Our chapters are the engines of AU Watch.They do all of the practical work of implementing the in-country projects and programs of AU Watch.
A major task of our chapters is to ensure that our activities are effectively publicized in-country. Such publicity involves, for example and where appropriate, organizing interviews with leading AU and UN personalities that visit the country. They are involved in organizing seminars, workshops, press conferences and briefings and various types training on AU related issues. Many of our chapters also organize schools’ athletics, football and other sports competitions on key regional dates to commemorate those dates, like Africa Human Rights Day. Some of our more established chapters are also involved organizing debating and moot court competitions for schools and colleges; spelling competitions for junior and senior schools, and radio and TV debates on AU matters.
Some of our chapters have an AU Watch radio and studio sourcing and providing content for that chapter. Theyare also able to provide audio-visual and print materials for use by community groups or outreach workers and work with local community organizations to convene discussion groups, road shows, street theatre and community events on issues that affect their daily lives and that are important to AU Watch.
The objective is to reach people who might not ordinarily have access to mass media and facilitate more discussion, deepening our impact and providing vital opportunities for audiences to input into program-making
Want to Start a Chapter?
Starting an AU Watch Chapter
Great! You’ve decided that you want to get involved with AU Watch. You’ve also figured out that there isn’t an active AU Watch chapter in your area, and you want to take the initiative and to start one in your town. It’s not difficult.
Here’s how to get one started:
1. Request For AU Constitution and By-Laws- It is important for you to understand how AU Watch is run and how your new chapter will fit into the family of AU Watchers. Look at the strategic plans of AU Watch and the strategic plans of some other Chapters and Directorates. It might mean that the constitution may have to be tailored for your particular chapter. But your new chapter will have to operate within the broad policy frameworks of AU Watch.
2.Understand the Local Laws- Every country is different and the laws of registering NGOs differ widely from country to country. It is important you understand the laws and the regulations, so that you keep, strictly, within the laws.
3. Find Other Core Members – You may be starting the chapter as one person, but one person doesn’t make a chapter. Find between three and five others who are interested in making this work with you.
4. Decide on the Issues – Once you have your core members, you then need to figure out what sort of activism your chapter will do and which issues you wish to take on. The issues could depend on what’s big in your state or area. For example, youth unemployment, or some other social injustice issues. Of course, you don’t have to pick your issues in one meeting. Use this time to also set up a regular meeting schedule as well as to recruit additional members.
5. Visit Another Section- It might be useful to visit another section go see how things are done. The Gambia Chapter is the first and they do have a lot of experience.
Create a Plan
After deciding on the issues, and looking at the strategic plans of the entire organisation and some of the chapters and directorates, you then need to create an action plan, a plan on how to build awareness on those issues and to accomplish something awesome. This could include planning your first event, partnering with similar organizations in your area, or building a public presence with a petition drive.
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For more information on our chapters click here.
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