Monday, November 15, 2010

Story Design Workshop Is Golden Opportunity For Cameroon

COL Cameroon Link Partnership Liaison Person Describes Story Design Workshop As Golden Opportunity For Cameroon
By Lebialem Community Radio

Executive Director of Cameroon Link, James Achanyi-Fontem, who doubles as the Commonwealth of Learning Partnership Liaison, has described the first radio story design workshop organised in Lebialem as a golden opportunity for the transformation of communities.
Achanyi-Fontem was speaking during the launching of Commonwealth of Learning pilot programme in Lebialem Division of the south west region of Cameroon last November 2 at Mariapolis Centre in Menji.
He thanked the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), through Charles Simbi and Gladson Makowa, who travelled all the way from Lilongwe, Malawi in East Africa to Cameroon to deliver the radio story design workshop content on “Mother and Child Health Care”.
He appreciated the presence of the Senior Divisional Officer for Lebialem’s representative, Moni Innocent Nanje, who accepted to preside over the official launching ceremony, while congratulating the Management of Lebialem Community Radio for accepting the challenge to host the workshop for behavior change communication, which remains a challenge in Cameroon.
The COL Cameroon Link partnership liaison lauded the participants, for leaving other activities to concentrate in the learning process and to serve their communities as volunteers for the promotion of healthy communities within Lebialem, the take off point of Commonwealth Open Distance Learning activities through Lebialem Community Radio.
Achanyi-Fontem announced that the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) signed a Contribution Agreement to support Cameroon Link, to facilitate the development, design and operationalisation of a Community Learning Programme on “Maternal and Child Health Care” in the Lebialem Division of Cameroon on the 30th August 2010 after a field study and evaluation of delivery impact.
He added that, the results and evaluation of the Lebialem Community Learning model will be shared widely in Cameroon, as reminded participant that the COL is an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education. The brain behind the media initiative in Vancouver, Canada is Ian Pringle, a Media Education Specialist, he revealed. He used the opportunity to extend the sincere thanks and gratitude of the entire staff of Cameroon Link to Ian Pringle and his collaborators in Vancouver, Canada for the trust, that led to the birth of the extension of Commonwealth of Learning to Cameroon.
Achanyi-Fontem told trainees, that COL’s Livelihoods and Health Sector aims at improving on the incomes, livelihoods and quality of life of communities and their members through new knowledge, skills and economic opportunities gained by the means of Open Distance Learning Tools and strategies.
The four initiatives, he went on, include Skills Development, Learning for Farming, Healthy Communities and e-Learning. As far as Healthy Communities is concerned, COL and Cameroon Link have a common interest in helping community organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and local public institutions to improve the health and well-being of their communities. The Healthy Communities approach focuses on health issues within a broader context of community development, dealing for example with issues such as “Maternal and Child Health Care, HIV/AIDS and Nutrition”.
Cameroon Link and Lebialem Community Radio, the two organizations concerned with the delivery of the programme will share information and promote cooperation, at both the activity level (interventions in the field) as well as with regard to policy, COL partnership liaison told the audience.
Areas of specific interest for collaboration in the Cameroon Link initiative include:
 Use of mobile technologies;
 Use of traditional media;
 Use of e-Health applications; and developing open and distance learning materials and programmes, both for healthcare intermediaries and citizens during a period of 12 months.
According to the statement of activities of Cameroon Link, COL's Healthy Communities initiative will demonstrate and document the use of media and other information and communication technologies for open and distance learning, and in particular, the use of community-based media by development groups for non-formal educational programming about livelihoods, health and other areas of community development; working closely with COL and designated partners and consultants like the Malawi Story Workshop specialists, in all aspects of the project.
Cameroon Link is guiding a range of local public, private and civil society stakeholders in the development of new participatory learning programmes about community health, one that reflects the key elements of COL's community learning model, namely a combination of educational radio content with face-to-face interactions and learner support, with a clear linkage to community mobilisation and action.
Cameroon Link has identified output and outcome indicators which assist in the collection of baseline data, establishing a consortium of partner groups working in media, maternal and child health care, and identifying at least 1,000 direct learners reached through complementary face-to-face means and 20,000 active listeners in Lebialem.
