At least fifteen (15) National United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) have concluded a one-day refresher orientation for the Montserrado Community Based Initiative on Ebola.
The project takes cognizance of the need for community involvement in the national Ebola response, to stop the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the eventual elimination of the disease from Liberia.
Taking account of the comparative advantage of the UNV programme in dealing with community and youth groups, the project has mobilized over 1,200 national community volunteers, and about 15 National UNVs to help with monitoring and coordination of (MCBI) field activities.
The National Volunteers will be tasked with carrying out community sensitization on the prevention of Ebola infection. Identification of the sick and dead; Active Case Findings; IT and data analysis, and Communication are among some of the assignments being carried out under the direct supervision of the UN Volunteers Program and UNDP Ebola Response Program.
The project will promote immediate actions being taken by UNDP to respond to the crisis, and show how Ebola is affecting the development agenda in Liberia.
Addressing the National UNVs Wednesday at the UNDP head offices in Monrovia, UNDP Deputy Country Director for Programme Cleophas Torori said the work of UNVs will help boast ongoing efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease in Liberia.
Mr. Torori said the fight against the EVD has reached a critical stage where the efforts of everyone will be robustly required to ensure that the virus is totally eradicated from the country.
“If the war against the virus most be won, Montserrado County, mainly Monrovia should be heavily concentrated because it hosts over sixty-five percent (65%) of the country’s population” said Mr. Torori.
He pointed out that the people of Liberia have suffered too long at the hands of the deadly Ebola virus disease and it was now time for the people to ‘get their lives back.
Mr. Torori indicated that with the consolidated efforts of the volunteers and other partners involved in the national EVD response, the President and Government’s goal of ‘no new case by December 25’ will be achieved.
He told the volunteers to be cognizant of the challenges of denial, stigmatization, hiding of sick and other practices that still persist in various communities across the country.
UNVs contribute to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide.
Presenting the overview of the project, UNDP Partnership & Compliance Advisor and Ebola Focal Point, Fredrick Ampiah said the MCBI project was close to heart of UNDP especially in winning the battle against EVD in the country.
Mr. Ampiah told the volunteers to see themselves as a team, working toward a goal of getting to ‘zero new Ebola case’ by December 25 this year. He added: “You are one team with different responsibilities and working to achieve one goal…”
Mr. Eric Opoku, UNV Programme Officer urged UNVs to be motivated by their work which is aimed at providing services to their communities.
Mr. Opoku said volunteers should not be considered as less important people, but rather a group of professional people rendering valuable services in various capacities.
He said UNV is a programme of the UN that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide and administered by UNDP as the mother organization.