By Judy Mwongela
Africa Solutions Media Hub on January 9,2023 conducted an Impact Storytelling training for staff and field workers from Medical Missions Africa (MeMA) in a session held in Nairobi, Kenya.
This is part of the organization’s Impact Mashinani Initiative that is meant to equip Community Based Organisations with impact storytelling skills, empowering them to better tell their social impact stories.
The session was held at Grace Hill Church in Kikuyu town as a step towards impactful storytelling by the missionaries drawn from MeMA. Special attention was given to how to tell compelling social impact stories while observing media ethics.
MeMa is a non-profit Christian organisation comprising medics and other professionals committed to offering healthcare and livelihood empowerment to the poor and marginalised people in Africa through medical camps, anti FGM campaigns and health clinics.
The organisation is also involved in mobilisation for Christian mission work which entails offering volunteer opportunities to professionals to reach out to different communities through their different expertise. For over 15 years, MeMA’s work has reached out to over 180 ,000 patients through medical camps and works of evangelism.
“We have set up camps in different places within and outside the country offering free medical services, capacity development and missionary support. Our outreach team serves in Tana River, Garissa, Makueni, West Pokot and South Sudan,” said Francis Kimathi, Operations officer Medical Missions Africa.
According to Kimathi, the social impact storytelling session offered by Africa Solutions Media Hub cut across effective storytelling, media regulations and ethics, conducting interviews and utilizing social media as a tool to tell impact stories among others.
“We have had a profound impact on the communities we’ve reached out so far. But we’ve not gotten a chance to properly showcase this impact. The training on storytelling will not only enable us to openly narrate those stories but also enable us to do it in a way that makes us visible to a wider audience. Besides, if we properly narrate our impact, there is a chance to attract possible partners believing in our course and expand our networks,” added Kimathi.
For Judy Lumumba, a field operation Officer based in Sala ,Tana River County, the session gave her a different perspective in telling the immense stories of women she serves in the Sala community.
“I like telling stories of women not only in my community but globally as well. The session was an eye opener as I learned more than I did when I pursued a journalism course in university. The aspect of utilising the digital platforms available was a very interesting bit in the session. And I would love to have a go at it to reach out to other women out there who I know would be interested in skill development especially in rural and marginalised communities. And that’s what I love to do,” says Lumumba.
Lilian Kaivilu, Social Impact Storytelling trainer and co-founder at Africa Solutions Media Hub urged the trainees to apply the highest standards of confidentiality and privacy while collecting stories in the field. “As our editorial policies outline, we are keen to ensure that we hold the highest standards of media ethics as stipulated by the Media Council of Kenya’s Code of Conduct for the practice of journalism in Kenya. We, thus,urge you to apply these tools in your content creation.
Africa Solutions Media Hub’s Impact Mashinani programme seeks to equip Community Based Organisations with impact storytelling skills in a bid to empower them to tell their social impact stories. “We impart skills on how CBOs can use Own Media eg their own Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube etc to reach out wider audience. We also impact them with skills on how best to package news and information for mainstream media. We also use our media expertise and our team of reporters to write about and amplify the positive work these CBOs are doing and what impact they are having to the communities they serve.”
James Mwaniki is also a missionary with MeMA and serves as a field officer in East Pokot. He offers sewing classes to the women in that community. Through the project, the participants have been able to make a living out of sewing clothes, with some opening sustainable businesses. Mwaniki hopes to tell impactful stories of his trainees and their achievements in order to amplify the solutions and successes.
“The skills taught in today’s session have been really helpful to me and I intend to work on sharpening them. I intend to follow up on some potential stories soon as I already know how to identify those that are worthwhile courtesy of today’s session,” he concludes.