Our Foundation’s new communications officer in Benin!
Chamsou-Dine, can you introduce yourself ?
My name is Chamsou-Dine BAGUIRI. I was born on the 2nd of March 1993 in Parakou, Benin. I come from Ina, a district of Bembèrèkè Municipality in the North. I have a Baccalaureat B in literature and economics and a licence in technical information and communication sciences, option journalism. I am married and have two children: a girl and a boy.
Why did you apply at the Foundation ?
I found my personal values and especially my will to share and the importance I attach to volunteering fully reflected in the values of the Foundation. The activities of the Hubi & Vinciane Foundation are also clearly in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. I think that is very important.
The actions undertaken by the Foundation in the municipalities of Tchaourou, Parakou and N’Dali all contribute effectively to the welfare of the people of Benin. I was touched by the Foundation’s will and commitment to help and support others and by the awareness-raising actions it undertakes in the areas of education, health, agriculture and nutrition. I fell in love with the Foundation, as it were.
When I was still working as a reporter for Benin’s public broadcasting company in Parakou (Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin), I had already done a report on a Foundation activity. So, I was already somewhat familiar with the Foundation before I started working there.
Did you have similar experiences before or did you work in the same sector?
Yes, I had professional experiences on social issues before, but I dare not say they were similar. For example, I have been a member of the Benin Network of the World Youth Parliament for Water (RBPMJE) since 2019. There I am responsible for all communication in the Borgou region. Based on my interest in sustainable development goals, I specialised in writing articles and making videos. With the RBPMJE we go out on the road as volunteers to sensitise and motivate the population for a more hygienic way of living.
The arrival of COVID-19 meant that with the RBPPJE and another association in which I am active, Voix et Actions Citoyennes (VOA), we focused on communication through social networks to combat the pandemic. With those two associations and through fieldwork for some international NGOs, I learned a lot about observation and reporting, not to mention writing articles and making audio-visual productions.
You have been working at the Foundation since the beginning of March. What have you focused on so far?
Since I joined the Foundation, I have focused on writing articles and producing video clips on the different areas of the Foundation’s work. I have already produced several videos, including a report on the handing over of schoolbooks to the public primary and secondary schools with which the Foundation cooperates and a video clip for the Volunteer Week in Belgium. I have also written several articles, such as a report on the visit of the Belgian ambassador in Benin to CIAP and on the horticultural training of the Foundation’s animators, to name a few.
Moreover, I am working on making the Foundation’s actions more visible. That was one of my objectives when I joined the Foundation.
You already have a first idea of how the Foundation works. Are there things you would like to change about the way information is exchanged between the sympathisers in Belgium and in Benin?
The exchange of information with sympathisers in Belgium is going well. I feel as if I am ‘in Belgium’ when I work with or have contact with people in Belgium.
I think we should continue producing videos and articles. They are important for raising awareness in the context of subsidies and sponsorship. I will do my utmost for that.
We could also organise weekly exchange sessions with the Belgian volunteers via video conference to share more information and get to know each other better.
The newsletter and the website are essential for the operation in Belgium. Do you have any idea how the newsletter and the website are used in Benin?
Yes, I am working on a strategy. All staff members of the local team, the scholarship students and the interns are involved. Everyone will be encouraged to read the newsletter regularly and check the website.
I am planning to set up a Whatsapp group called “Friends of the Hubi & Vinciane Foundation”. All these people will also like the Facebook page and all other publications of the Foundation and encourage their friends to do the same. They will also visit the Foundation’s website.
How do you see the role of social media in achieving the Foundation’s objectives (medicine, education, agriculture) and in better reaching the people of Benin?
Social networks play an important role in the achievement of the Foundation’s objectives. The Facebook page and Twitter are intended to inform Internet users of the Foundation’s activities. Publishing every two days would be a good option to catch and hold the attention of Internet users, especially in Benin, Africans, Europeans and others. With the tweets and shares we will succeed in reaching a maximum number of people and make the Foundation better known.
Thank you Chamsou-Dine. We wish you good luck.