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DECSEC AND FOCUS 1000 Train Stakeholders

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DECSEC AND FOCUS 1000 Train Stakeholders

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Focus 1000, the workshop which had as its theme, “Strengthening Community Mobilisation and Local Councils Service Delivery in the Post-Ebola Context” was   aimed at building the capacities of participants and prepare them for the implementation of the Social Sensitization Component of the Japan Development Fund Project (JSDF). In his presentation of the project’s background, the Capacity Manager of Decentralisation Secretariat, John Braimah, said when the Ebola Epidemic struck, the Sierra Leone Government appealed to the Japanese Government for assistance which led to the implementation of the JSDF Project in the four hardly hit Districts of Portloko, Bombali, Western Area Rural and Urban.  He described the JSDFP as “the only surviving project in the Decentralisation Secretariat”, adding that in a bid to strengthen the Information, Education and Communication Unit of the Secretariat, they hired the service of Focus 1000 to develop IEC Materials for the entire project. He appealed for cooperation among stakeholders to ensure the project is successfully implemented.  Giving his Keynote address, the Director of Decentralisation Secretariat, Alex Bonapha, shared his experience with participants and gave harrowing accounts of events relating to the Ebola pandemic in the country. He described Focus 1000 as reputable organization and thanked them for using experienced and outstanding IEC Experts as resource persons. He entreated the participants to “put on their best” to ensure an appreciable IEC Manual is developed. Chairman, Portloko District Council, Idrissa Bangura, commended government for the giant strides it is taking to achieve results, particularly in the area of development. He spoke the tremendous effort his council has been making to ensure effective service delivery. He thanked DECSEC for organizing the programme and hoped it objectives will be realized. A Senior Lecturer of Mass Communication at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Tonya Musa, while referring to IEC Materials as very strategic, described the programme as very important as it will promote effective social mobilization process that would prevent stigma and restore hope to Ebola Survivors. He urged participants to always ensure that IEC materials and messages are measurable, accurate, and realistic and time bound, adding that the core objective of the programme is to enhance skills, knowledge and attitudes. The Manager, Health Education Division in the Ministry of Health, Lansana Conteh who also served as one of the Facilitators spoke of challenges faced by Health Professionals and partners during emergencies and underscored that the programme will facilitate community dialogue on various aspects, including social cohesion. Following interactive sessions were participants made meaningful contributions, a Technical Group, comprising staff of DECSEC, Focus 1000 and the Lead Facilitators later worked on the final messaging and finalise anti stigma messages and workshop manual

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