20 April 2010
12 participants from NGOs working with people who live with HIV (PLHIV) took part in a workshop on communication skills for people living with HIV took place 14-15 April in Almaty.During the training participants learned how to draft press releases and other elements of effective communication strategy.
“I didn’t know about the work of journalists at all. Now I understand the problem of communication from the other side. This training will prevent me from making mistakes in my communication. I have long waited for this training. Now I have “3D glasses”, I can see the problem of how to work with journalists more deeply” – said one participant, Maruert Sandikbaeva.
The regional training took place in Almaty. Participants came from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. During the two-day workshop local media trainers from Kazakhstan explained to participants the work of journalists, its key problems. There was lively discussion, role playing and presentations. Participants posed numerous questions on how to communicate with journalists and defamation issues. Trainers encouraged closer cooperation with journalists and showed them how to make their press releases more reader-friendly.
A media expert from Ukraine shared his personal experiences with participants. NGO representatives found his additions and advice to be very valuable and important.
Participants also received counseling from psychologists. They were taught how to stay calm during interviews and gave good advice for stressful communications.
The workshop was co-organized by the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty and the Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV. UNESCO Representatives presented the strategy on HIV and AIDS, with its comprehensive approach including Education, Science, Culture and Communication. This workshop was the first in the region focusing specifically on communication strategies for people living with HIV, including conveying their message via television.
Unfortunately, participants from Kyrgyzstan were prevented from attending the workshop due to the unexpected political conflict in the country. The organizers have agreed to provide the workshop through the Internet.