Training Of Field Project Officers on Writing Stories

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CISP’s work in Somalia is motivated by the positive changes in the lives of individuals; the women and girls, boys and men. Every day, CISP’s field project officers interact with these people; they witness their daily lives in schools, hospitals, water wells, streets and homes.

Communicating of the successes and lessons of CISP’s collaboration with communities as well as the needs identified, is a vital skill that project officers need to develop.

For this reason, eight CISP’s protection project officers in Mogadishu were trained on how to collect and write human interest stories. The eight included capacity building officers, research officers and a Mother and Child Health (MCH) supervisor.

The training was carried out by the two field communication officers who are also based in Mogadishu. Because of the common bond between the trainers and the trainees, the exercise was characterized by active participation and engaging discussions.

The training covered: how to collect information; photography; writing photo captions; importance of telling human interest stories and writing stories in a manner that is creative, compelling and appealing.

Since the project officers are accustomed to compiling technical reports, emphasis was given on the story structure and language usage. The group read together a selection of feature stories from CISP’s website and were asked to use them as reference while drafting their own stories.

“This training is very useful to us and I believe it will have positive impact on our performance,” said Salah.

“I would like to thank the communication team for the training they offered to us,” said Hibo. “I believe that it will be a great thing if the case managers, counsellors and nurses are also trained Since they also work directly with survivors at the MCHs,’ she suggested.

According to the field communication officers, subsequent stories prepared by some of the participants indicate that they understood the fundamentals of writing feature stories and collecting pictures. The communication officers will continue to support them to continuously improve.