The Country Director of Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Madam Crayton, has described communication as a powerful tool that can either make or break any society, depending on how it is used.
Speaking Thursday, August 27, at the opening of a two-day workshop for producers, technicians of partner radio stations and facilitators of radio listening groups in Liberia, Madam Crayton stated how at some point, misinformation and rumors almost made Liberia lose the fight against Ebola.
Oxfam Country Director Mamadu Salifu challenged beneficiaries to make themselves comrades of the poor and friends of the stigmatized. He and other speakers primarily called on journalists to highlight the plight of the marginalized.
The training was organized by the West Africa Democracy Radio based in Dakar and sponsored by Oxfam for producers, technicians of partner radio stations and facilitators of radio listening groups in Liberia.
A similar exercise ended last week in Sierra Leone, while another is expected to take place shortly in Guinea.
For his part, Former Assistant Information Minister Albert Jaja, who deputized for the Information Minister Lewis Brown, thanked OSIWA for the assistance it has given the media from the days of the civil crisis, making reference to direct financial assistance given to scores of journalists to help them resettle after the war.
Mr. Jaja used the occasion to comment on challenges government faced in trying to curb the spread of Ebola, saying its critics used the crisis as a referendum on its overall performance.
Instead of entirely focusing on the negatives, he said government highlighted the success stories of survivors.
Jefferson Massah, a participant and producer with radio Gbarnga in central Liberia lauded the organizers for the training as well as the donation of equipment to the six community radio stations that participated in the two-day training. He said both the training and material support will help to enhance their production capacity.
The equipment presented to the stations included computers, microphones, recorders, smart phones and head phones.
The project aimed at supporting and monitoring effective Ebola governance in the sub-region will run for the next three months through a collaboration involving the West Africa Democracy Radio in Dakar with partner community radio stations in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.