14 November 2014
ENCISS, the civil society initiative supported by UK aid from the British people and by the EU aimed at improving accountability and strengthening citizens’ voice, participation in decision-making and access to information, this week partnered with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to conduct vital training for 100 representatives from the police, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and local councils on psychosocial counseling.
Commenting on the requirement for such training Saio Momoh Kinthor, ENCISS National Programme Manager, said, ‘There is a desperate need for psychosocial support and training in Sierra Leone. Stigmatisation has become a serious problem, pushing Ebola survivors and families out of their communities and adding to their pain. We need to encourage the acceptance of medically cleared survivors and help communities understand the facts about Ebola transmission. It is important that communities and survivors stand in unity to successfully combat Ebola in Sierra Leone’.
Organised by the ENCISS implementing partners for the Western Rural and Urban areas, the training is being conducted by the Ministry of Health, who will engage groups of 25 beneficiaries daily across four days between the 11th and 14th of November at locations in Waterloo and Kissy. ENCISS are project managing the initiative.
ENCISS was recently granted a four-month extension, until January 2015, by UK Aid from the UK Government, allowing the initiative to continue its valuable work in promoting good governance in Sierra Leone. In recognition of the challenge facing the country in battling the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) gave the programme approval to focus primarily on Ebola relief work over the extension period.
This week’s activities will teach police, Ward Development Committees, Contact Tracers and CSOs some of the skills needed to help them deal with psychosocial issues arising in their communities as a result of Ebola.
Speaking at the Kissy training session, held at the Maurinhno Multi-Purpose Complex Hall in Portee, Alfred Dumbuya Chair of the ENCISS Western Implementing Partners Group, said, ‘The on-going Ebola crisis has demanded an extraordinary relief effort by the Government of Sierra Leone, international agencies, local communities and Civil Society Organisations. This week’s training by the Ministry of Health and ENCISS is teaching individuals important skills necessary for securing rapid victory against Ebola and will help allow our communities a swift to return to normality’.