Friday, March 13, 2009

The World Comes to Richmond

While most Americans were adjusting to an hour’s time difference this week due to daylight saving time, six of Christian Children’s Fund’s employees were hard at work adjusting to time differences of up to 12 hours.

This week our International Communications department held a Global Communications Workshop to help align our plans and strategies. Our discussions included social networking (and this particular blog). The group also had a chance to visit the VCU Brandcenter and the newsroom of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

As part of the work this week we asked for volunteers to blog about their week in the United States. Here’s what two of them had to say.

Adriana Villarreal Bernal, Mexico
"All men by nature desire to know." – Aristotle

The eternal need of knowing, or learning, of being informed is a constant of mankind. Information is power. Power that can help others … especially for children by enabling them to take control of their lives and to command their future.

We are taught that the process of communicating has components a receptor, a transmitter and a message, but a visit to a newsroom of a newspaper opened my eyes and I perfectly understood the stressful part of communicating – the urgency of the best story, with the best picture to transmit the message, and let it flow and satisfy the need of both the receptor and the transmitter.

But when you are communicating with the final purpose of helping deprived, excluded and vulnerable children to have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults who bring lasting and positive change to their communities, then communication acquires new dimensions.

We have the responsibility of finding the best communications tools and contents in order to let others know how they may help.

Some messages may be that important and others may just have importance for the transmitter; for example today I want to share with you that this morning I saw snow for the first time in my life.

Tobias Chomba, Zambia
Visiting CCF's International Headquarters in Richmond is one thing that I have looked forward to. I always thought the visit would give me an opportunity to meet several International Office staff that I have interacted with in my work at Christian Children’s Fund Zambia. And, of course, enable me step foot in the USA for the first time. My dreams came true when I was invited to be part of the Global Communications Workshop that included other international participants from Asia, the Americas and African regions of CCF.

Working for CCF Zambia as a sponsor relations and communications manager has enabled me to interact and engage with various CCF stakeholders such as children, communities, sponsors, donors and staff at different levels across CCF worldwide. My eight years of work with CCF has been focused on supporting children and sponsors to achieve mutually rewarding relationships and that the achievements are demonstrated on how CCF sponsorship supports vital program activities to make a difference in the lives of deprived, excluded and vulnerable children.

The Global Communications Workshop started with introductions among participants. The group of participants was reasonably small, but representative of CCF’s worldwide communication experts. The objectives of the workshop were to have a communication strategic reflection on our role and how we can build and strengthen quality information dissemination of our work to sponsors and donors. A thorough review of our global strategy was done and various discussions were held on the role communication will play in achieving the three core outcomes. The core outcomes are healthy and secure infants; educated and confident children; and skilled and involved youth.

The coming together tightened the loose nuts between the international, regional and national offices. Being part of this process is a big milestone in my CCF work history. It really has afforded me a chance to put forth the National Office’s perspective that will engender our active participation in our context while contributing to the global goal. I can see space for creativity and innovation development. This is a great achievement in my lifetime work in communication in CCF.

We restated our commitment to being authentic, empowering children through innovative leadership to become leaders of enduring change. From the field perspective, we learned a lot on targeted communications, social media and opportunities for innovations. We, at the same time, gave feedback to strengthen our work.

No comments: