Friday, February 3, 2012

Trainees end session optimistically

Truly education has got no end I can say, From January, 30 to Feb, 3, I joined my fellow media editors, sub editors, journalists and journalism lecturers from different institutions at Tanzania Global Development Learning Centre (TGLC) for internet uses training.
The training was geared towards exposing participants to more sophisticated techniques of using internet in undertaking their journalistic activities especially in journalistic researches through the internet and the appropriate sources of information in Africa and worldwide at large.
Indeed, the training was fantastic as it was well organized, practically oriented and run by experienced trainers involving Mr. Peik and Mjengwa.
I appeal to you that I have grasped a lot of techniques however that I need more time to practice for my own.
Really, the training has exposed me into new and basic techniques which would be very useful in executing my duties at my media house. Importantly, I am certain that the knowledge I have gained won’t end up in me but rather I will strive to pass it to my colleagues who didn’t attend the training.
However, for the sake of some improvement in the future, I would recommend the following things that need to be taken into consideration; Training period be extended as the training encompassed a lot of aspects but we were compelled to go fast in order to cope with the schedule, Working facilities be improved in this case, the internet connections as sometimes participants failed to follow the directives by the trainer as the network was down and also the organizers can look how can they increase the number of participants as perhaps more media houses would like to participate for their betterment.

The world is not fare: While others are looking for ways to spend money, these children could hardly make their ends meet through searching for left overs at different dump sites 
Huu ni umri wa kusoma au kufanya kazi!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Most occupied day of training

Today’s training started with busy one hour of accomplishing the assignment left to participants by the trainer yesterday which kept busy all the participants. Unlike other days when participants had time to gossip, today each participant was busy and didn’t secure any chance to speak to each other until tea and lunch breaks.
Despite failure by the participants to accomplish the assignment within an hour, Mr. Peik resumed today’s programmes as per time table. The training today started with two aspects including plagiarism and copyright matters whereas the participants and the trainer explored broadly the implication and impacts of plagiarism and copyright matters in journalism.
In its course, the session was interrupted by a visit by Mr. Jussi Nummelin, the Second Secretary and Political Affairs Officer at the Embassy of Finland in Dar es Salaam. Definitely Mr. Nummelin came at the right moment as he contributed considerably in the hot debate that prevailed in the session. I managed to grasp two important points in his explanations, as he said,
“Internet is the only place where things are happening nowadays and you can’t resist it. Thus criticism to the source is so important considering that in the internet anybody can publish any rubbish he wishes to.”
His words appealed much to me as they seemed to summarize the whole today’s programme if not the training before he joined us in a nice breakfast and left.
After the breakfast, Mr. Peak went further to expose us into uncountable number of local and international websites where we can access enormous materials of our choice.

Journalists exposed to research via internet

Wednesday, February, 1, served as the epicenter of the internet training to Bongo Editors. Actually it was as the training dwelled much time in internet uses in everyday journalism. Our trainer, Mr. Peak exposed us into the effective uses of internet in undertaking journalistic activities.
It featured how to do journalism research via internet particular the techniques of finding useful information in the internet including important questions to bear in mind before venturing into the activity of searching for information as well as the suggested tips for effectively information search.

Need to embrace Prof. Maathai’s perspective

The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations.”
These are words by the late Prof. Wangari Maathai in the course of execution of her perspective of conserving the environment.
Prof. Maathai was a successful African Woman whose great achievements prove wrong the widely conceived notion by most African societies that to educate a girl is to enrich another family to which a girl would be married afterwards.
In the past most African families preferred to educate sons to their daughters as they saw that educating a girl was useless and wastage of resources.
On the wake of the significant roles played by women in the society, African families are now educating both males and females.
But Prof. Maathai was among few African women who managed to secure education during a very difficult period amid deep rooted syndrome that discouraged educating women.
Education background
In 1966, she earned a masters degree at the University of Pittsburgh and returned to Kenya and worked with the University of Nairobi-School of Veterinary Medicine where she developed her career and in 1971, she received a Ph.D and thus making the first African woman to chair a department at the University and to be appointed a Professor as well.
After many years of schooling, there reached a period for Prof. Maathai to reap what she had sawn. In the next years Prof. Maathai became an active participant in a number of environmental and humanitarian organizations in Nairobi including the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK).
Alongside other activities, Prof. Maathai initiated a women’s Civil Society Organisation named Green Belt Movement (GBM) geared towards advocating for human rights and supporting good governance through environmental conservation.
The GBM was established in 1977 by Prof. Maathai and it initially started as tree planting programme meant to address the problems of deforestation, soil erosion, and scarcity of water but now is a fully empowering women. It has managed to achieve some of its goals including planting about more than 40 million trees throughout African continent and is targeting to plant 1 billion trees worldwide.
In executing her duties, Prof. Maathai achieved some of her ambitions that included stopping the construction of a skyscraper in Uhuru Park, ending the public land grabbing in Karura Forest, she also helped mothers of political prisoners and eventually freed 51 men who were held by the government.
Importantly, Prof. Maathai was elected an MP for Tetu constituency in Kenya and appointed by President Mwai Kibaki to be Deputy Minister for the Environment. In the 2007 post election violence, Prof Maathai acted as a mediator for peace, accountability and justice. She also played a very significant role in pressing for inclusion of the rights of all citizens to a clean and health environment in the constitutional making which bear fruits.  
Stumbling blocks
Right from her words that “Every person who has ever achieved anything has been knocked down many times. But all of them picked themselves up and kept going, and that is what I have always tried to do,” Prof. Maathai stumbled into blocks several times.
Together with her colleagues, she was repeatedly beaten, jailed, harassed and publicly disparaged by the Moi rule but she stood firmly and continued with her movements which afterwards made her a respectable women in Kenya and worldwide at large.
Awards and Honours
A saying that, ‘Give everyone his due’ proved to be evident when the international community recognized Prof. Maathai’s noble contribution and thus awarded her with several awards.
In 2004, Prof. Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work for sustainable development, democracy and peace.
Nevertheless, various governments bestowed on her the following honours; the order of the Rising Sun (Japan, 2009), the Legion D’ Honneur (France, 2006) and Elder of the Golden Heart and Elder of the Burning Spear (Kenya, 2004, 2003). She also received several other awards from organisations and institutions.
Unlike most Africans who are not accustomed to documenting their lives, Prof. Maathai documented her life, work and perspectives in four books that include; The Green Belt Movement (2003), Unbowed (2006), The Challenge for Africa (2008) and Replenishing the Earth (2010).
Prof. Maathai died in October last year and is survived by her three children and her granddaughter.
As it is widely accepted that, ‘People dies but ideas live’, people shall live to remember Prof. Maathai’s perspective and it could be wise if most people could embrace her approaches as she was always optimistic as her words suggests.
“I have always believed that, no matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for.”
We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!”