In the context of the European Union funded project Preventing Electoral Violence in the SADC (PEV-SADC, www.pev-sadc.eu), the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES, www.eces.eu) in partnership with the Electoral Institute of Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA, www.eisa.org.za) and also the main beneficiary, the SADC Election Support Network (SADC-ESN, www.sadc-esn.org) delivered a BRIDGE Train the Facilitators in the capital of Malawi, Blantyre, from the 20 to 31 January 2014.
The TtF was opened by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Willie Kalonga and SADC-ESN Board Chairperson, Steve Duwa. The speeches emphasized that the workshop was well welcomed in anticipation of the General Elections scheduled in May 2014. Ten days of positive feedback and activities exercises went by to develop facilitation skills in accordance with the BRIDGE methodology. Closing remarks and certificates delivery were conveyed by MEC Commissioner, Dr. Wellington Mkwepu Nakanga and SADC-ESN Board Representative, Mr. Mac Bain Mkandawire.
The diverse and experienced team of accrediting facilitators was composed by Eliane Torres – ECES Capacity Development Advisor, Rindai Chipfunde Vava – Executive Director for ZESN and host Director for SADC-ESN and Harris Potani – MEC Deputy Chief Elections Officer (Operations).
Participants chose the following words to describe their experience:
As participants of the BRIDGE TtF, we thoroughly enjoyed the training. The methodology used was excellent in the sense that it catered for a diverse group of participants and provided an opportunity to enhance our facilitation skills. What was more significant was that it was practical as it awarded us as participants an opportunity to apply and practice the skills that were being imparted to us during the training. The methodology also ensures that everyone grasps the concepts and techniques despite varying levels of understanding. Through the participants’ presentations, insights on the various BRIDGE modules were provided which helped us broadened our knowledge base on matters relating to elections.