Why did I get involved in the fight against malaria? Why should my actions have an impact on the fight against malaria? These are some of the questions I asked myself after the Training of Advocates of Francophone Africa in Advocacy and Communication for the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, which took place in December 2021 in Abidjan.
My name is Edith ESSOMBA, and as a member of CS4ME, the global platform of civil society organizations for malaria elimination, I am committed to saving lives. That is my “WHY”. I want families to be able to benefit from health care, I want Community Health Workers to be paid for their work, because they are the ones who go to the most remote areas to provide care and prevent diseases. These agents are mainly women, and as a woman, I want to be able to play a role as an actor of change in this fight against malaria.
The training was rich and the content was very edifying. I realized how closely related the notions of advocacy and communication are, with the difference that advocacy is about convincing. However, to do advocacy well, and convince your audience, you need to know how to communicate.
- I can better manage stress and public speaking
- I better structure my advocacy speech
This is all the more important because in order to change things, knowing how to convince and address leaders is necessary.
I am happy to have participated in this training because beyond the learning, I met talented people coming from various countries: Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Senegal… People who fight every day to contribute to save lives in each of their respective countries. It’s nice to open up to the world, to work with other people, because you realize that the fight you are committed to is in fact a fight of all.