First NGO – Student meeting

Dear reader,

We still have to tell you about the fantastic get-together we organized last Friday. As you probably know, while Leen, Ann-Sofie and Olivier have been giving computer training to some 40 students and professors from Buhare CDTI and Arusha University, Sebastiaan and Charlotte have been teaching a group of representatives from different local NGOs in the Afrilux hotel.

In the NGO class, we have people from organizations as diverse as Women in Development (WID), TUPENDANE (focusing on income generation for women through producing clothes and other products), Victoria Farming and Fishing organization (VIFAFI), the Tanzania Red Cross Society, the ”JIPE MOYO!” CENTRE FOR COUNSELING, TRAINING & VULNERABLE CHILDREN, African Inland Church Tanzania (AICT), People’s Education Group (PEDGO), Musoma Disabled Group (empowering people with a disability), Global Resource Alliance (GRA), UWASAMU (Umoja wa Wafanybiashara wa Samaki Musoma, focussing on gender based violence in the fishing community)… just to name a few, because in total we have about 15 different NGOs following our IT-training.

These NGOs are involved in a great number of local issues and their activities go from fighting gender marginalization and injustice (female genital mutilation is still a big problem in this area) to reducing poverty in the fishing communities around Lake Victoria and from training young women to make and sell dresses to raising awareness about women’s and children’s rights.

The IT Training for the NGOs aims to support the use of computers for their organisation (presentations skills, writing reports, using internet to communicate with to the public and stakeholders, develop training materials, etc.). Meanwhile the students also recieve IT training and we gave them the challenge to make a viable business plan for a fictional NGO, using the tools provided in their training, and present it to the NGOs by the end of the training.

So on a sunny Friday morning, we packed our ENTIRE class and ourselves into two vans and drove to the Buhare Community and Development Training Institute and University of Arusha campus. The NGOs presented their organizations to the group of 40 students: their vision, mission, activities and achievements as well as their model for a sustainable organization.

The NGOs applied their acquired presentation skills and self-made slides to give the presentations – followed by a Q&A session (organized as a form of speed dating). It was a great opportunity for the NGOs to present themselves, introduce their organization and show off some of their slide making skills (brilliant animations and slide transitions were the favorites!). Also the students greatly appreciated the opportunity to hear from the NGOs and speak to the representatives one on one and ask all their questions about things as fundraising and practical organization of an NGO. As some of the participants remarked: “this was a great way of learning from each other, together”.

Needless to say, this was also a proud moment of for us trainers to see the fruits of our first week of training!