March 2013

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Capacity-building: A Continuous Learning Process

by fontes on 01/03/2013 No comments

During the six months of the first Core Course round, different capacity-building events took place at the Potentiam Youth Centre to increase the knowledge and skills of both facilitators and students.

The benefit of capacity-building is widely accepted all around the globe: It is the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes in individuals and groups which are important to improve the smooth running of an organisation.
It is against this background to further empower its staff that the Potentiam Youth Development Centre and the management of Fontes Foundation realised that capacity-building is a very useful tool to increase the skills and knowledge of its staff and students and that it should be done on a monthly basis.
Some of the topics that have been covered for the student capacity-buildings include sexual health with Dr. Solomon Kamba of Case Clinic, general sanitation and use of the Eco San facilities at the Youth Centre with William Barigye of Fontes Foundation, current investment trends with Muhoozi Martin of The Investment Club, and an off-to-work preparation session with Cecilie Don Wallebeck of Kyambogo University.

The staff capacity-building topics include lesson planning with Robert Seruhogi, which is himself member of staff at the youth centre, teaching through games with Cecilie Don Wallebeck of Kyambogo University and effective communication skills with Alex Mukiibi of the Human Resource Consult.
What impacts did the capacity-buildings have on the staff and students? A small survey was done to find some answers to that question. Participants with different functions within the Potentiam Youth Centre have been asked for their opinion about the capacity-building events. The reactions were overall very positive, people liked this format of learning something new and the knowledge gain seems to be high. By going away from the classical form of teaching towards a more interactive and innovative one, students and facilitators seem to profit more, because they remember those events as something extraordinary. Like that, skills and knowledge seems to be easier gained and memorised than in the traditional way of learning.

I never realized that baking could be done without an oven until we actually did it practically during the off-to-work capacity building. The current investment trends capacity building was also a very big eye opener for me because it helped me to realize that I have only been working towards being employed and expecting a salary, even though my options are actually more than this. I have learned that I can use already existing resources to generate an income as I wait for a job. – Stella Mirembe, Core course Student

My biggest benefit from the capacity buildings was the one on effective communication. I never realized before that communicating effectively also involves that the message which I am sending has to be received and correctly interpreted. Now that I know this, I always make sure to confirm that my message has been delivered an understood by the intended recipient. I learned that when writing emails it is very important for the subject to reflect the content of the email and to use short simple sentences that are straight to the point. This makes my work much simpler. – Denis Sebugwawo, Administrative Assistant

The capacity building sessions have helped me to touch base with the students while gaining their trust. I am using more games and interactive sessions in my teaching methods. It has made both the students and myself more confident when expressing ourselves. I also learned that there have to be certain boundaries between the facilitator and the students which have to be defined. With the effective communication skills capacity building, I have noticed changes in both myself and my fellow facilitators and the way we communicate to our superiors and amongst ourselves. It is amazing how knowing something as simple as how to send a text message or write an email can make such a big difference. – Gillian Niwemukiza, ICT facilitator

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fontesCapacity-building: A Continuous Learning Process