It is always exciting for me to know that I am traveling to a part of the world that I have never been to. I start to imagine how life will be like, how the people dress, what they eat, how the weather will treat me and those kinds of things. This was the same exact experience I had when the year started to draw to a close because I knew that I will be traveling for a Comms Collective meet up to Watamu in early January come 2024.
My excitement at one point was mixed with feelings of anxiety, pressure and fear for the unknown but I did not allow that to ruin my moment. An opportunity for growth had presented itself.
As the communication department of A Rocha Uganda, we desired to grow in every sense of the word, we desired to be excellent at the work we do but there was not so much around us that made for this to be possible. I wanted to practically see how things are done in other AROs and to physically sit with somebody (specifically a practicing Comms person) who would tell me how things are and should be done.
The Comms training at A Rocha Kenya was the best starter of the year, it presented an avenue to learn and unlearn certain things, to openly express myself and there in receive guidance, to hear and be heard and to be taught (some of the things I had never known they existed), to me it was more than an answered prayer for my department.
Some of the things we tackled are but not limited to: building our websites using elementor & WordPress, e-news designs using mail chimp, branding and working with Flickr. We also got resources links to case studies, a filming guide and making a 60-second film.
During these 5 days, we had an opportunity to visit places where A Rocha Kenya works to see the amazing work and impact the team is creating in the community. I had so much to take back for my team in Uganda for example the nursery beds, kitchen gardens, residential facilities, increasing the base of our volunteers among other things. I cannot forget my experience of riding in a TUKU-TUKU.
This has been both a refreshing and learning moment for us all. It has also broken the barrier of space as we can now work easily and productively with people we have met before. I would say yes to more of these travels because again, my journalism background warrants for that.
A special thank you message to Jo Swinney and Dan Nolloth both from ARI Comms team for their exceptional skills and their willingness to share their knowledge and expertise with us. They labored to see that we make progress and that each one of us left satisfied. Thank you to all the ARK team for their hospitality and specifically to Alex Simiyu from A Rocha Kenya for endeavoring to share everything he knows with me.
By Mrs. Shanitah Nalukenge Mukisa,
Communications Officer, A Rocha Uganda.