Cameroon Link worked closely with the COL-designated training facilitators and local partners to organize the five-day radio programmes design workshop that resulted to the production of our samples of episodes ready for broadcast at the end of the training.
Cameroon Link is continue to ensure the execution of the community learning programme, including at least 30-60 minutes of original weekly radio content, associated to face-to-face learning support for the next twelve months starting from November 2010.
Two key learning technologies, including using video shows for community support groups, mobile telephones to increase learner interactivity and to provide additional information to learners, computers to assess learning achievements, etc are integrated for execution of the programme.
Cameroon Link and Lebialem Community Radio are developing a case study of Lebialem radio programmes, including: An outline of the COL-Cameroon Link community learning programme model, reflecting both, the global approach and its specific application in Lebialem. The process followed in Lebialem includes:
 Twenty-five plus (25+) high-resolution, high-quality photographs reflecting the programme's participatory and educational nature;
 The outputs, outcomes and lessons learnt, including a comparative analysis of the baseline and end-of-project data from phase one of the programme;
 General considerations for policymakers in
a) Health education, especially maternal and child health care, and
b) Community media.
 A roadmap for scaling-up the Community Learning programme model in Cameroon.
COL Cameroon Link partnership will lead to sharing the case study and roadmap, widely through electronic media, and in specific fora, like community media or health conferences, and with specific groups concerned with maternal and child health care and so on, with a view to additional local and national programme development.
Groups and individuals trained or otherwise engaged in the programme development process are disaggregated by age, gender, location and livelihood, as well as Learners enrolled or directly engaged by the process.
Gender considerations will include: Involvement of and access by women and men, boys and girls; and Gender orientation of content produced; Partnerships established and maintained; Feedback from policy and programme decision makers; Prospective sustainability; and amount, quality, subject and origin of content created, with observations concerning local relevance, degree of community and learner participation, collaboration among groups and specific gender considerations; and
Impact on health and development indicators as identified at the outset of the project.
COL contact, Ian Pringle, who is International Program Coordinator and Media Education Specialist, is contributing resources towards the statement of activities; providing inputs and feedback throughout the project with the services of consultants leading in the radio programmes design and training.
Gender equality is integral to all of COL’s work and requires that both women's and men's views, interests and needs shape its work in learning for development. Cameroon Link agreed that gender considerations shall inform the activities to be undertaken under the agreement, in particular:
Consultation with both women and men and the inclusion of gender considerations, for example, the role of gender in maternal and child health, in planning activities;
Equitable participation of women and men in radio programmes development and training activities;
The inclusion in all workshops of at least one session focused on gender issues, like looking at the role of women and men in how radio programmes are developed and the gender implications for learning and action processes, and the inclusion in all learning programmes of specific gender considerations, the role of men in maternal and child health care, the roles of both women and men in preventing and treating malaria, diabetes, sickle cell, etc.
Project Strategy
The approach to programme development and content creation includes:
 Non-formal education approach to media, like identifying learning objectives and learning process
 Collaborative process involving media – ICT, health development authorities and experts and community networks.
 Participatory design and operation of learning programmes, Story-based approach to learning content alongside information from experts,
 Blended and multi-channel approach to learning that combines media content with face-to face interaction and other types of learner support using print, mobile, etc.
Issues dealing with Maternal Health tackled include:
Sickle Cell
Family Planning
Prenatal Care
Gender relations
Safe Delivery
Working conditions and
The above list remains incomplete and will be completed as the execution phase unfolds.
James Achanyi-Fontem used the opportunity to introduce the two national focal points of Commonwealth of Learning: Professor Ivo Leke Tambo, who is the Secretary General at the Ministry of Secondary Education in Yaounde and Dr. Daniel Akume Akume, who is the Head of the Computerised System for the Management of Staff and Salaries at the Ministry of Higher Education in Yaounde.
For more information, click on the following links-;


