Monrovia, Oct. 21 (LINA) – About 42 women-led Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) are benefiting from a two-day awareness and sensitization training on COVID-19 and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) risk prevention strategies.
The “intensive” training, which commenced on October 20 in Nimba County, is being conducted across the seven project-focused areas simultaneously, according to the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Supporting Citizens Initiative for Development in Africa (SCIDA-Liberia), Christopher Marsh.
According to Mr. Marsh, the ongoing training follows an initial training and setting-up of a network of CBOs which is clothed with the responsibility to organize regular awareness sessions at the community level.
The COVID-19 and SGBV risk prevention training, according to Marsh, is a component of a nine-month project being implemented by SCIDA-Liberia with financial support from the UN Women Peace
Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), while UN Women is providing technical support.
”Basically, we are working with women-led CBOs as well as vulnerable individuals at community level,” the SCIDA-Liberia official stated.
The ongoing component of the project, according to Marsh, is focused mainly on COVID-19 and SGBV risk and prevention strategies under the ”Supporting Women-led Initiative To Enhance The Fight Against Corona Virus Disease in Liberia,” which is focused on working with vulnerable personalities by providing them with cash through what is known as Social Safety Cash.
Speaking on the importance of the training, Marsh said at the end, participants will have a broader knowledge of COVID-19 and SGBV risk and prevention strategies which will help demystify some of the myths about COVID-19 and, at the same time, help to reawaken the consciousness of citizens about the presence of the virus in the country.
He said SCIDA-Liberia, as an organization working with locals, has observed the gross disrespect and ignoring of health protocols of COVID-19 prevention by citizens, apparently due to little or no awareness about the existence of the virus in Liberia.
”Our people are now becoming disrespectful and ignorant to health protocols of the COVID-19, and so we think by moving in to empower these people who will then go out to spread the awareness to the larger population, is necessary at this time,” Marsh noted.
According to him, as a way of ensuring that the awareness is fully carried out in the selected districts, SCIDA-Liberia has also trained stakeholders of those areas who will assist in carrying out the awareness along with its designated teams.
Authorities in the project areas have as well been trained on the channel of reporting SGBV-related cases to the police and were cautioned not to compromise any case of gender-based violence.
Mr. Alex P. Newah, who spoke on behalf of the participants, thanked SCIDA-Liberia for the training and promised that as they return to their various areas, they will join the organized network to further spread the awareness to other citizens.
Commenting on knowledge gained about SGBV risk prevention, Newah stated that prior to attending the training, he and some other participants did not know that SGBV can be prevented and how to immediately contact security actors whenever there is an SGBV case in their area.
Newah assured that he and his colleagues will serve as “ambassadors” of change in their respective areas on COVID-19 and SGBV upon return HOME.