Kenya | VCA Movement | SouthSouthNorth

The power of personal connections

During August, SSN VCA local partners Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) and the Pan African Media Alliance for Climate Change (PAMACC), in collaboration with communication teams from the Slum Dwellers International (SDI) facilitated a three-day communications training workshop at the Summit Hotel in Siaya from 28th - 30th August 2023.

The workshop aimed to build capacity and enhance communication and knowledge management, enabling 57 VCA community climate change champions and local partners from Siaya, Kisumu, and Kisumu Counties in Nyanza region to document and disseminate information on locally shaped solutions. During the three days, participants connected with each other through learning and sharing their work. Presentations were given by SSN, SDI, PAMACC, Women Empowerment Link, SUSWATCH, CUTS, Siaya Muungano Network, WEL and Muungano wa Wanavijiji on topics such as Why Communications matter in VCA, Why media is important and Mobile journalism.



Over the three days, participants learned why communications matter in VCA, why media is important, and about mobile journalism. They also learned techniques for using their mobile phones to capture images for storytelling, how to use Canva to design Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) posts, and how to develop skits for alternative and engaging messaging using their mobile devices. At each of these sessions, attendees were divided into groups and given assignments where they could practice what they had learned.


A practice design shared by one of the participants with a quote from a fellow attendee


Some found these assignments challenging as they either didn’t have mobile devices or didn’t have smartphones with good camera and video capabilities. The other challenge was that not all had access to a computer or a laptop. To enable everyone to engage in the assignments, those who could, shared their laptops or phones with those who did not have one. To me, this showed the willingness of the participants to help and support each other. Later, I was approached by community leads to consider sponsoring laptops or computers for those without so that the training didn’t go to waste.




The workshop closed with participants eager to take their learnings forward and showcase their work in VCA. What I enjoyed most about being in Siaya, was meeting such interesting people and connecting with those at the grassroots level. Communicating on a personal level makes attending these workshops worthwhile. One can never underestimate the power of personal connections.


By Karen Morris – SouthSouthNorth

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