On 7 July 2020, the African Jesuit AIDS Network began a series of training with the theme, Community Empowerment during COVID-19 and Beyond. This was online tutoring for members of the network crafted to help enhance knowledge capacity to deal with COVID-19 and similar problems that may emerge in the future in Africa.

25 people benefited from the first day of training which was administered by Dr. Paschalia Mbutu, an expert in African Women Studies, and Dominic Syuma, a counseling psychologist. Both trainers have diverse experience in social work and community mobilization, besides being in academics at the Tangaza University College, in Nairobi Kenya. Their joint presentation kicked off on a note of ‘leaving nothing to chance’, as they initiated detailed introductions critical to the forum.

Besides getting to know one another and easing into the meeting, thorough introductions enabled us to identify ‘resource people’ and we were able to decipher how we can empower one another.

The training covered various other aspects such as; the need to see potential in people, the need for a proper understanding of training methodology such as active participation of others, enabling the community to own discussions but also using strategy, indicators of community sustainable development, and giving and receiving feedback.

Ultimately, the training aimed to enable beneficiaries to identify ‘small way’ opportunities that can sustain them during this period of COVID-19 and beyond as the title indicates. The need for training was born by thought-provoking engagement of the members of the African Jesuit AIDS Network seeking appropriate ways of dealing with the challenges of the new virus. The research activity will also be undertaken as part of a wider reach and plan.

  For more information please visit the AJAN website {HERE}