The Community Health Animation Techniques training took place in Orodara, Kenedougou province June 10-14, 2013. Ten PCVs and ten village homologues (not functionnaires) were trained on animation techniques including theatre, sports, and causeries to use to hold awareness sessions for various health topics including HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, hygiene, and family planning. The participants had time each day to prepare and present awareness sessions (sensibilisations) to audiences and then receive feedback from PCV facilitators, Burkinabe facilitators, and their peers. At the end of the training, PCVs and their homologues worked together to create action plans to do at least one awareness session before the end of August.
I was lucky enough to work with three wonderful volunteers to help facilitate the training, Drew, Beth Nagel, and Molly. They were fantastic and I could not have done the training without their help and support.
Despite various challenges throughout the training the content portion went very well. The counterparts got a lot of time to practice their awareness session and get feedback from PCV facilitators, invited guests, and their peers. Madame Nana was a fantastic facilitator and gave lots of useful information on all of the health topics. Yacou was fantastic for the theatre sessions and gave a lot of useful information.
One of the greatest successes of this training was the progress made by the Burkinabe counterparts attending the training. Many counterparts were very quiet at the beginning of the training. One in particular, Binta, had never facilitated an awareness session before or talked in front of a group of people in French. By the end of the training she was leading sessions with ease and actively participating in all activities. Several PCVs wrote on their evaluation forms regarding the noticeable change in their counterparts:
“Pierre Ouedraogo came in as a man that has helped run many training in my village but throughout this week he learned how to have a more dynamic way of interacting with his audience, how to ask more thought-provoking questions, how to plan a training, and gained a lot of confidence in speaking in front of a group in French. I know he will be using the information he learned in this training for years to come. Also keeping homologues with their volunteer and keeping the pairs the same made things much easier during the training. An early thank you from the community in Silmidougou”
“The training gave my counterpart the opportunity to practice doing sensibilisations in a fun and encouraging learning environment. I can see that after doing this he really feels accomplished and has gained the confidence and motivation to being what he has learned back to village”
All Burkinabe counterparts were given a pre-test at the beginning of the training on basic information regarding the health topics that were going to be covered during the formation. After the end of the training they were given a post-test to see how much they had learned. During the pre-test the average was 48%. By the end of the training, the post-test average was 97%. The post-test scores improved by an average of 49%.
To reinforce what they learned during the training, homologues were given a manual with spaces to write in what they learned during sessions. This was very effective and really helped them learn because it combined visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and read-write learning styles to make sure that everyone truly mastered the material.
Participants were monitored and evaluated in several ways during the training. Pre-tests/post tests were used to measure the knowledge of the homologues before and after the training. After each awareness session, homologues were given written constructive feedback to help them improve. All participants were given evaluation forms asking them about the general content of the training and suggestions for next year. These evaluations were mostly positive however, many PCVs felt that the 4MAT lesson plan format was too difficult for their homologues to understand and use. In addition, the Community Health AIDS Taskforce (CHAT) will be following up with PCV participants and their homologues at the end of August to get information on their sensibilisations and follow up with them two months after the training.
Sensibilising with Soccer – Teaching health topics through sport