World Federation of
Science Journalists

WFSJ welcomes Kenya

January 19, 2007 posted in Associations

Board members of the WFSJ have voted unanimously in favour of accepting Kenya as a member of the Federation, at its last meeting on December 14th.

The Kenyan association, called MESHA, which stands for Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture, has currently 37 members in five of the eight provinces of the country. It was officially founded in November 2005, by Mr Daniel Otunge the current chairman of the group, and Aghan Daniel, a freelance science journalist.

They believe that there are no organizations such as theirs that offer support to science reporters covering the agriculture, the environment, health and development, and that the timing is right to encourage networking, training, meetings and workshops among reporters in Kenya. They also see many benefits in extending their experience outside the country. "MESHA joined WFSJ so that we could find a global and wider forum that will act as an avenue for our members to share experiences by engaging in effective networking with colleagues from other parts of the world," writes its secretary Aghan Daniel. They hope that their membership with the WFSJ will help better manage and improve fundraising for their young association. "We are convinced that we can learn from our more experienced colleagues from elsewhere, so that Mesha as an organization outlives its founder movers and shakers," states Daniel.

Here are some of their projects:

1. Capacity building -organising workshops, trainings, meetings and seminars for members and other journalists interested in becoming members.
2. Networking - for the last two years, Mesha has been responsible in fundraising for a regional annual meeting held rotationally among members. Members include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
3. Consultancy - In order to expose members to various issues, drawing from their experience, Mesha usually offers consultancy in areas like media, science communication training and holding of events. We also do editing, media liaison among other things.
4. Information and Features Services - Members are usually commissioned by various organisations to do topical scientific features on their behalf at a small fee.
5. Reporting on Disability - Mesha is currently holding discussions with stakeholders in disability issues with a view of training journalists.

For more on MESHA, write to Aghan Daniel, Coordinator of MESHA:

Head office
Family Health Plaza - First Floor
Mai Mahiu Road, off Langata Road
P.O. Box 1285, 00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya


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