‘We cannot say enough about this!’ These are the words that seem to escape from the twitching lips of excited staff as they march out of the training room on the 15th of May this year. It has been a long day for everyone here, but people are happy.  From an angle, you will notice small groups of excited peers chatting off the day’s experience. This is merely an aftermath of the long awaited communications training at ACFODE headquarters.

“We shall not be perfect but let us be open to learning. And let us be as open as possible when seeking clarity, for the benefit of those who are here and for personal use.”

These words, as echoed by the Executive Director of Action for Development (ACFODE) during her opening remarks at the event, come to you just a few days away from the training workshop that was!  After over a period of one year and so, the ACFODE staff, in a bid to improve organizational stability and productivity through better communication skills, sought out for refresher training in a comprehensive workshop on communication skills applicability. The training, organized by the Public Relations’ Department with support from We Effect East Africa, under a health improvement project dubbed ‘Rapid Response to Epidemic Outbreaks, hosted 30 staff to the session. Seven ( 7) of these were field staff, while the twenty one (21) were headquarter staff.

During the one day session moderated by Ms. Sandra Nassali – the Public Relations & Communications Specialist at the organization’s headquarters, participants were engaged in a number of facilitated sessions on topics like: basic writing skills, success story gathering, email etiquette, inter and intra personal communication, result based reporting, qualitative and quantitative reporting plus a session on monitoring and evaluation.

Among others, staff were handled by, Mr. Marlon Agaba, who is  currently working as a Communications’ Specialist, with the African Network for the Protection and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect plus Ms. Milly Tiwanje a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant  as well as members of the Public Relations department.

Amidst hands on sessions, lectures, demonstrations, skits and heart-cracking jokes, participants in this training, confessed that they left the training room better communicators as expressed by Ms Happy Ainomugisha during a one to one session with Ms. Sherinah Namata, the Public Relations and Communications’ Assistant for the organization.

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Some of the staff performing a skit during the training.

“I was taking communications for granted. I did not know how important one’s physical appearance could count in communication. This is something that I got to learn during the session on non-verbal communication while in today’s training. In my emails, I have always been interested in the subject I am passing on, rather than the language or the packaging of that subject. Now I know, that someone out there can tell whether I am shouting or crying or simply stating something, in an email.” Happy Ainomugisha- Programs Assistant, Human Rights and Governance Department.

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 Ms.Happy Ainomugisha- Programs Assistant, Human Rights and Governance Department shares her experience during an interview with PR Department’s Sherinah Namata.

Ms Asaba-Juliana, the organization’s Administrative Secretary, commended the department for the platform given- which enabled her, for the first time to engage in an activity with her work mates. She warms up to memories of the skit sessions and wishes that more of such trainings will be availed for staff.

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Staff feeling refreshed -a day after the training.

In a nut shell, the training that was aimed at acquainting staff with knowledge on online communication and its etiquette; emails and social media, holding effective peer to peer communication. marketing the organization and oneself, managing stress and routine, handling effective communication under crises as well as providing basic skills on writing articulate and excellent reports, is noted to have been a timely venture that will extol staff and ACFODE as an organization, on top of all other advocacy organizations in the country. With the staff refreshed and rejuvenated, we cannot afford to wait but rather, open our arms to receive the brand new ACFODE team.

Sherinah Namata

Public Relations and Communications’ Assistant.

snamata@acfode.org

Communications and Basic Public Relation Skills as Key Success Tools in an Organization

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