Ending the journey of the summer internship

Hello “for the last time”

Today August 20, 2022, is the last day of the internship, and it is such a coincidence that today is the last day of my trip to SA and I’m writing this post from the airplane to Toronto!

So here is what the last week of the WHE looks like. Monday was the last day of the social media posts journey with EBLI. Bernard requested to grab some information from Amina’s report from the 2020 internship. It is such a detailed report and I recommend that you take a look at it when you are working on the briquettes project with Bernard.

We had our weekly meeting as planned on Wednesday and we heard how everyone completed their projects.

We have also received the feedback on the final report and poster and made the necessary edits.

We also have to complete the debrief questions and western international evaluation form, they are a bit long and need to dedicate some time for it as it is something you have to do after the internship’s last day.

We also had a request from Bob to create a one-page summary report with a specific structure that was not hard to do because it is similar to what we have done in the final report and poster as well.

I’m finally done with all the tasks and I’m glad that I had this experience. It assured me that I want to pursue a career path in health promotion and knowledge translation, and I’m glad to say that I’ve applied to my first job “knowledge translation specialist”

For future interns, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions in regard to the internship.

The last campaign-Entrepreneurship

Hello again!

I’m now working on our final campaign for this social media awareness campaign project; entrepreneurship. Because I’m able to see the effort that EBLI has put in this area through the success stories on EBLI website and social media posts, I anticipate that this campaign will be really impactful.

During our very first meeting with Bernard and Andrew, we discussed the goals and objectives for the other two campaigns SRHR and GBV. Therefore, I texted them on our WhatsApp group to provide me with the objectives for the last campaign. Bernard replied:

The objectives to

1: help young people unleash their entrepreneurial potential

2. Highlight some of the economic initiatives undertaken by EBLI participants

3. Use chabri as an example of an entrepreneurship initiative ( for this I need to share a document done by Amina in the last internship)

This made it very clear to me to plan and start researching some topics for each post. The first one I made was all about some steps to start a business and being an entrepreneur, the second one was created based on EBLI website and it was all about EBLI achievements in helping young females and mothers to be successful entrepreneurs. For the third post, I’m planning to pull out some success stories from EBLI website while the fourth one is still not clear because I haven’t read Amina’s report in detail yet, I remember it was a very rich and detailed report.

Lastly, another interesting thing that happened this week, is to see that the organization you are working with, is liking what you do and they depend on the interns’ expertise to help with other initiatives. I had a last-minute request from Andrew to help create a poster for a campaign they are working on in the youth club. The campaign was titled #Loveyourselfiemovement, the social media post was to provide a space for youth to share their personal stories to boost self-confidence.

The harsh reality behind GBV in Tanzania

Welcome back to my blog!

Over the last month, I’ve been working hard for this month’s campaign theme on gender-based violence. Our approach is a little different based on the feedback from my supervisor, in that we anticipate creating more personable content that requires critical thinking and nudges youth to participate and engage with the campaign’s posts. Throughout this process, I’ve conducted a lot of research on the prevalence and incidence of gender-based violence in Mwanza, and it has truly been an eye-opening experience.

In Tanzania, 40% of all women aged 15-49 years have experienced physical violence, while 17% have experienced sexual violence. Of women aged 15-49, 44% have experienced either physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. Spousal violence prevalence is highest in rural areas, averaging 52% while the prevalence in urban areas averages 45%. Almost 30% of girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18.

Through the research, I realized that oftentimes, it is not the lack of protective laws for women that discourage them from taking action as victims, it is the perception of it as being a taboo topic and normalized in a society that appears to be the root causes. Violated individuals often feel they are alone, and they think of it as a short-term situation. In addition to a lack of knowledge on how to report GBV in Tanzania.

It is these types of issues that EBLI aims to mitigate, and it is also my intention for this internship, as I truly believe using the benefits of a powerful modern communication tool like social media will bring changes to local communities in Mwanza.

Therefore, I chose to integrate resources on how to report GBV in Tanzania with part two of Amida’s story. This makes violated audiences know that they are not alone and the community and the law support them too!

The next two posts will reflect on my experience during last month campaign “entrepreneurship”

Making progress-Working on nudging the audience

Hello readers! This is the second blog that I have posted from my home country the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Reading that some of my colleagues in the WHE internship are posting about their day, let me tell you what my internship day looks like from KSA.

Since it is super hot here, over 40 Celcius at day and around 30 at night, people tend to shift their sleeping patterns during the summer. They stay up almost all night and sleep most of the day! Shops and malls stay open till midnight and some attraction areas stay open till 2:30 am!

I used to wake up early, enjoy my breakfast and start the day earlier. However, living with my family now makes it easy to follow what they do. Lucky me, they do not stay up all night! We stay up till 1 or 2 am, and I can still wake up late morning around 11 am.

