It is a common saying that knowledge is power and with knowledge a society can prevent itself from harm and danger.
This is the kind of method or strategy that a not for profit organization, Action for Community Matters (ACOMA), is taking to vulnerable communities in Monrovia and its immediate environs as the Ebola virus rages on.
ACOMA last week trained dozens of adolescents and women as well as religious leaders from five communities including ELWA, West Point, Red-Light, Jacob Town and New Kru Town, in how to prevent the Ebola virus.
They were being trained about prevention at the home level. This has to do with what a mother can do when a member of the family falls sick. The trainees were also taught the measurement of disinfectants such as chlorine and chloride and how to dilute the substances.
At the launch of a 2-day awareness and sensitization campaign organized by people who benefitted from ACOMA’s intensive training in West Point last weekend, the chief executive officer of ACOMA, Emily Gugbeh-Peal, said since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the organization continues to buttress government’s efforts through its interventions with the passion for saving lives and promoting happy family life.
Madam Peal noted that the aim of these awareness and sensitization exercises is not only to empower community leaders with the requisite knowledge to enhance Ebola awareness; but also to ensure that the training have a trigger-down effect on the overall life of the communities.
“This is why after the intensive training we as an organization are following up with communities leaders as they engage their people using the basic skills taught them. By the same token, ACOMA will also distribute buckets and other sanitary materials to the various communities,” she said.
The ACOMA boss, who is also a micro finance expert and passionate leader, believes that when people are adequately informed and educated about the virus and how it can be prevented, they will stay safe and the virus will be contained. Therefore ACOMA’s interventions have been focused on awareness and distribution of anti-Ebola materials.
“This Ebola thing is a very serious threat to our country. Let us try to convince our people to live in line with recommendations by health authorities,” Madam Pearl said in an encouragement to community leaders.
From the onset of the outbreak, she noted that the organization’s initial strategy was using the telephone to advise all of its members and other women to observe the preventive measures, including constant and proper hand washing, avoiding bush meat and stopping traditional burial practices as well as getting in direct contact with the sick or dead people and animals.
Madam Peal further told the gathering that her organization was not only concerned with micro-financing businesswomen but also focusing on the holistic development and empowerment of women and families.
ACOMA is resolved to continue its interventions until the Ebola pandemic is contained and the country returns to normalcy, she said.
Madam Pearl noted that her organization was very grateful to Pierre and Abbey in New York, USA and the Mutual Benefits Insurance (MBI) Company in Monrovia for their contributions that helped make the training a successful one.
ACOMA is a not-for-profit organization established a year ago to empower women with basic business and managerial skills. It also offers financial loans to enable businesspeople, especially women, to sustain their families.