The ASA-TS leadership helped us select 35 African students from 20 African countries to participate in the workshop. From the 35 students who registered, 24 students attended including two females. We had 10 trainers comprising of Swecha and Tutorials.one volunteers.
We created a form for this purpose and requested each participant to submit their feedback. We also conducted a retrospective at the end of the workshop. Here is a short video of a part of the retrospective session. Here is what we heard:
“Free software refers to freedom – this defines the way education should be in the world.”
“That was really great. I just want to express all my gratitude to all the Tutorials.one team members. Thanks to our brother Charles. God bless Tutorials.one and wish it the best.”
“This was a life changing and uniting experience”
“I feel I have walked away with new skills. I can’t thank you enough for the fantastic training experience that you have given our team”
We concluded our workshop with a short video where every country representative shared their impression and experience of the workshop. Swecha volunteers also shared their experiences. Here is a short version of the video.
ASA-TS Website Launch
After releasing the first version of their website, the ASA-TS leadership team decided to celebrate with a larger African community. They organised a website launch event, for which 700 people were expected representing 10% of their estimated community size in Hyderabad.
The event took place on the 6th of March 2015 at the Tagore Auditorium (which could seat 1500 people) in the famous Osmania University. The date of the event coincided with the Independence day of Ghana and was celebrated with the theme – “The Bells of Freedom”.
From the 700 people who were expected, around 500 of them attended. Of this, 13% were from the Indian community including Swecha volunteers, the University leadership and the press. The event was presided by Mr. Kishan Reddy, a MLA in the Telangana State.
ASA-TS used this opportunity to showcase the diversity of the African culture and decided to organise a Pecha Kucha competition.
Through a series of Pecha Kucha presentations, each African country (ASA-TS registered member) made a short presentation about their culture. There were prizes for the top five presentations. This was an eye opening session and made for great learning for all the attendees, especially those from the Indian community. Here is a short video declaring the names of countries which made the top five best presentations.
Before the official website launch, I took the audience through the different functionalities of ASA-TS website. Here is a short video.
“I am impressed by this event and see for the first time how African students community in Hyderabad can get organized at this level…” – Mr. Kishan Reddy
“The experience was life changing, uniting Africans from different countries under the umbrella of one Africa, one voice..” – ASA-TS Leadership
“Yeah, the event was one of the most successful ASA-TS events, it was extremely great and I was glad to be part of it…” – ASA-TS Leadership.
I feel it was a great event. It was the first of its kind. Seeing all the African students together on one platform was really nice. We got to learn a lot about the culture and many other things about countries in Africa. When I spoke to a few students, I realized how deprived they were of education opportunities and how hard they are working to learn, study and implement the same back in their countries for their future generations. This is absolutely an awesome platform for them” – Swecha Executive Committee Member.
“Wonderful experience to be a part of this event. The enthusiasm was infectious. This is just a starting step to much bigger deeds! One Africa, One Voice ; India Africa, One Voice!” – Swecha Executive Committee Member.
“Great to see representatives from the entire African continent in one place. With the movie screening and student presentations, I felt like I visited Africa in a few hours” – ThoughtWorker
This is the immediate next step. With the ASA-TS website fully up and running, the objective is to have all African students in Telangana registered on the ASA-TS website.
Once the registration campaign is done, ASA-TS will have an accurate headcount and plan future activities and events more efficiently. With the support of partnering organization like Swecha and Tutorials.one, ASA-TS is planning to organize a Mama Africa* gathering, which all ASA-TS registered students will attend. This event will, for the first time, provide all students living in Telangana state with the opportunity to meet and socialize.
We plan to organize similar workshops regularly to accommodate more African students. To make this more sustainable, we are going to adopt a “train-the -trainers” approach.
We have initiated conversations within Tutorials.one offices in India to see how this Hyderabad experiment can be replicated in other cities in India. We look forward to leveraging our contacts with African Student Associations in Chennai, Pune, New Delhi and in Bangalore for this purpose.
We know that this initiative is an Ambitious Mission. To achieve this, we would like to collaborate with organizations (NGOs and activist organisations) in the education space and leverage on similar activities that they might already be working on. Organizations who are interested in this cause can also partner with us to benefit from each other’s experience.
*‘Mama’ means mother and Mama Africa is used to refer to Africa as the common mother for all African students.