Building workshop, in Communication at Hotel Azur, Yaounde on November 1st and 2nd 2019 to build and sharpen their skills in the field of communicating, pushing forward their agenda for easy public consumption.
Organized by Afro Leadership a Non Governmental Organization based in Yaounde partnering with Internews USA, is aimed at promoting Open Government Data, thereby restoring people's trust in their government by making governments more open and transparent. The workshop provides 15 participants with strong reasons why different communicators representing different institutions or CSOs, must re strategize their skills in communication. 

After Presenting the workshop’s objectives, participants were allowed to brainstorm on how much work had been done as far as communicating for a Civil Society Organization is concerned. Tackling modules on, brainstorming on public awareness, raising techniques, understanding and practices, brainstorming on civil society organizations strategies and messaging and workgroups created to work on fighting hate speech, encouraging voting and citizen engagement.

Being the second phase of the Cameroon Coalition in Digital Rights, Mr Kamdem Souop, an expert in the field of communications who has also being present since the inception of AfroLeadership, facilitates in the workshop with the use of videos, demonstrating how a single video of about 2minutes can be interpreted and used to achieve the intensions of a communicator, who has considered the professional ethics in communication and passing across the message.


              Mr Kamdem, facilitating on Public Awareness and Raising Techniques

The importance of Diction, the mastery in the choice of words used in a report creates an impact given the targeted audience, and if words are randomly chosen,   the objective will not be met. Mr Kamdem talks about the content of the message, the emotions that accompany it and if the message was understood or there was a better way of putting it for public consumption. He adds that it was important for communicators to professionally use every situation of life to pursue and achieve communication goals.

Mr Charlie M. Ngounu Leader of Afro Leadership, one of the Lead of Digital Rights Coalition, explains that it is important to know and protect Digital rights. 

“Digital rights are like Human rights but Human rights in the Digital space, if deprived of this right, your existence will not be as blissful as expected. We move to the digital space because we want to improve the way we live. Protecting digital rights today is a very critical issue because this is not like the offline space. If rights on the digital space is shut, you are digitally killed because most of our activities carried out offline are now digitalized and this calls for the need for these rights to be protected ”. Mr Charlie explains.
                                     Mr Charlie Ngounu, CEO AfroLeadership

He further explains using the example of the era when Cameroon experienced internet shutdown in 2016,  for about 3months and its effects on users. The world as a global village is linked with the use of internet and today, most part of the world are connected to it and depriving someone from his/her digital rights is also like depriving one of his human rights.

“The Digital Rights Coalition has received funding from Internews USA, to build capacities of its members on communication skills, especially in social communication, on how to use communication to transform environment and that is the goal we are trying to pursue here, applying it to the Digital Space.  We need to make everyone understand that protecting digital rights should be a universal quest, which is also a good opportunity to learn how to talk to different targets and different stakeholders. We need to know how clearly we need to build this kind of communication expertise, adapted and adjusted to kind of topic that we handle.”

Madam Sophie Ngassa, the Local Representative of Internews USA, in Cameroon, a Digital Rights Advocate and a stern activist, talks about the different techniques provided for participants in the workshop on communication, which are essential tools for the advocacy campaigns on digital rights to be successful.

                       Madam Sophie Ngassa, Local Representative of Internews
  
“Communication is a very Important tool that helps us to get our message to a wider Audience and  it will help us create the kind of impact we are expecting. Participants are here to get the different tools to use; like videos, reports which one can use to cause a social change in the work we are doing in advocacy. We are finding a way to articulate the course we are carrying out in our different organization”. She said
 
Participants focused on the objective of the workshop, and through an exchange with the facilitators of the workshop, shared ideas from their different civil society organizations to better shape their skills. Some of them were delighted about the intense work done by the facilitators and also saw the training in Communication skills timely. 


 Reverend Mbog Baya Jean, President of Mission Clarite, Consumer Association based in Yaoundé was positive about the skills and knowledge got from the workshop.

“Usually in our field we are defending the rights of consumers at many levels, so we use to communicate them in all that was necessary but before attending the workshop I had not been equipped with tools to communicate, to let people aware about what we are doing. For me the workshop has provided me with the tools I need to address consumers of my CSO”. Rev. Mbog Baya.

Yega Nelsa Nabila represents Value Health Africa, an NGO with head office in Bamenda, is happy to have attended a training to sharpen her co;;unication skills.
“I have learnt a lot on how to effectively communicate to create impact, Value Health Africa has been organizing event and producing videos for sensitization, and now from the workshop I have realized my flaws and I am happy to go back and make necessary corrections”. Miss Nelsa Nabila



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