From February 18th – 20th 2020 The Hub hosted a Digital Skills Workshop in Morija in partnership with Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). The workshop participants were OSISA grantees and partners from Angola, Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
We had a wonderful time hosting this workshop and meeting colleagues doing similar work in other countries. We were able to network, exchange and learn from one another. The Hub would like to thank OSISA for entrusting us with this project and for giving us the opportunity to host this workshop.
Over the course of the three-day workshop we hosted a range of facilitators to run the following six sessions:
Daniela Gusman, Founder and Executive Director of Relationships Inspiring Social Enterprise (rise), led a session on strategies that organisations can use to effectively fundraise online. These include: having a website with social media integration, being donor-ready with a “donate page”, distributing a newsletter and email campaigns and having a clear social media strategy. Gusman also spoke of the importance of having a targeted reach for effective results, as well as learning from larger organisations.
Feedback from a participant: “[I learned about] the importance of having a strong online presence to enhance credibility.”
Podcasts and Audio Recording
Khami Malie – an educator, voice-over artist and public speaker – led a session on podcasting and its many uses. Malie addressed the common fears that people have before starting a podcast, spoke of the advantages of having a podcast, and what is needed before starting a podcast. Malie also encouraged participants to consider language, the number of hosts and the equipment that would be necessary to start a podcast.
Feedback from a participant: “I was not very familiar with podcasts so being introduced to the concept as a whole was very useful to me. Also, seeing that we come from different communities with different norms, it was nice to discuss ways in which we can air out our messaging in a manner that is appropriate to our culture but at the same time getting the message across.”
Lehlohonolo Tlhaole, an animator and graphic designer, led a session on the importance of making a GIF animation for social media, as well as on how to use free software such as Krita. Participants in this workshop also got the chance to create their own GIFs!
Feedback from a participant: “It was a new experience for me. And I enjoyed every moment of it!”
Photography and Videography
Napo Thahane, a photographer and videographer, led a session that taught the basics of photography and videography. This included talking about the rule of thirds, composition and maintaining equipment. Thahane also led a practical session, in which participants practiced taking photos in their immediate surroundings, bearing in mind what they had been taught.
Feedback from a participant: “The photography and video session was my personal favourite, as it was practical and it didn’t just talk about photography from cameras, but also phone photography which is accessible and used daily for a majority of us.”
Graphic Design and Visual Communication
Anna Cai, an artist, designer and educator, led a session on graphic design and visual communication. Cai spoke about the importance of communication design as something that is aesthetically pleasing, but also as a tool to stimulate, relate and inspire. Cai encouraged participants to think about communication and simplicity, while focusing on the visual element of their messages in constructing a narrative. Cai also shared how to build a toolkit using online platforms such as informationisbeautiful.net and freepik.com.
Feedback from participants: “The visual communication module was interesting because it allowed us to experience collecting information from our audiences and putting it into a form of communication that is interesting and eye catching.” / “The session was helpful and the strategies provided were helpful for a campaign, keeping my reports simple and campaign simple.”
Online Presence / Websites / Social Media / Branding
Nvulane Nhlapho, founder of Selibeng.com, led a session on the importance of building a digital marketing strategy. Nhlapho showed participants how to use websites such as wordpress.com and wordpress.org, including how these can be used to build e-commerce sites with plugins. Nhlapho encouraged participants to strategise about their pages and websites, to plan their posts and to think about their key messages for followers. In terms of audience engagement, Nhlapho advised participants to learn more about their intended audience, to post during peak times, and to strategise carefully with regards to paid content.
Feedback from participant: “It was a realisation that a lot of us haven’t utilised our social media platforms to the max.”
As a whole, the feedback we received from participants about the overall three-day workshop was very positive:
“I learnt a lot with this session and wish to keep cooperation with the Hub.”
“Share your works with other organizations so they can share with more people across countries because what you’re doing is inspiring.”
“I left Lesotho refreshed and inspired, an excellent way to kickstart 2020!”