By Cameroon Link
The President of Lebialem Community Radio (LCR), Atabong George Atemnkeng expressed thanks and gratitude to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in Vancouver, Canada, Cameroon Link Health Development Organisation in Douala and the facilitators of the Story Design Workshop “on Mother and Child Health Care”, who come all the way from Malawi, East Africa to Menji, Cameroon.
Atabong George acknowledged that joys and challenges shared the space in the hearts of the staff of Lebialem Community Radio , as the station was chosen to launch the pilot phase of the media Commonwealth of Learning project in Cameroon.
He added that, it was the first time in the history of Lebialem that such a project on health development through the media is being offered to the population and listeners of the various communities in Cameroon.
This training offered by the Commonwealth of Nations is coming in to help Lebialem Community Radio to fulfil one of the primordial objectives, which is to disseminate correct information to more than 3,000.000 inhabitants of Cameroon from Menji, especially as the signals of the station reach neighbouring countries to Cameroon like Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, the LCR President emphasized.
He added, that with the support the station received from the Japanese embassy for the construction of a relay pylon of Lebialem Community Radio, the effect of COL Media Health Action programmes is going to extend to the populations of Upper Manyu Division in the South West region, Menoua Division in the West region and parts of the North West region of Cameroon.
Prior to the creation of Lebialem Community Radio in 2007, the division was virtually off from the rest of the country because of no access to CRTV signals or any other radio broadcast signals. Today, the population relies on LCR for news, information, education and entertainment on all issues.
Atabong George observed that the health story design workshop for Lebialem Community Radio will go a long way to empower the staff on healthy communities’ communication and related issues.
Through this in put, LCR will be able to:
 Give the microphone to the population, who normally have no access to the mass media an opportunity to express their views on community health development issues;
 Provide a development forum for healthy communities;
 Encourage self-help participatory community development;
 Promote active involvement of underprivileged groups such as the handicapped, women and young persons especially;
 Provide a forum for local cultural expression in relation to mother and child care;
 Improve on the population’s access to health information in local languages;
 Offer opportunities for individuals and groups to speak to each other, thus developing awareness of a common membership of community.
 The pilot Commonwealth of Learning initiative in Cameroon will reinforce some important Cameroon Radio Television network programmes already relayed in the official languages by the station.

The LCR President told the facilitators and participants, that the above mentioned objectives can be met with the kind of training offered by the Malawi Story Workshop team with the assistance of Cameroon Link, the negotiator organisation and Commonwealth of Learning.
On the part of the staff of Lebialem Community Radio, they promised to diligently use the training to educate and help reduce maternal and child health care problems in Lebialem and its environ, while reporting back to COL Cameroon regularly, accurately and on time about the effects of the training and the new programmes brought into the radio programmes schedule by COL.
During the closing and certificate handing over ceremony, Atabong George said, Lebialem Community Radio benefitted a lot through the Story Design Workshop and that the skills acquired will go a long way to solve the acute problems of broadcast materials and staffing. The volunteer staff , he added are capable of identifying vital community issues as well as designing and putting up quality programmes that will ameliorate the welfare of the communities.
Especially as “Mother and Child Health Care” was the core of the workshop, together they voted unanimously for a title of the programme to heard heard henceforth over Lebialem Community Radio : “Asongah Leghung Emeh boh Mwuah”.
At this initial stage of cooperation, he assured the trainers, the negotiator organisation and the Commonwealth of Learning of their total commitment to respect the terms of the agreement. Asongah leghung Emeh boh Muah will bring more life to the station and communities, he promised, because they have just gone through a very intensive and educative workshop. They have learned new skills. They have got new friends and learned how to take care of the health of the mothers, infants and children. The title of the programme, Atabong reiterated, calls for a greater sense of responsibility and awareness. He invited the staff of LCR to remain united and devoted to duty to win the confidence and trust of the donors and make Lebialem proud. For more, please click on the following link -

