Reflections on hosting a unique Voice Global Linking and Learning E-meet
by Joan Letting, Drylands Learning & Capacity Building Initiative, Linking and Learning Facilitator, Voice in Kenya
In October 2023, Drylands Learning & Capacity Building Initiative (DLCI) in Kenya had the incredible opportunity to host the Voice Global Linking and Learning E-meet. This unforgettable event brought together 33 participants from 11 countries, including the Netherlands, Indonesia, Philippines, Tanzania, Laos, Cambodia, Uganda, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, and Kenya. One unique thing about the e-meet is that it was a two-day event and for the first time there was a screening of the film ‘Natiir’ produced by Voice grantee partner, Aserwark.
As we reflect on this event, six key takeaways have stayed with us as a reminder of the meeting’s significance:
Lesson 1: Theme ‘magic’
In planning any event, it is crucial to choose a theme that goes beyond mere words, one that becomes an immersive experience. Our theme, “Lights, Camera, Action: Unlocking the Art of Film for Advocacy,” not only set the stage but also ignited a fire within us. It pulled at our heartstrings, unifying us as we embarked on a journey of collective empowerment. Experiences about how film is used for advocacy in different countries like Nigeria, Philippines and Indonesia were shared by the participants.
Lesson 2: Lights, camera, impact!
The first day of the event was marked by the screening of ‘Natiir,’ a cinematic masterpiece produced by Aserwark Productions, a Voice grantee partner. This film showcased the inspiring story of a young girl from a marginalised community, facing displacement, early marriage prospects, and betrayal in her educational journey. However, she persevered, setting her sights on reaching for the stars as Kenya’s first lady president. The screening of ‘Natiir’ was not simply a viewing; it was an emotional voyage that left a lasting impact on all of us.
Lesson 3: Global tapestry
On the second day of the e-meet, we had the privilege of hosting 33 exceptional participants from 11 diverse countries. Their varied voices and perspectives wove together a harmonious symphony, painting a beautiful global tapestry of experiences and ideas.
Lesson 4: The facilitation must flourish
The success of any event often rests on the shoulders of its facilitator. Fortunately, I had the honour of taking on this role, ensuring the seamless flow of the e-meet. Dynamic discussions, engaging icebreakers, and interactive activities helped maintain a vibrant energy throughout the event, fostering meaningful connections and stimulating insightful conversations.
Lesson 5: Time is of the essence
Respecting time as a valuable commodity is essential when organising any event. By meticulously crafting an agenda that honoured punctuality, we demonstrated our commitment to our participants’ schedules and obligations. This dedication to respecting time contributed to the overall success and satisfaction of the event.
Lesson 6: The eternal spark
An event extends beyond its immediate timeframe. We must always consider how the knowledge and connections formed during the e-meet can be nurtured and leveraged in the future. It’s not solely about the show; it’s about creating a lasting impact. By documenting learnings as in this article, we are also preserving information that can be used by other organisations. By thinking beyond the event’s horizon, we lay the foundation for future endeavours, ensuring an encore of growth and collaboration.
DLCI is the Voice national Linking and Learning Facilitator in Kenya. With each event, we strive to create our masterpiece—a symphony of learning and collaboration that surpasses the boundaries of any individual event. These valuable lessons serve as stepping stones, guiding us towards the creation of more enchanting and impactful experiences in the future. We invite you to stay tuned for our upcoming events, as we continue to weave magical moments into the tapestry of our shared journey.