The West-Central Africa Division (WAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in partnership with Hope Channel International, organized a one-week training workshop for directors and staff of the Division and Union communication departments in Accra, Ghana.
Training took place on the Valley View University campus in Oyibi from October 8 to 12, 2018. Hope Channel International director for international development Joe Sloan was the facilitator.
The five-day intensive workshop was aimed at building staff capacity in news and video production, and to train staff to produce programs for Hope Channel Ghana.
Twenty-five participants were from the two Adventist Church union regions in Ghana — the Southern Ghana and Northern Ghana Unions. Other participants included three non-ministerial conference workers in the communication department of the Eastern Sahel Union Mission in Togo.
Participants were trained in both journalistic and technical skills in video news reporting and are now expected to begin sending at least one story from their fields every quarter for broadcast on Hope Channel Ghana. This includes news stories and reports of people converted to Christ through the preaching of the gospel.
Sloan urged communicators to emulate the example of Jesus. “Jesus communicated the message in simple, direct, honest manner to his listeners,” he said. “Only Jesus’ methods will bring success.” Sloan also called on participants to adopt the Savior’s techniques by giving their audiences complete and balanced reporting.
As a first step, participants worked to identify gaps and opportunities for effective church communication. That segment was followed by lessons in journalism, copyright, photography, and video. The facilitator also shared practical guides for producing news reports, documentaries, and short life-change stories, as well as information on sources of free editing software.
West-Central Africa Division communication director Irineo Koch challenged staff to be professional in every aspect of their work, making sure to cultivate the habit of sharing the good news through their work.
Participants were happy to learn more about the power of the camera to tell stories and to try their hands at taking pictures and videos and video editing. “I think I have been given the basic skills to produce simple report formats for my organization,” said communicator Samuel Allotey. “It is something that makes me feel empowered and inspired.”