(April 29, 2022, Paynesville City, Liberia)—A five-day long regional training on communities’ mobilization for reproductive health and family planning has come to end at the Kendeja Hotel, Paynesville City, outskirt of Monrovia.
The training, which started today, April 25 -29,2022, was organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Breakthrough Action-Liberia. It trooped participants from several countries around the world, as African participants were in their numbers. Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Malawi, USA, etc are countries participants were selected from.
Firmly grounded in proven practices, Breakthrough ACTION has been working in partnership with the Liberian government through the Ministry of Health, civil society, and communities in twelve counties across Liberia to implement creative and sustainable SBC programming, nurture SBC champions, mainstream new techniques and technologies, and advocate strategic and sustained investment in SBC.
“To the facilitators, thanks for selecting and willing to come to Liberia. Now, to our participants, thanks for accepting the training. And to the Breakthrough ACTION team, it’s actually exciting: we look forward to building on this, especially with the government of Liberia”, Dr. Saratu Olabode-Ojo, Chief of Party, Breakthrough Action-Liberia, expressed.
However, Hon. Joyce D Sherman, Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health, has lauded USAID and Breakthrough ACTION for their continuous interventions and at the same time called on participants to make maximal use of what were taught to transform their respective countries’ health sectors for the good of the locals.
“As you have gotten this knowledge, please use it to help transformed the communities in your respective locals. We want to thanks Breakthrough Actions for the initiative”, Minister Sherman Lauds.
The five-day training exercise focused on strengthening participant’s capacities to carry out Community Mobilization for Reproductive Health and family planning, using the adapted Community Action Cycle (CAC).
Wilson Gaye, Co-Facilitator and Employee of the Ministry of Health, said he expects trainees to apply knowledge gained from the training, especially in the scope of social and behaviour change communication (SBCC); social and behavior change (SBC); Community Mobilization (CM) and how they interrelate to each other; assess and strengthen community capacity to identify and prioritize reproductive health (RH)/ family planning (FP) issues, plan and implement effective community activities to address these issues; articulate their feelings, values and attitudes about gender and how personal perspectives of gender affects their work with communities; monitor community mobilization process, outcomes, and learning across communities; and plan how the new skills and knowledge will be applied upon return to their respective countries.
“Our expectation here is that whatever we learned from this training should be applied so the community can be the beneficiary”, Mr. Gaye expressed.
Hence, Adeniyi Olalekan Ekisola, a Nigerian participant, described the training as “strategies to building partnership between communities and the health system”.
In furtherance, participants assembled a Community Action Group (CAG) to work on key FP/RH issues that would describe modem approaches and tools to explore and prioritize SBC determinants of RH/FP issues, and they identified, through session discussion and presentations, a community behaviour that are easier or harder to change.
Finally, at the end of the training, participants defined process and tools for supportive supervision, monitoring and reporting of community mobilization initiatives, identified the areas of improvement for the workshop, and annex commitment to use their new skills to mobilize communities in their respective countries.
Their interventions will harness the demonstrated power of communication—from mass media to community outreach to user-driven social media campaigns—to inspire long-lasting change, while also taking advantage of innovative approaches from marketing science, behavioral economics, and human-centered design.They were certificated for their participation.
Director of Communications, MoH/RL