Training CBOs & Media for Non-Complacency Outreach
An entire year has gone by, a dark period during which communities fought tooth and nail to ensure that the EBOLA Virus Disease (EVD) was eradicated from our shores. Then it seemed like our hard work had paid off. On May 9th, 2015, we were declared EBOLA-free, after 42 days with no recorded cases of Ebola, by the World Health Organization (WHO). And oh how we welcomed that news at GPFA! We were so very excited as that meant, we got to send our scholars back to school, host our summer programs and prepare our International Students to finally be able to leave without the inadvertent stigma coming from an EBOLA-affected country brings.
OH! HOW WE ALMOST MADE IT!!!
We continued to carry out our awareness – basically telling our communities that with new cases of Ebola still being recorded in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone, the outbreak is far from over and Liberians needed to stay with the program and follow protocols as set by the local, regional and international health authorities. We continue to carry out our awareness that with new cases of Ebola still being recorded in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone, the outbreak is far from over and Liberians needed to stay with the program and follow protocols as set by the local, regional and international health authorities. We put messages into the public that for Liberia to record 42 days with no cases of Ebola was a real milestone but that communities should not take their foot off the gas on awareness and outreach on following the EBOLA prevention protocols until all three of the countries record 42 days with no cases.
And, for a brief moment there was a glimmer of hope – but then without any warning – BAM!! The deadly EVD was back. Just like that.
BACK TO SQUARE ONE :(
Well that is the nature of the disease, hence the reason why we at the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) continue to preach an everyday “sermon” of non-complacency. We recently closed out an a women-led campaign to kick the virus out of our communities, our homes, our towns and villages. And the one stark feedback is the need to improve cross-border surveillance to prevent a full blown all-out re-emergence of the disease in Liberia. Overall, we were able to continue our EBOLA Awareness Initiative in communities in several different counties since April of 2015. Our Media Institutions and Community-based partners and our staff and scholars underwent trainings as applicable, carried out outreach and awareness on EVD prevention and eradication in market places, slum communities, public transport hotspots and busy transit points, in schools, mosques and churches. Our outreach initiative ensured that everywhere we went we left the message of non-complacency with our audience and asked them to each take the personal responsibility for the safety of their environment. To date, we continue to encourage survivors’ assimilation, especially the little children who have been orphaned by the rampaging virus.
We were also able to supply various hospitals, UL Clinic, Elementary & Junior High School Clinics and Community Health Centers, with much needed Air freighted and Sea-shipped Medical Supplies donated to us by MedShare. With nearly two hundred Liberian health workers dying after contracting the EVD, and the fact that the epidemic decimated the country’s already fragile national health system, we at GPFA acknowledge the blessings that were bestowed upon us through donations like yours to enable our communities keep safe. We know that we have been blessed and are grateful to have been able to support the efforts by our community-based partners and the success stories to be told despite the dreariness of the resurfacing of the disease.
WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!
GPFA is actively working on our “Let’s Do It Again” campaign to - AGAIN - kick the disease out of the country and ensure that our lives return to normalcy of sorts. We hope to be able to get other like-minded non-profit organizations to buy-in and join us in the fight. This we believe will help us refocus. GPFA inherently feel that it is time for health needs to be addressed as a priority, where Liberians feel confident they can go to hospital once again and have their healthcare needs looked after. And we know that with our partners and donors like you, helping to spread the news and share our information, the international community will continue to support Liberia and Guinea and Sierra Leone in rebuilding a strong and affordable national health system with adequate human and material resources.
YOU ARE SO, SO APPRECIATED!
Sometimes it is like deja vue to be writing to you and again stating “thanks to all our partners like you,” but - it is in sincere appreciation of each and every one of you, who continue to be the wind beneath our wings, who continue to support us as we fight this deadly disease to make Liberia EBOLA free!
What about you? How have you fared on this one-year journey with us? Let us know of any other ways you think we could better help our communities. Your suggestions are sorely needed too. Plus we ask that you please don’t give up on us, but rather that you continue journeying with us until we see ourselves through this crisis.
IT IS BEATABLE! We can Kick EBOLA OUT! So Let’s do it Again!!!
Posting NonComplacency Messages to School Bulletin
Keeping the Elderly Safe
GPFA Scholars Assist with MedShare Distribution
Peace Home Medical Clinic rcv'g MedsShare supplies