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Mothers' Union leaders join together for Communications Training

Equipping our members in talking about the amazing work they are doing for Mothers’ Union is one of the aims of the Communications team here at Mary Sumner House.

06 Nov 2018

With this in mind, Sophia Jones, our Senior Communications Manager, and Rachael Anderson, Events and Digital Media Manager, recently led Communications workshops in Nairobi (Sophia) and for Canterbury Province (both).

The aim of the three day workshop in Nairobi was to equip those who attended with the knowledge and skills on how to tell the stories of the work they are doing more effectively. The group was made up of Diocesan and Provincial Presidents and Community Development Coordinators, some of whom were already tasked with being responsible for the Communications of their respective provinces and dioceses. More than 40 came from a South Africa, Ghana, Madagascar, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Cameroon, Burundi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Sophia was joined by three Communications colleagues from various Anglican organisations in Africa who assisted her throughout the workshop – John Ndeta, Communications Manager for CMS Africa, Guy Nasasagare, Communications Manager from the Anglican Church of Burundi and Dixon Andiwa, Communications Officer at Anglican Development Services.

The interactive programme was full, but also fun and practical. Day one covered topics such as: What is Communications?  Who do you want to communicate to? How to do a good interview, writing case studies, Social Media, how to take good pictures, talking to the media. The group spent the second day in pairs, or threes, interviewing each other and writing up those interviews into case studies and stories. On day three they each presented their stories and photos to the rest of the group. Sophia and team providing constructive feedback.

“Communications and telling stories comes easily to us as Communications professionals because it’s what we do every day. Some of us are trained journalists and it’s our passion,” says Sophia, who has been working in the field of Communications for international charities for 26 years. “However, I know that if it’s not something you’re used to doing, it may not come so easily. That’s why training is important.  I am so proud of all those that took part. Many stepped outside of their comfort zones and embraced new skills. They left excited about,” she continues.

Veronica Obemah Odoom is Communications and IT Leader in Ghana. She is also Secretary to the Diocesan President of Kumasi, Hannah Quansah.   She thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learned a lot, “I felt that the whole workshop was meant for me because at first I didn’t know there were even core questions you needed to ask when picking information from people to write stories. But now I know that I must gather information based on asking What? Who? When? How? Why? Where? I used to gather nice stories but I didn’t use the right context and would be misinformed. Thanks so much for opening my eyes to a new aspect of communication,” she said.

Later in October, Sophia and Rachael spent the afternoon with Diocesan Presidents from Canterbury Province. Rachael shared her insights and knowledge of Social Media and how best they can use it. Provincial President, Nicki Sweatman said of the training, “Everyone has said that it was all very informative, and even those who were struggling with Social media are talking about asking for help to get themselves 'online'. They were much encouraged to 'have a go' at a quick interview and being given tips (one of them said 'Tips from the top').”