Category Archives: Rwanda

Blogger Training in Rwanda

The Albertine Rift project has been running for close to two years now. Most of the bloggers who received the first training have always expressed a need for a refresher course or advanced blogging. As part of the project activities, and boosting the close working relationship with our partners on the ground, the WildlifeDirect Albertine Rift project team is in the field again.

The team travelled from Nairobi on Sunday the 8th to Kigali, Rwanda. The training started yesterday with the ACNR (Albertine Rift Birds blog) members taking part. There has been a technical gap in the organization as the officers who received the first training have so far moved from the organization. To avoid this in future, the chief executive officer of ACNR was among the trainees this time.

Enoch explaining blogging tips

The trainees demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm and it is our honest feeling that they are a better group who feel that the project is adding value to their conservation endeavors. They woke up very early in the morning to take part in polling for the presidential elections which were taking place and then came for the training. With their technical problems solved we believe they will now be posting on their blog regularly.

We as WildlifeDirect feel very excited to be conducting this skills transfer exercise, for the love of Mother Nature. The team is visiting the rest of the partner organizations in the Albertine Rift countries for next one week, conducting similar capacity improvement courses.

By Enoch & Victor

Training of New WildlifeDirect Bloggers Debuts in Kampala, Uganda

The MacArthur Foundation-funded Albertine Rift project shifted gear on 24 March 2009 as WildlifeDirect organized the first ever wildlife blogger training in Kampala, Uganda. It was revolutionary in many ways. Many of the participants not having blogged before, they were quite keen to learn all they could about this experience.

Victor in Kampala

Victor explains a point

The training was attended by various individuals representing the civil society as well as governmental organizations in environment and conservation during the two days that it was conducted. They included representatives of the Albertine Rift conservation Society, the Uganda Nile Discourse Forum, Makerere university, Wildlife Clubs of Uganda, the Uganda Environmental Education Foundation, the country’s wildlife authority, Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Kikandwa Environmental Association, and several community-based organisations.

The training took the form of a day of lectures and practical activities, the first step introducing the new bloggers to the WordPress dashboard and how to use it to create a blog post and the second step teaching how to blog well. Victor Ngeny took the trainees through the initial step which was done in an interactive manner allowing the trainees to practice what they learn in real time. No wonder a few of their mock-up blog posts showed up in Baraza and caused a little confusion.

Samuel Maina would then take over the next session which, as interactive as the first one, would teach the new bloggers the elements of a good blog post and how to improve their writing so that they can attract and retain readers. They were also taught how to frame their calls for action such that they were credible and likely to elicit positive response from the readers.

Trainees in UG Day 1

Participants during a practical exercise

Masumi Gudka, who would first introduce each training session, would mostly introduce the new bloggers to WildlifeDirect as an organization and prepare the bloggers for what to some would be a lifetime experience. The participants would also be shown a short video, featuring non other than the Dr Richard Leakey, that explained what WildlifeDirect does.

Amid the tasty teas and open interactions between the training team and the trainees, a new and huge thing was developing. We were building a new community of conservationists from one of the most biodiverse ecoregions in Africa: The Albertine Rift. You can expect to read from the new bloggers we trained soon. Expect good quality posts.

Kampala participants of WildlifeDirect training

Some of the participants pause for a group photo

FromĀ  Kampala, the trainers headed to Buhoma, the southwestern Uganda district where the world renowned Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located. The experience there was different. Being rural and close to a national park – with gorillas in it – the experience must definitely be so much different from that in Kampala City. That is why I will tell you about this experience tomorrow.