About 42 women-led Community Based Organizations (CBOs) have benefited from a-two day awareness and sensitization training workshop on COVID-19 and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) risk prevention strategies.
The two days ”intensive” training commenced on October 20 in Nimba and was conducted across the seven project-focused areas simultaneously, according to the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Sipporting Citizens Initiative for Development in Africa (SCIDA-Liberia).
According to Christopher Marsh, the training followed an initial training and setting up of a network f 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 which is being implemented by SCIDA-Liberia with financial support from an UN auxiliary group called 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 levels”, the SCIDA-Liberia M&E Officer 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 part of the project 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, Mr. Marsh said at the end, participants will have a broader knowledge on COVID-19 and SGBV risk and prevention strategies to which will help demystify some of the myths of COVID-19 and the same help to reawken 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 relative to the COVID-19 prevention by citizens perhaps due to little or no awareness about the existence of the virus in Liberia.
”Our people are now becoming to disrespectful and ignorant to health protocol on 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 According to him, as a way of making sure that the awareness is fully carried out in those
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 cautioned not to compromise any case of gender violence.
Alex P. Newah, a participant 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 particularly on knowledge learned about the SGBV risk prevention, Newah stated that prior to attending the training, he and maybe other participants did not know that SGBV can be prevented and how to immediately contact security actors whenever there is an instance SGBV case in their area.
He assured that he and his colleagues will serve as ambassadors of change in their respective areas as they return.