A total of 24 (12 males, 12 females) participants from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya have completed a Train the Facilitator (TTF) BRIDGE course held in the tea-growing district of Mulanje in Malawi from 15th to 25th June, 2016.
The Lead Facilitator was Ms Rindai Chipfunde Vava from Zimbabwe and was assisted by three Malawian BRIDGE facilitators; Ms Thandie Nkovole, Ms Rebecca Chisamya and Ms Gellien Tembo.
The BRIDGE course was organized by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) with funding from the European Union Democratic Governance Programme (EU DGP) under the 10th European Development Fund.
The training targeted MEC staff but the door was opened for two participants from each of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to attend.
Opening the training on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 MEC chairperson, Justice Maxon Mbendera SC said his Commission, as common with other electoral management bodies, was committed to conducting credible elections, but this hinged on having trained staff in place.
“This training has come at a right time as the Commission has started it preparations for the 2019 Tripartite Elections. We have had BRIDGE trainings in the past but the good thing about this training is that it will increase the number of facilitators the Commission already has.
“We will now be able to hold four courses at once in each of our four regions. This is the ideal case we have been looking forward to. In elections time is of essence and with good number of qualified facilitators we will be able to accomplish much of our activities within a short time,” he said.
Commenting about the course Ann Nderitu from Kenya said,” Participating in TtF module was an eye-opener in the variety of materials available to support electoral trainers. It was also refreshing to experience different adult learning participatory methods. The fact that the course takes a practical approach makes it hard to forget the experience. As a practitioner in electoral training I will definitely use the learning experience to enhance training programmes in Kenya”.
Austin Ndlovu from Zimbabwe said the workshop was, “enlightening in many ways. It has equipped participants with the requisite skills and knowledge that will transform to become effective BRIDGE facilitators.
“We were accorded the opportunity to celebrate diversity as we shared experiences. As a result of attending the workshop we are now able to plan, organize and customize materials to effectively deliver BRIDGE and to meet the specific needs of workshop participants”.
Sangwani Mwafulirwa from Malawi said, “the TTF has given us a tool box which we can use to facilitate any BRIDGE module. We will be jacks of all modules and master of them all.”