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West Africa Civil Society Institute Strengthening Civil Society


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Unearthing the Potential of the Next Generation of Leaders

Since 2015, WACSI hosts two students from the Ghana Institute of Languages every month. During this period, these students work at the institute as part of their language immersion programme.

Their primary task is to translate pieces of information from English to and from French and Portuguese (when necessary). This is to enable WACSI to respond to the needs of its stakeholders who use any of these languages. The students are also encouraged to get involved in implementing WACSI’s programmes to nurture their professional skills.

The Institute is dedicated towards sustaining this initiative as part of its leadership development programme which focuses on grooming the next generation of leaders.

In July 2018, two GIL students joined the institute as part of the language immersion programme. Gbangbade Bilkiss from Benin and Grace Aye from Cote d’Ivoire were actively involved in the day to day operations of the institute. They enjoyed every moment spent at WACSI and are full of gratitude for the opportunity to work in this regional organisation.  They were equally satisfied with the lessons learnt during that period.

“I learnt a lot”, Aye said, with her face wearing her usual contagious smile.

“I learnt about the monthly situation report [one that highlights the work of civil society across the region]. I have never done a situation report in the past. This was new to me”, she said.

The opportunity to work at WACSI exposed Aye to explore her potentials in different areas she wasn’t aware of; exposing her to different professional experiences for the first time.

“I learnt how to write a report. I recorded and developed minutes of a staff meeting and for the first time, I chaired a meeting”, she confidently explained.

Aye and Gbangbade were tasked to develop a list of international non-governmental organisations working in different West African countries on an excel sheet. This was Aye’s first attempt at developing an excel document.

“I learnt how to use excel. And I did so on the spot”, she said with a smile of satisfaction.

Aye and Gbangbade had similar tasks which they were both exposed to for the first time. However, they were very satisfied with the volume of knowledge and depth of skills they’ve been able to garner in less than 20 work days.

“I have learnt how to work as a receptionist. I now know how to take, transfer and organise conference calls and welcome guests to an institution”, Gbangbade testified.

With the skills she’s gotten from WACSI, Gbangbade feels confident to compete for a front desk manager role in any organisation.

Both were full of praises for WACSI.

“WACSI is home. At home you learn and practice, make mistakes and are corrected and are happy and comfortable. We learned here [WACSI] and practiced what we learned. When we do something wrong, our supervisors guide us to do the right thing”, Aye said.

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Resource Centre

The Institute has a resource centre that is open to civil society actors in the region. It serves as a library of civil society documents, research reports and edited volumes that are accessible to both individuals and organisations. The Institute has partnered the Foundation Centre to provide online learning resources and a database of grant giving institutions in the United States of America.

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