Garikanai Shoko is the Regional Education Officer for BWI Africa and the Middle East, responsible for all programmes in the region but also working closely with BWI sub regional coordinators and affiliates project coordinators. Education and training is one of the areas he works on to ensure BWI Africa capacitates their affiliates with various skills such as organising, OHS etc. He is also responsible for regional strategy in liaison with colleagues and affiliates.
IFWEA has run workshops with BWI over the past couple of years, including groups on capacity building for youth on digitalisation and use of digital tools, and how to organise workers in a new target group.
We asked Gari about the working relationship with IFWEA, and aims for worker education in the future.
Why have you teamed up with IFWEA?
The issue of the fourth industrial revolution accelerated by Covid-19 encouraged BWI to engage the services of IFWEA, who have vast knowledge of offering worker education. IFWEA has not just worked with us at regional level but at global level through the Global Organising Academy (GOA).
How do these workshops support BWI objectives?
The workshops fit well into BWI objectives in terms of developing a successor generation and organisers with new skills in the changing world of work.
Do you have examples of people using what they have learnt in the workshops?
Most of the youth from southern Africa BWI Construction Network have been able to use the digital tools they were taught for the benefit of workers. For example, Mauritian youth developed an app to communicate with workers/members.
What is the quality of the facilitation?
IFWEA, through Saliem Patel, offers excellent facilitation. He knows not only how to speak comfortably in front of an audience but can also convey the workshop process in a simple, concise manner. As a facilitator, he is able to paraphrase back individual ideas for purposes of better clarity and/or to validate the participants’ intention. Practical examples are always given and the workshops are interactive.
Are the workshops mainly person to person, or online?
During the Covid-19 pandemic they were online, but are now face to face.
What are your aims when it comes to worker education and BWI?
Strengthening solidarity, building strong and effective unions, influencing policy, finding new innovative ways of organising and recruiting and promoting equality via the concept of decent work. Ensuring unions have the capacity to organise in the ever-changing world of work using new skills, and that all have access to relevant engagement tactics during collective bargaining.
To find out more about what activities and courses IFWEA is running in 2023, download our programme here.