Hilda Kokuhirwa Sinkonde

Hard to believe that in 2021 on the first day of September it will be 45 years since I first walked into UMass! My first sight of snow falling and the CIE Tuesday meetings have stayed with me all these years. I left CIE in 1982, and retired in 2013 after 31 years of working for various government and non-government organizations, education and training institutions, the United Nations and other development organizations.


Just before retirement, I worked with International Training and Education Center for Health (ITECH) Tanzania under the University of Washington Seattle as Distance Education Program Manager and Provider Initiated Testing and Counseling for HIV and AIDS Field Officers. ITECH provides technical and institutional support to the Tanzania Ministry of Health to build capacity among health care workers in health and medical facilities. I was responsible for overseeing and coordinating curriculum development, planning, developing learning materials and training health care workers through ToT workshops. Did I meet anyone from CIE while working with ITECH? Yes, I met Jode Walp Baker who was at that time working with CDC in Dar! It was the second time we met through work and it was fun.


From 1993 to 1995 I worked in Namibia with World Education as a Training Officer whose main responsibility was to provide training, particularly the training of trainers and follow up support to a variety of NGOs and the Department of Adult Education, in the Ministry of Education and Culture. Any CIE members? Yes, I had the opportunity to work closely with Bonnie Mullinix on the ToT workshops. By the end of the program, the Namibian trainers had formed the Namibian Trainers Association.


Before World Education, I taught Swahili to both undergraduate and graduate students for six years in the African American Program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. In addition to teaching at Yale, I was an Adjunct Faculty at the Institute for Public Service International at the University of Connecticut designing and facilitating training programs for senior level managers from developing countries.


Between 1996 and 2007, I worked as an independent consultant focusing on education and training with special focus on the training of trainers for a variety of institutions and organizations both in the US and some African countries. The major clients were:


  • ECA Economic Commission for Africa: An appraisal of African women’s achievements during the UN Decade for Women: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia.
  • UNDP (Tanzania and Malawi on Civil Service Reforms with focus on the training needs of women executives)
  • UNICEF (New York on Social communication and marketing for Child Survival)
  • UNIFEM (New York on African Women and Food Security)
  • UNHCR (South Africa: Cape Town, Johannesburg and  Durban  on Advocacy Training for Refugee NGOS)
  • US Peace Corps: Technical and cross-cultural training for Peace Corps Volunteers in Niger, Cape Verde and Namibia. It was in Niger where I first met Jode Walp in 1991. Our paths have been crossing ever since.
  • African American Institute: (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and  Tanzania;  Training in Negotiation Skills for ATLAS Alumni)


My most satisfying experience has been working in the field where I have been able to listen to, and dialogue with the beneficiaries of the programs. In particular, I have enjoyed working on training programs which involve clients at all levels from needs assessment to evaluation. (Kudos to Jane Vella and Linda Abrams who gave me some of the tools. I took a Master Trainer course at Jane’s Jubilee Popular Education Center) Involving clients and beneficiaries through dialogue, sharing outcomes, and receiving feedback are some of the ways that assured me that what I had done was meaningful. I am grateful to the CIE faculty, staff and fellow students for their contribution to my survival and success. [2-21]


Email: kokuhirwa16@gmail.com


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