The new intake of the Women in News (WIN) programme started in earnest in Botswana and Zambia from mid October and is now happening in Zimbabwe before going to Tanzania and Malawi and excitement is in the air for the new recruits who are ready to grab this rare opportunity with both hands.
“I am so happy to hear that I have been accepted into the WIN programme. It is an opportunity I greatly value and plan to make full use of it. Thank you so much,” says Chipo Masara of Zimbabwe.
“I am delighted to be selected into this prestigious programme, as such I am looking forward to this rare opportunity,” says Sheila Chimphamba of Malawi.
“What a wonderful news to hear I have been selected for the WIN programme amidst all the uncertainties here in Kenya! Thank you very much and looking forward to such a great engagement,” says Jael Lieta of Kenya.
Happy Chabuka of Malawi could not contain her excitement: “Oh my God! I am so humbled and thankful for the selection! Thank you so much for the opportunity, oh my God am so happy!”
One may be tempted to ask, why is everyone waxing lyrical about the WIN programme? Africa Director for WIN, Tikhala Chibwana thinks he knows the answer “You see, the WIN programme is a transformative programme. Our biggest advertisements are lives the programme has transformed. We have had employers come back us to say they have noticed a remarkable change in their employees since joining the programme. They mention things like confidence, attitude, performance and willingness to go the extra mile. These changes are also being noticed by colleagues and they want a piece of the action,” he concludes.
As if to support the assertion by the Africa Director, Joyce Shebe of Tanzania says: “I am honored to be one of the participants of the WIN Programme. For me this is a golden opportunity and I really value the programme from witnessing the changes it has brought about in my colleagues who have already attended this programme”.
It is amid this excitement that the first National Gathering meetings which kick off the programme in each country are taking place. The National Gathering for Tanzania has been scheduled for 8 November, Malawi for 10 November, Rwanda for 21 November and Kenya for 24 November. Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe have already had their gatherings which kick starts the programme in each country.
The WIN programme is aimed at empowering female journalists with skill sets that would enable them make a high contribution in their media houses, thereby positioning themselves for increasingly higher responsibilities. The programme is support by SIDA in Rwanda, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe while the programme in Tanzania, Malawi and Kenya is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.