Lead implementing agency and international non-governmental organization, OXFAM, has collaborated with other implementing partners, with funding from the European Union to organize a three-day workshop for women in Kono, Koinadugu and Freetown on "advocacy and networking for women's empowerment training of trainers agenda" at the Coopi conference hall, Spur Road.
Some of the NGOs participating at the workshop include COOPI, Concern Worldwide, FAWE, SLYEO.
OXFAM country director, Emmanuel Gaima said advocacy was a critical element of the program as it has a lot of silent observations watching what seeds to grow. He said the issues were challenging as with advocacy it was sometimes difficult to capture the impact.
The country director further said that advocacy shifts the minds of the policy makers, and that they must not see it as challenging. "We must deliver our gains," he stressed, while congratulating the participants.
COOPI country director, Stephan said his organization was happy that there were participants from Kono, Koinadugu and Freetown participating in the workshop. He urged them to take the information received from the training to the people in their various communities.
Stephan declared the workshop open and called on the participants to make good use of the program.
Training consultants, Charlene Youssef gave a background, overview and objective of the workshop. The objective, he said, was to strengthen rural women's leadership, networking and capacity to promote women in leadership, advocacy action for an enabling local environment for women to enjoy their rights. He encouraged them to participate meaningfully in public and economic life and gain control over economic resources.
The participants are expected to know the contents of the manual, how to do the implementation, advocacy skills strategies, advocacy steps, networking and how to overcome barriers.
Speaking to the project coordinator of OXFAM, Inatuma Coomber, she said some of the things participants would learn include how to plan advocacy leadership outreach to the villages and communities.
She said the training would also raise the awareness that women should not be marginalized in decision making as some of them do shy away from leadership positions.
The project coordinator said that her organization has promoted women in the area of politics, in which they were able to succeed in Koinadugu district where about six women were able to win local council seats.
"We do a lot of sensitization and meet with the women down in the community," she said, pointing out some of the challenges like cultural barriers as a way of changing the perspective of people.
Some of the training that the participants would receive include leadership, barriers in women leadership, laying the foundation for and advocacy strategy, issues, goals and objectives.