[Sierra Leone – 13 September 2023] From the 4th to the 8th of September 2023, a transformative event unfolded in the heart of Freetown, Sierra Leone. The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), in partnership with Change the Game Academy with support from Wilde Ganzen, and the Ford Foundation implemented a five-day training programme under the Change the Game Academy Programme. The focus of this impactful gathering was “Mobilising Support (Advocacy for Change).”
With a dedicated team of four seasoned facilitators from WACSI, the training aimed to equip 18 participants from nine civil society organisations with a comprehensive skill set to drive change effectively and sustainably through advocacy and policy influencing.
The training was a multifaceted journey, encompassing a wide array of topics critical for effective advocacy work.
Participants delved into areas such as problem identification and analysis, mobilising support tactics, mind mapping, rich picture creation, stakeholder mapping, decision-making and policy processes, stakeholder engagement, stakeholder influence, power dynamics, and mobilising support principles. Participants described the training to be enriching and empowering. To most of them, the experience was interactive, educative and the first of its kind to some. The training was far from being a passive experience, as it incorporated practical sessions, engaging presentations, and collaborative group work to ensure a deep understanding of the subject matter.
As the curtains fell on this remarkable five-day journey, the impact it left behind was palpable. Participants were not only equipped with knowledge but also inspired to take their advocacy efforts to new heights.
In the words of Lewis French from the Centre of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty Alleviation, “Thank you WACSI and the team, for your impact on us throughout the 5 days of training. I wasn’t sure the training would meet my expectations earlier, but I was wrong, as the training exceeded my expectations. The Advocacy for Change training was educative and interactive. I’ll use this knowledge and skills to build my advocacy capacity and extend the knowledge to my organisation.”
Musah Khalil Koroma, Executive Director of the Global Youth Network for Empowerment & Development, echoed a similar sentiment. “This five-day training is the most valuable experience I have had in the entire year. A significant transformation is taking place; there’s absolutely a 360-degree shift in our mindset and approach.”
Participants extended gratitutde to WACSI for this training opportunity. They committed to make use of the knowledge, skills and new advocacy tools and approaches learned at the training.
“I want to direct my immense appreciation to WACSI and their team for their tremendous knowledge that impacted us as organisations during the five-day training programme, we are hoping that this knowledge will be replicated adequately as expected. Once again thank you”, said Abu Bakarr Amara, from the Movement towards Education and Youth Empowerment in Sierra Leone.
The training was more than just an educational experience; it was a catalyst for change. Participants left Freetown with not only enhanced skills but also a renewed sense of purpose in their advocacy work. WACSI, in its commitment to strengthening civil society in West Africa, continues to be at the forefront of empowering change-makers. The impact of this training will undoubtedly ripple through the region, driving positive change and shaping the future of advocacy for years to come.
The training can be taken online by visiting www.changethegameacademy.org