In July 2015, 22 YES alumni from northern and Sub-Saharan African countries gathered for a pan-African YES alumni workshop. The participants were nominated by consortium partners, and were then reviewed and handpicked by IRIS staff. A deaf alumnus from Ghana was among the selected few.
The four-day Community Health Education (CHE) Workshop utilized an interactive approach to help participants learn how to approach complex health-related problems and develop a community-based educational strategy and overall plan to address them. It emphasized the need for community involvement and a solid understanding of the unique culture and values in which a problem exists.
The organizers kicked-off the workshop with a conversation on what “health” means in different cultures, and then discussed the assumptions, levels of prevention, and theories of health education before moving on to more specific models of health education.
The PRECEDE/PROCEED model was the backbone of the workshop, and it was divided into the following four concepts: needs assessment, identification of resources and barriers, implementation, and evaluation of strategies. The trainer introduced the concepts and shared specific ways to address each. Then, in groups, participants worked together to apply these concepts to different cities and countries.
The participants were highly engaged and enthusiastic throughout the workshop. There was a lot of positive feedback from the staff members, and the participants deemed the workshop highly valuable for their professions. The participants were very pleased with the structure of the sessions, remarking that it’s important to follow discussions with application activities.