Training Workshop on Social Mobilization for Communicators

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By Michael Liswaniso OSHAKATI The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, with the financial support from the Global Fund Programme, has launched a five-day training workshop on Social Mobilization for Communicators. The workshop is currently underway in Oshakati, in the Oshana Region. The training workshop, which is targeting communicators and human resources practitioners, aims at equipping participants with basic knowledge about social mobilization on HIV/AIDS themes, among them the roles of communicators in social mobilization, media reporting on the scourge and behavioural change communications. The workshop is being facilitated by Fednedy Kabunga, who is assisted by Elizabeth Kalambo M’ule, Bastian Swartz, Rachel Basirika and Brain Goercke, among others. More than 30 officers from all corners of the regional offices of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as other agencies within the Ministry are participating. The workshop has been broken into two phases. The second phase will kick off next Monday with a different group of participants. The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Raphael Dinyando, opened the workshop and spent the day as a participant. In his opening speech, he strongly emphasized the need for communication which, he said, is very vital for most developmental efforts. “For developmental goals to be achieved, there is a need for communication, and communication requires different angles and commitment,” he said with specific reference to social mobilization on HIV/AIDS in current efforts to alleviate the scourge. Dinyando urged all participants to pay attention to the facilitators and to grasp the knowledge availed, for ploughing back into their respective constituencies so that they will be able to mobilize them socially. He stressed that, for any form of development to be achieved, communicators and people involved in human resources should always be in the forefront. “As communicators, we must be social and simple, and then people will understand us better,” he stated. He, however, singled out alcohol and drug abuse as some of the major challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but was quick to point out that with continuous sharing of information, there should be change and education; hence the need for the training workshop. The deputy minister also cited malaria and tuberculosis as other major challenges in the country which he said are also major developmental issues in need of attention as well, just like HIV/AIDS. The workshop ends on Friday, and all participants will be honoured with certificates.