By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) in partnership with the

Federation of Women Lawyers Lesotho (FIDA) recently conducted training aimed at empowering women and youth led civil society organizations (CSOs), and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) on advocacy strategies and media campaigns.

Training in advocacy and media strategies’ importance is to equip youth and women with skills that enables them to amplify their voices and messages through various media channels thus increasing their impact and reach within society.

While youth and women are classified as marginalized groups, often making their needs overlooked or unaddressed in development and policy documents, engaging with policymakers is key to governance participatory.

DWF says the training mobilizes lobbying and advocacy thus employing enhanced strategies for transparency and accountability, developing enterprises, while utilizing media as an advocacy tool.

 “Advocacy is for public good.

Advocacy helps citizens be aware of their power.

Use this power to effectively participate in the decision making process”.

One of the participantsLimpho Mosebi from Ntlafatso Foundation says, “This training has been enlightening.

“I now understand the steps to follow to maximize the impact of our work as an organization. I can see why some of our campaigns have not succeeded,” she remarks.

Mosebi further pledges to implement the knowledge acquired in the training to effect change. Her organization is currently running an ‘anti-stigma’ campaign and she plans to share what she continues to learn with her colleagues.

For her part, Monica Lenyatsa says the training enlightened her on the effective use of media to showcase brand products and services to a wider audience, consequently benefiting their organizations.

She also emphasizes that the newly instilled financial discipline, which enables effective organization management and appealing outlook so as to attract other related opportunities.

Under the ‘Putting Youth and Women at the Centre of Inclusive Economic Growth’ framework, DWF is conducting the training programmes aimed at building the capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

This initiative is supported by the Financial Service Volunteer Corps (FSVC) and the European Union (EU), targeting youth and women.

Lesotho’s FSVC Programme Officer Tšepiso Nyopa says offices like the Auditor-General (AG), while implementing reforms, also require input from the public.

She challenges audiences to engage in lobbying and advocacy to form partnerships, so as to maximize the impact of shared goals and projects.

Apart from Maseru, similar training was conducted in the districts of Leribe and Butha-Buthe.