LIWOM’s Inaugural Employees’ Retreat (Ibadan) 2016

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LIWOM’s Inaugural Employees’ Retreat (Ibadan) 2016

Theme: Skills Improvement and Program Sustainability

Introduction

As a means of improving and strengthening staffs’ capacity with the aim of boosting the organisation’s productivity, a day Staff & Community Volunteers Retreat was held with the theme: ‘Skills Improvement and Programme Sustainability’. The retreat covered the whole day as other official activities were partially suspended to allow for full concentration and participation of the attendees.

Attendance

Alimi Abosede
Simeon Joy
Salawu Risikat
Hamat Toyin
Adepitan Doyin
Salawu Deborah
Ambali Deborah
Emmanuel Joshua
Ariyo Khifayat
Lawal Olaide
Elegbede Ayorinde
Kode Gbemisola
Taiwo Seun
Ogunbotu Oluwabukpnla
Sunday Deola
Willimas A. A.
Oriowo Bola
Adetoro Babjide
Adeniji Tolulope
Adeniji Samuel
AdeniJi Bukola
Bola Thompson
Pastor Marcus Williams
Individual Introduction

After the registration exercise, every attendee was given opportunity to personally introduce his or herself. Starting from the anchor, everybody present introduced their selves. Though some of the attendees arrived late, they equally did their personal introductions.

Setting of ground rules

Next to the introduction was the collectively setting up of ground rules which are summarised below:

Minimise side talk
All phones should be on vibration
Respect others’ opinion
The penalty set for violating the rules was dancing without music for 5 minutes before everybody.

Objectives

The objectives for the retreat were quickly highlighted and briefed by Pastor Samuel. Also, participants were asked to state their expectations at the end of the retreat. This was successfully done by most of the attendees as time did not permit everyone present to state his or her expectation(s).

Sessions

After the objectives and expectations, the sessions began with the first speaker called upon to take the attendees via reflections on Year 4 Programme activities.

Reflection on Year 4 Programme Activities – Successes, Lessons Learnt, Challenges and Way Forward

This session was handled by the Country Leader and Coordinator of the organisation, Pastor Marcus Williams. He enumerated several successes recorded by the organisation within the Year 4 project timeline. The successes were proof of the renowned nature of services provided by the organisation to the community and children in need.

Also, he highly the lessons learn and observations made during the course of implementing the project within the given year. The challenges faced were equally enumerated and the way forward for the Project Year 5 (FY 17) was briefed. On this note, the session came to an end.

Year 4 Project Review
Attendees digesting Year 4 Project Review
Stress Management – Life and Work Balance

Mr Adetoro Babajide of APIN came forth to anchor this session on Stress management – Life and Work Balance. He took the attendees through several stress issues beginning from; the meaning of stress, Signs and Symptoms of stress, causes of stress and how to manage stress. Making the session participatory, the attendees discovered new insights to stress management and how to cope with stress for efficiency in work and activeness in home – family life.

Stress Management with Mr Babajide
Stress Management with Mr Babajide
Managing Stress
Managing Stress
Mr Babajide discussing Stress Mgt.
Mr Babajide discussing Stress Mgt.
After this session came to an end, a short tea break was observed before the next session began.

Skills, Characteristics and Knowledge of a Community Volunteer

This session was handled by Mrs Bola Thompson, another staff from APIN. Here, she explained who a community volunteer is, the qualities of a good community volunteer and the basic approach a community volunteer should imbibe while tendering services to the community. The roles played by volunteers in any establishment were stated and briefed. What is expected of every community Volunteer working with the organisation was highlighted.

The sessions ended with questions and answers.

Resource Mobilisation

This session came up immediately as it was facilitated by Mrs Bola Thompson once again. Here, emphasis was laid on how funds are raised for sustaining the organisation’s activities even without IPs and broad scale funders. She explained the strategies for resource mobilisation and the need for mobilising resources. At individual level, she equally explained how to mobilise resources and why individuals must mobilise resources for themselves no matter what they do and their immediate conditions.

At certain points, during the discussion, she paused momentarily to put forward maxims for personal evaluation before she proceeded with her discussion.

This session also ended with questions and answers.

Resource Mobilisation by Mrs Bola Thompson
Resource Mobilisation by Mrs Bola Thompson
Volunteers Traits by Mrs Bola Thompson
Volunteers Traits by Mrs Bola Thompson

LIWOM MIS

This session was anchored by Mr Tolulope Adeniji, the LIWOM’s M&E Officer. He explained the meaning of Management Information System, the role it plays in decision making, planning and general management. He briefly took the attendees through the various MIS tools used by the organisation. Those not recognise at the National level were mentioned, but not duly discussed. The essence was to familiarise the attendees with the organisation’s information management system and what is needed or should be observed.

This session also ended with questions and answers.

Mr Tolulope discusses LIWOM’s MIS.
Mr Tolulope discusses LIWOM’s MIS.
LIWOM’s MIS Tools
LIWOM’s MIS Tools

Group Work – Working as a Community Volunteer: Prospects and Challenges

In this session, the attendees were divided into three groups to discuss the prospects and challenges involved in working as community volunteers and equally come up with mild work plans for implementing efficiently services in the community.

After the group work, representatives from each group were called upon to present to the attendees what has been raised and suggestions made.

At the end of the group presentation, Mr Tolulope Adeniji summarised the key points synonymous to the groups and laid emphasis on the relevant ones. Atop these was the issue of volunteer identity as the demanded for ID cards as that has been a hitch while entering communities.

Attendees brainstorming
Attendees brainstorming
Attendees brainstorming.
Attendees brainstorming.
Presentation of Group discussion
Presentation of Group discussion
Presentation of Group discussion
Presentation of group discussion

Next Steps and Closing Remarks

This session focused on reactions from the attendees and the way forward. It was anchored by Mrs Williams A. A. After given a brief summary of the retreat’s activities so far, she raised the curtain for attendees to suggest way forward.

Several suggestions were made as briefly summarised below:

Easy to access information points should be established in the organisation and information dissemination should be seen as a collective effort.
Reports should always be reviewed and feedbacks given to the reporters.
There should be continual awareness of the organisation’s goals, strategies and objectives.
Staffs and volunteers should be respected as respect is reciprocal.
ID Cards should be given to community workers to grant them confidence when entering the community.
Next Step with Mrs Williams A. A.
Next Step with Mrs Williams A. A.
Presentation of Recommendations
Presentation of Recommendations
Conclusion

The retreat ended amidst satisfactory expressions by the attendees. This was most conspicuous by the smiles on their faces. Generally, it was a delight to partake in as that was the first of its kind in the history of the organisation.

Observation

The retreat started behind schedule
Most attendees reacted to the fact that they were not informed earlier or were not told the purpose of the meeting.
At the starting point, the participation of the attendees was shallow but got to the peak as the retreat went deep and deeper.
The attendees were happy to have partook in the retreat and wished to attend something of that sort next time.
Challenges

The impromptu notification caused most of the attendees to arrive late for the retreat. Also, it affected the planning of the retreat.
The retreat was not time-based as it was wrapped up later than expected.
Recommendations

There should be prompt notification for programmes.
If possible, the organisation’s Staff and Community Volunteers’ Retreat should be included in its annual calendar of activities.


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