Living with a big family makes it easy for me to save time from doing home chores, cooking and other stuff that used to consume my time back home in Canada, yet I still need to work harder during the day because it is very difficult to focus in the evening. So far, I’m lucky that I’m having the internship experience in my home country surrounded and supported by friends and family.

At this stage, I’ve completed 3 posts from the GBV campaign. After the mini-report I provided and Bernard’s feedback (check the previous blog), I worked on his suggestion to nudge people to respond to the account’s posts. Since I noticed the engagement on the personal story was better than in other posts, I decided to create the last 2 posts of the GBV month about Amida, she is Leyla’s friend from the SRHR campaign and she needs HELP! I started the post by asking to help Amida! After the story was done there was a question for the audience to answer. The answers were numbered and the caption was simply asking which number is the right answer to facilitate the process and increase engagement.

I’m happy to share the story and you are welcome to visit the post and see the progress we made in the engagement at this link: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf4JQVxNhCq/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Help Amida!

Amida is a 21-year-old female, a friend of Leyla (see the previous post to read Leyla’s story).

The 2 friends met together to chat and spend a good time together, Leyla was interested to ask Amida about her fiancé.

Leyla: Tell me how are things going after being engaged? I’m so excited!

Amida: well, yea it’s very exciting and feels different, we are now committed to each other and planning our wedding

She continues.. He is nice I hope he gets a job soon, he asked me to help him with some money because he ran out of his savings and I can do it when I have extra money,

Leyla felt that Amida is not feeling well, and she asked if there was something else to talk about?

She replied: there was only one time that I did not have anything to give him, he got really mad and turned into a person I does not know!

Leyla said: did he cause any harm to you?

Amida answered, hmm that’s okay, he did not mean it, it was only once when he hit me but he promised he won’t do it

Leyla is now so concerned about her friend being violated by her spouse

What is/are the type of this violence? Check the previous post on GBV

1-Emotional violence

2-Economic violence

3-Sexual violence

4-Physical violence

Trial and Error – The beauty in learning the social media engagement

Reaching the end of the first month, I have generated a total of four postings, marking the end of our theme for the month of June which was sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and we look forward to July’s theme which will be gender-based violence (GBV). While I anticipate a lasting impact of our work and hopefully more success for EBLI’s social media pages, Bernard asked for a mini report or an evaluation of this month.

I would like to share with you the mini-report because increasing social media account engagement was one of the project’s goals, the first month was not only about increasing awareness of SRHR but also to understand EBLI’s social media followers to provide suitable content for the targeted audience.

After taking and sharing screenshots for each post’s insight from Instagram account only, these are the findings:

  1. Out of approximately 700 followers on Instagram, each post reached a minimum of 74 users to a maximum of 120. However, all posts had less engagement. This means that not all users liked, commented or interacted with the posts.

Therefore, the number of likes does not mean that only this number read the content, but it could be more (e.g. the first-week post insights: 29 likes, 3 comments, 120 reached)

  • Posting interactive stories did not make any difference to improve engagement, the maximum number of story viewers was 34 and the maximum interaction was 4. Meaning post viewers are more than story viewers. Therefore, the focus for the rest of the month was to improve account posts to understand the engagement.
  • Reel post insights were similar to the multiple posts
  • A huge difference was noticed with the last post, where a personal story was shared. The post got 5 comments specifically applauding Leyla. This means that those viewers did read the full post that was presented as multiple posts in one, with short paragraphs and nice visuals reflecting on the story.

Future campaign considerations:

  1. Integrating information through a storytelling format would be ideal to increase engagement
  2. It would be beneficial to introduce the social media campaign to the youth in order to emphasize the knowledge translation process and increase account engagement
  3. In addition to synchronizing the topics discussed in the club with the ones being posted. Therefore, interactive stories posts that would include polls and questions would get better attention and youth will be enthusiastic to respond.
  4. Moreover, a possible collaboration between social media and in-person discussion clubs could be done by announcing winners/participants who interacted with EBLI posts and answered questions
  5. This could be done by asking each discussion club participant to follow EBLI’s Instagram and Facebook accounts based on their preference, asking them to pay attention to SRHR and GBV posts and encouraging them to write comments and answer questions. After each post/week, interactive accounts should be announced on social media stories and in clubs to encourage others.
  6. Short videos filmed in a reel form, from participants should be added as well, explaining how the discussion clubs are being helpful.

I’m waiting for Bernard’s feedback and I will be updating this post soon 🙂 stay tuned! and thanks for reading.

