The second phase of the campaign on Increasing Community Actions to Prevent HIV/AIDS and Ebola, sponsored by CHICO-Liberia, was launched yesterday in Salala and Kpal Districts in Bong County.
The program, at the estimated cost of US$4000, is targeting both young and old of both sexes in Gbarnga, Bong County and Ganta, Nimba County, according to Philip McKay of the Bong County Awareness Program (BOCAP).
BOCAP is implementing the program and it is expected to educate more than 25,000 people in both counties, McKay said.
In a power-point demonstration before officials of CHICO-Liberia and community leaders, including many young people, McKay drew attention to the twin dangers of Ebola and HIV/AIDS and the need for the community to become aware of these dangers.
Salala Commissioner Allen Tugbah witnessed the ceremony.
Placing emphasis on the experiences of young motorbike operators and their female passengers, McKay urged the community to make use of the awareness campaign that is aimed at helping young people take responsible decisions about their sex lives.
“Don’t let the man riding the motorbike come for you in the night and you return home later and later with the consequences of pregnancy and childbirth without being aware of the danger you face as far as HIV/AIDS is concerned,” McKay told them.
In the next three months, he said, BOCAP will offer tests and counseling, distribute condoms, provide 100 flyers with information on responsible sex life, hold group discussions, media outreach and engage 700 motorbike riders on how to be responsible in managing their relationships.
Declaring the campaign open, Mr. Joseph Swen, administrator and media relations officer of CHICO-Liberia, said the construction company, in addition to providing the funds for the program, chose to become a partner with BOCAP.
HIV/AIDS cannot be separated from Ebola in the danger they pose to society and therefore CHICO-Liberia decided to become a partner to ensure that the campaign is a success, he explained.
“CHICO-Liberia gives high priority to its corporate social responsibility because we are a people-friendly company,” Swen said. “We are partners in this campaign to get the message to the people.”
Swen noted that CHICO-Liberia was happy that the organizers blended awareness of HIV/AIDS and Ebola together. “CHICO will stand by BOCAP to make sure that the current awareness campaign is successful,” he said.
He explained that CHICO-Liberia undertakes annual projects as part of its corporate social responsibility to communities.
The first phase was held from April 27, 2015. Salala Commissioner Tugbah commended CHICO-Liberia for the educational campaign and called on the community to make use of the information provided.
The daylong program involved the provision of facts about HIV/AIDS and Ebola, Questions and Answers and a film show on HIV/AIDS and Ebola, as well as HIV/AIDS counseling and testing in Salala. The occasion was made lively by the Victory Singing Ministry of five young women who entertained the audience with inspiring Gospel songs.