Our fellows got additional learning on grants & proposals and these are some of their takeaways

December 14, 2018

Good afternoon beautiful people,

Hope you are enjoying December. 

The June cohort is on break - they had their last class for the year yesterday -  we learnt getting seed funds for projects and looked at crowdfunding (Read our Crowdfunding 101 tips for early stage start ups post) as one of the ways. 

The January cohort completed their school year at the end of October -  Curriculum learning is, however, not all we do here at The Academy, we are also about providing resources and community which we do by highlighting our fellows and their work through our #MCM//Mentalhealth Champion Mondays series. We started the series with Sarah from DR Congo - who runs Akili HealthCare; a platform through which people in Congo get information and support.   

This month we featured Samoina from Kenya - who hosts tweetchats as part of her organization's (PPDKenya) mission to raise awareness on maternal mental health, as well as to connect moms and dads who reach out to professional help.

..and providing additional learning based on the project needs for our fellows. So when one of our partners, Non Communicable Disease Alliance of Kenya, told us of their 2 day workshop on Proposal Writing and Grant Management, we decided to link two of our January fellows - Charity//Working on mental health and prisoners & Patrick//Working on access to mental health medication - with this community so that they can get additional skills in the world of grants and proposals.

Here is what they had to say about the sessions;

"The workshop was enlightening with very relevant content and excellent delivery. I have been challenged to go beyond my comfort to not only understand the current thematic areas of donors, but where they are going. I will now be proactive to refine the structures needed for the stability of the organisation...and look forward to synergising efforts with other partners addressing non-communicable diseases."

"It was a good opportunity to network with other players in the NCD field."

...and as far as take-aways go;
1.The organisation profile should ensure linkage between vision, mission, goals, objectives and activities.This is important when responding to proposals because it demonstrates capacity of organisation and should be consistent in all documents submitted
2. It is important to know the problem being addressed by the proposal. This calls for digging deeper to understand the problem and being specific to the donor priorities in addressing it.
3. Establish structures within the organisation to demonstrate readiness to deal with donors. This will involve having like-minded individuals to provide skills or serve as advisers or board members. In some instances it would be necessary to team up with other organisations in order to have a better chance of success.
4. Get to learn more about what is going on in mental health field of interest locally and globally. It includes knowing other players in the space and the donor interests.

KINDLY NOTE:::We will not be taking in a new class in January as we are tightening the curriculum, bringing in a faculty who will go through some training before we do a call out for fellows. Be sure to follow us on our social media pages or our newsletter to keep up to date with our call outs for faculty and fellows.

J O I N I N G T H E A C A D E M Y::: We are grateful to everyone who has DM'ed or emailed asking how they can join the academy either as faculty or a fellow. We had hoped to send those guidelines this weekend but will be pushing that to the beginning of 2019 as we tighten the curriculum and delivery of the program. Our first call out in 2019 will be for faculty who will be trained on the revised curriculum and program delivery. We will then start enrolling the 2019 cohort towards the end of quarter 1, 2019...private students sessions and consultancies will remain open during this time. Call outs for both faculty and fellows will be done on our social media page on IG, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as our newsletter and through our partners. #tmhabysitawa #mentalhealth #mentalhealthinAfrica #leadersofAfrica
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Have a lovely weekend//break.

Sending love and light,
Sitawa Wafula

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