Friday, November 12, 2010

Asongah Leghung Emeh Boh Mwuah

Asongah Leghung Emeh Boh Mwuah Takes Off On Lebialem Community Radio
By Cameroon Link,

“Asongah Leghung Emeh Boh Mwuah” has taken off on Lebialem Community Radio in Menji following a week-long story design workshop organized by the COL Cameroon Link Health Development NGO Partnership and a Malawi Radio Story Design team. The 12-month long project was officially launched by the Deputy Senior Divisional Officer, Moni Innocent Nanje, in the presence of some 26 well selected participants from various sectors of the Lebialem community. The Malawian trainers were Charles Simbi and Gladson Makowa, both from the Story Design Workshop Organisation based in Lilongwe. Before leaving Cameroon, four programmes were realized on different issues related to the theme of the Commonwealth of Learning programme, “Mother and Child Health Care”.
Addressing the participants during the official opening of the workshop, Deputy SDO for Lebialem, Moni Innocent Nanje, said , It is a great honour to the Lebialem people that the administrative jurisdiction was chosen for housing the project that started with a story design workshop and that the launching of the first initiative of the Community of Learning in Cameroon started in enclave Lebialem with no motorable roads. He expressed the thanks and gratitude of the administration and the people of Lebialem to Cameroon Link Health Development NGO for negotiating the programme and the Commonwealth of Learning Agency coordinated from Vancouver, Canada for accepting to take the initiative to the very enclave area of the south west region of Cameroon.
Innocent Nanje observed, that Canada and Cameroon have a lot of similarities and belong to the Commonwealth of Nations family and that the focus on health, and specifically on “Maternal and Child Health Care” is very much in line with the policy of community health promotion by the Cameroon government.
The SDO thanked the Commonwealth of Learning for supporting Cameroon through Cameroon Link and for bringing the experts of Malawi Radio Story Design Workshop to Cameroon and particularly to Lebialem to facilitate the Radio Programmes Story Design Training for enriching the programmes schedule of Lebialem Community Radio in Menji.
He promised that the story design workshops that have been efficient in the transformation of communities in Malawi will bear better fruits in Cameroon and hoped that similar successes were going to be attained starting from Lebialemin the south west region.
The SDO announce that the people of Lebialem are handling the initiative like an egg and will take it as another challenge for behaviour change communication activities related to mother and child health care matters. Innocent Nanje reminded the participants that the Community of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education.
Collaboration among different groups is one of the key principles of the Community of Open and Distance Learning (CODL) approach that Cameroon Link and the Story Design Workshop facilitators from Malawi are promoting in Lebialem. The COL’s objectives and how participants work with ODL in the context of community health and local development organizations would be achieved only if all target groups without exception collaborate during the execution phase of the new initiative.
He concluded by saying that the COL model is designed to be flexible and adaptable, centered on a few key principles:
Non-formal education approaches to media, for example, the identification of learning objectives and a learning process,
Collaborative process involving media-Information Communication Technology (ICT), health-development authorities and experts, and community networks,
Participatory design and operation of learning programmes,
Story-based approach to learning content (alongside information from experts)
Blended and multichannel approach to learning that combines media content with face-to-face interactions and other types of learner support using print, mobile phones, etc.
With this, he urged the participants of the Commonwealth of Learning story design workshop to give the trainers and facilitators the necessary collaboration for knowledge to be transferred to them, and that this knowledge should be used in transforming the populations to take up their responsibilities for mother and child health care in Lebialem division of Cameroon.
“Asongah Leghung Emeh Boh Mwuah” was chosen as the title of the mother and child health care programme already in the air at the Lebialem Community Radio, the main beneficiary of the new initiative led by James Achanyi-Fontem of the COL Cameroon Link.Partnership Liaison person.