Vocational training team shares expertise with Aga Khan University faculty in Uganda
Top: Dr. Yasmin Amarsi, dean of Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, welcomes VTT leader Matthias Oladeinde Shoga to the university’s campus in Kampala, Uganda. Photo by Jan Damery
Bottom: The team meets staff from the Mpigi Health Center near Kampala. Photo courtesy of Matthias Oladeinde Shoga
Members of a vocational training team shared their expertise in nursing education with faculty at Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery recently.
The training team, the first funded by a Rotary Foundation packaged grant, visited the campus in Kampala, Uganda, 27 February-12 March. Led by physician and Past District Governor Matthias Oladeinde Shoga, the three nurse educators from Nigeria trained their counterparts in teaching practices that promote student learning and improve effectiveness in education.
The training covered research techniques, the use of anatomical models, simulated classroom situations, and how to assess students’ attitudes through body language.
“To demonstrate their acquired experience, the faculty conducted classes for students with the team in attendance as observers,” says Shoga. “The [VTT] experience was enriching for both the team and the university, as we had things to learn from each other.”
Maternal and child health
The Foundation entered a strategic partnership with Aga Khan University last year, creating new opportunities for Rotarians to serve in the maternal and child health area of focus. Packaged grants are available under the Foundation’s Future Vision grant model.
The team also met Dr. Yasmin Amarsi, dean of the school, who describes the launch of the partnership between the university and The Rotary Foundation through the VTT as a “history-making opportunity” to help improve maternal and child health in East Africa. She notes that it was particularly significant that the first VTT came to the university from another African country to forge stronger continental links and to learn from each other’s experiences.
Team members also participated in a community service project sponsored by the Rotary Club of Muyenga, assisting the treatment of patients at a health clinic in Kassamu Kyali. The clinic is part of a large, sustainable Foundation grant project active in three areas of focus. It has established a clean water system, a bakery, a goat-breeding program, a vocational center where women sew dresses and uniforms for orphans and free mosquito bed nets for the community, and a solar-powered cold-chain facility that stores vaccines. The effort is sponsored by the Muyenga club and the Rotary Club of Genk-Noord, Belgium.
“This was a revelation -- to see a single project touching so many areas of the lives of the inhabitants,” says Shoga.
In addition, team members conducted a prenatal and health education clinic at the Mpigi Health Center, which serves about 120,000 people in an area near Kampala.
As a result of the VTT, team members say they have gained a better understanding of Rotary and have since become involved in service projects with their sponsor clubs.
“One of the team members has shown interest in joining her sponsor club,” says Shoga. “All have been invited to join the Rotary Foundation alumni association [and] are enthusiastic about joining.”
As for future contacts between the VTT and Aga Khan University, Shoga says the university’s faculty are committed to continuing to improve their skills as educators and excited to be part of opportunities that offer outside assistance.
“Our findings of a survey made of students and faculty, as well as recommendations of the team, have been [provided] for future use by the faculty,” says Shoga. “The VTT plans to remain connected to the nursing education faculty at Aga Khan University.”