SELF Project Passes on Social Media Activism Skills to Community Members in Two Day Training
Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), one of the leading LBTI organisations last week prearranged a social media training to equip members of the community under its SELF project. SELF Project is an initiative by FARUG focusing on equipping the youth in the LGBTI community with self-sustaining skills through both theoretical and practical skills.
The two day workshop held in the heart of Kampala attracted over 40 people from different LGBTI groups. In her opening remarks, FARUG Executive Director Joanita Ssenfuka Warry fondly referred to as Biggie by close associates, stressed that the workshop was to help the members present to acquire skills to further not only their careers but also activism work.
The training saw chief facilitator Eleas Mulshid, an executive communications officer take the group through the use of several social media platforms, social media management and how to effectively use these platforms for activism. The participants’ main concern appeared to be personal security while using social media; an issue the brilliant Mulshid tackled wonderfully. He elaborated on several ways and steps to ensure online presence security while using the various social media platforms.
Some of the social media platforms that were explored in detail include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, You Tube and Word Press. Undertaken in the same training was the use of surveys to conduct exclusive research, creation of events and issuing of online tickets for activism dealings and the conception of news letters to communicate to a target audience.
Speaking to the FARUG ED at the end of the two day workshop, she stressed that SELF project was put in place to equip the LGBTI community with various skills and hoped that by the end of the four ear project, most members would be able to communicate effectively, represent the community at the African Commission and other international parastatals as well as continue the advocacy work throughout the world.
Ms Warry said that they had achieved their target for the training as all content prepared had been covered and participants were highly involved both practically and in terms of devotion. She intimated that the SELF project was in the final stages of putting together a similar programme to tackle economic empowerment to give the community ideas on income generating projects as well as provide them with leadership skills.
On the problem of defeatism that greatly characterizes the LGBTI community, Ms Warry emphasized that the fight for inclusion in policy making and respect for LGBTI rights did not give members of the community an exclusive right to front their homosexuality or use it as reason to be a nuisance in society.
Understandably, she continued, some people’s sexual orientation and gender identity has affected their chances of employment and the SELF project would provide skills and ideas for self-employment and other income generating concepts.
At the end of the training, our reporter talked to a few participants and they shared their thoughts on the two day workshop.
Tina; I am grateful to SELF project for this great initiative because now I know how to stay secure while going about my activism work. Online security was the most exciting topic for me.
Leila Burns, an ardent gay rights defender; Personally, I lacked information on several applications that can help me in my work as an artist. I have a Twitter account but didn’t know how to fully utilize it. I must admit I have also gained a lot of knowledge on how to carry out my activism work without compromising my safety.
Bob; As an activist, I have learnt a lot on how to secure my data and this will help me in my advocacy work. We can now pass on the skills we acquired to other members of the community.
Iryn; The training has been very informative and I will endeavor to pit everything I have learnt to use.