The Centre for Gender Research, Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD), UCC, has organised a four-day training workshop to train and equip new facilitators to help educate freshmen on university campus life. It was also to mark its’ 2nd Campus Life (Camp life) Tidbit Peer Facilitators initiative programme.
Addressing the facilitators, the Director of CEGRAD, Dr. (Mrs.) Georgina Yaa Oduro, expressed gratitude to the new peer facilitators for their spirit of volunteerism and readiness to be part of the Camp life peer facilitators’ training workshop. She noted that the idea of Camp life Titbits was adopted and contextualised from the University of Michigan. It is a collaborative effort which aims at helping freshmen and women to settle on campus smoothly and effortlessly in an academic environment. Again, it is to help them gain awareness of challenges and opportunities associated with campus culture and support them to develop requisite strategies for coping with challenges associated with campus life.
Peer Facilitation Approach
Dr. (Mrs.) Yaa Oduro said, “CEGRAD commits itself to the peer facilitation approach for integrating fresh students into campus life because the feedback from previous training programmes suggested strongly that students learn better from their peers.” She added that through participant feedback from previous programmes the comprehensive and encompassing nature of the contents of the training workshop and better clarity led to the adoption of the name Camp life Tidbit, which was originally known as ‘Relationship Tidbit.’ She explained that the training programme was structured in eleven-blocks and peer facilitators would be introduced to relationship issues, value systems, decision-making, processes, gender equality and gender-based violence awareness creation. Others are communication, making choices on sex and substance abuse issues, etc. “The workshop also exposes students to sexual harassment issues and campus and off-campus avenues for seeking help,” she added.
Be Committed to the Programme.
The Director encouraged the peer facilitators to be more committed to the programme because they stood the chance to broadening their knowledge on campus-related gender issues and to add to their Curriculum Vitae (CV) which could open future opportunities. She challenged the peer facilitators to see their selection to participate in the four-day workshop as a great opportunity and make the best out of it. She thanked the University Management, and the former CEGRAD Executives, all Affiliates of CEGRAD, and the staff for their support, commitment and hard work.
Be Active in the Workshop
In a message, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Barima Kwabena Antwi, advised the peer facilitators to learn and master whatever that they would be taught because they were being trained to train their peers. The Dean, who also chaired the programme, charged the peer facilitators to be meritocratic, pragmatic and honest leader as they prepare to train their peers. The Coordinator, Advocacy and Outreach, CEGRAD, Dr. Theresa Addai Mununkum, called on the peer facilitators to make good use and pay heed to the information given them for delivery. She also urged them to be quick, careful, clever and smart enough to convey whatever they are obliged to in their capacities as peer facilitators.
Views of Facilitators
Sharing their views, some participants said they have been equipped and given enough information to their peers on campus life. They also said the training workshop would go along to help freshmen to prepare their minds adequately to build inner confidence and courage to face academic life on campus. In all, twenty (20) peer facilitators were trained at the workshop and each was presented a certificate of participation.
Present at the training workshop, were Coordinator, Research and Documentation, CEGRAD, Dr. Samuel Agblorti, the founding Director of CEGRAD, Prof. Akua O. Britwum, immediate past Director, CEGRAD, Dr. Genevieve Adukpo, former Coordinator of Research, CEGRAD, Dr. Angela Akorsu; former Coordinator, CEGRAD, Dr. (Mrs.) Eunice Fay Amissah, and some affiliates of the Centre.