Update with Bernard’s feedback:

Thank you for the mini evaluation that has come out very objectively. I agree with you that the posts were read by more than those who either liked or commented. These posts have not only educated the current participants but will also be read by future participants as times go. It is not unusual for people to comment on a past post.
My opinion on upcoming postings is exactly what you commented on and also for EBLI to engage and refer more participants to visit and comment on our posts. Equally, we may consider making posts that nudge the participants to respond ( a little poking) stories are good in this regard. Just a thought.

Check the next post to see what I’ve done to improve audience engagement

A heart-touching and inspiring journey!

I’m now 3 weeks into the first month’s health promotion campaign; sexual and reproductive health and rights. The internship is well underway, it is more like a trial and error process and I’m learning a lot. especially with the one-hour Swahili language sessions that we’ve been taking for 3 weeks, I feel I’ve become more familiar with the Tanzanian culture! Alven our instructor did an amazing job! With that being said, I’ve been conducting a lot of research to gather realistic and reflective information and statistics about the Tanzanian community. In addition to trying to be creative with posts and I’ve made it into my first short video or as it is called “Reel”.

Now I would like to take you on the journey of social media planning for the first month. Every week I send to our WhatsApp group a word document of the content for approval and translation. For the first week, I started by introducing HIV/AIDS and adding some Tanzanian-specific statistics. All content was obtained from CDC and Unesif websites. Secondly, I posted what can cause transmission of the disease and what does not, in addition to how to avoid contracting HIVAIDS. This was delivered in a short reel form.

Going into the 3rd and 4th week, I planned to have a post about resources in Mwanza to get more information and increase youth’s knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the final post will be about an inspiring personal story.

Upon conducting the research through EBLI’s website to create the last two posts, I can say that my motivation for this internship has grown stronger when I read the personal stories on the website!

I had a plan to share several stories throughout the 3 months to reflect on how EBLI’s resources have helped and supported many young females in their tough journey and how it changed their lives for the best.

I would like to share Leyla’s story:

Leyla is an 18 years old female, who lives in Mwanza Tanzania.

Although she is still young, she knew about EBLI’s initiatives and attended several SRHR and gender-based violence discussion clubs. Shortly she met the boy of her dreams and one day they were about to have sexual contact.
Luckily, she is educated and knows how to protect herself, she asked her boyfriend if he has a condom to use and she convinced him that this is the best for both of them to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and avoid unwanted pregnancy
Although her boyfriend agreed to use a condom, later on, they break up and she realized that she protected herself
Leyla’s friend, Amidah knew about her story and wanted to join the club. Stay tuned for Amidah’s story in the coming weeks

I’m still learning about the youth’s engagement to social media platforms and hoping that in the last 2 week’s posts I was able to make it creative and attractive to Tanzanian youth. So far, Bernard and Andrew are satisfied with this campaign, they approved every week’s content and are happy with the current accounts’ engagement. I’m now more excited about how to present our next campaign: gender-based violence!

Stay connected, send me tips and recommendations and thanks for reading!

Working out a Game Plan-Figuring out the road to achieve the internship goals

I’m now one week into my internship. Maria set a phone call meeting with Bernard and Andrew, Friday the week before the start of the internship. This helped introduce all parties and know what Bernard’s expectations and goals for this summer are. Bernard, the executive director of EBLI seems to know his goals yet he is flexible with how to achieve them. He is clear that for the first month, the sexual and reproductive campaign’s goal is to protect against HIV/AIDS. This also will feed into the campaigns of the following months; gender-based violence and entrepreneurship. Bernard and Andrew suggested using Whatsapp as the main communication channel, this is because of the unstable internet connection in Mwanza. This made our communication as a group extremely easy and fast. Moreover, we discussed that the content should be translated to Swahili from the beginning of the campaign which was one of the challenges of this project last year. Therefore, Andrew suggested submitting the content to him every Thursday and post every Monday. To plan for this health promotion campaign, I’ve explored all the materials and work that has been done the last summer, and the girls did pretty much good work. However, I decided to take a different approach for this year. This is by introducing the main goal of this campaign, HIV/AIDS, which will help me to apply the knowledge I’ve learned in my MPH program especially addressing health promotion frameworks suitable for this campaign as well as addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) of the community. After our first meeting on Monday, I spent the weekend researching Tanzania’s exposure to HIV/AIDS. I’ve made a clear plan and shared it on our Whatsapp group, they both liked it and gave me the green light to work and take the plan to action. My plan is to post stories and account posts with similar content. The only difference is that the story posts will have interactive quizzes and/or polls at the begging and end of each story. This will help us to engage both users; the story viewers and the post’s readers. Noting that with the difference in time zone, I post stories at the begging of the day ( around 7 am Tanzania time and midnight our time) and post account posts later in the day (4 pm Tanzania time and early morning our time in Canada). This will help us to engage early morning and late afternoon viewers too. Stay tuned for my next post where I will be talking in detail about the actual posts, their content and Bernard’s and Andrew’s feedback on each week.