(July 17, 2020) Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, a good governance and research institution working to promote democracy and participatory governance in Liberia disbursed an additional small grant of One Million Two Hundred Thousand Liberian Dollars (L$1,200,000.00) to support 20 community-based organizations (CBOs), including National Union of Organizations of the Disabled, University of Liberia Masters in Public Health Student Volunteers, Public Health Care Solution, Youth Network for Positive Change, Orphan Concern Liberia, Youth Aid Liberia, SATEC TV among others to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties. The Community Action Platform Against COVID-19 project which started in April 2020 with an initial support to 45 CBOs in Montserrado used Ebola experiences and integrated its lessons learned into community led actions and multi-stakeholder platform models.
The project second phase will enable partners CBOs to contribute to the response process in their communities by creating awareness on the importance of hand-washing, social distancing, wearing of face masks, stopping community and person to person spread of the virus, and symptoms of COVID-19 as well as holding small group discussions to enhance peacebuilding, and social cohesion in the execution of the National Health Protocols.
The Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie D. Jarwolo believes that the approach is highly adaptive and supports community resilience, boost community ownership of stopping transmission of the virus and yielding greater citizens’ participation to overcome misinformation about the virus. He said using our community organizing skills and social mobilization lessons learned from the Ebola crisis, NAYMOTE is prepared to ignite the same spirit and vigor to help save the lives of vulnerable populations in Liberia.
Additionally, the institution has hired 15 college students as volunteers to create awareness with approved health messages on COVID-19 prevention using mobile phones, five radio stations (2 national and 3 community based including OK FM, Truth FM, Radio Gbarnga, Classic FM, Radio Gbehzohn and Radio Kergheamahn) are being supported to air messages on the COVID-19 prevention in English and local languages. The partner CBOs have received facemasks, posters, flyers, and banners with various messages to enhance peacebuilding, social cohesion, and COVID-19 prevention to be used during implementation.
With the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Liberia, NAYMOTE is calling on politicians interested in the upcoming senatorial election to place citizens’ health and safety first, support the national COVID-19 response process and adhere to Government announcements and health protocols. It is unacceptable to see politicians rallying large crowds without adhering to health protocols during a public health crisis only because they want to be elected. We call on the health authorities and government to immediately put in place safety measures ahead of the mid-term senatorial election to save lives.
The project has been funded by the United Nations Development Programme through the UN Peacebuilding Fund.