As the nationwide cases of affected persons keep rising, ABSI has been on an active COVID-19 prevention education campaign to enlighten rural communities on the dangers of the pandemic. On 4th July 2020, the Anti-Bullying Squad Initiative (ABSI) World-Wide Sierra Leone Chapter re-engaged the people of Taiama Kori Chiefdom, Moyamba District on the pandemic and related issues. The squad’s media person, Samuel Koroma said the messages set the tone for a successful day-long deliberation.
Explaining ABSI’s origins, country director Maurice Musa Momoh Kargbo told the people, “The formation of ABSI was informed from the burning desire of the founder Madam Zainab Yillah and co-founder Theresa Tity Brewah to give back to society. These two people have dedicated their lives to helping humanity, and decided to come together to form the organisation that will be solely responsible to fight all forms of bullying and injustice in our society”. Enlightening the people on the name and origin of the pandemic, program manager Jefferson M. B. Sannoh said, “COVID-19 is just the abbreviation of the Coronavirus disease; it is not a different sickness. The virus started all the way in China, Wuhan City in the province of Hubei. It has spread across the world and is in the country”.
For her part, field officer Jane Gabbidon Yaskey harped on early prevention and treatment of the Coronavirus. “Some of the signs and symptoms of the virus are: constant sneezing, difficulty in breathing and high temperature. There is no vaccine for the virus but early detection can help an affected person to be cured. You should not be afraid to go to the hospital for treatment whenever you feel any of these signs and symptoms”.
Another field officer, Mark Mamoud Kalokoh emphasised on the need for the people to adhere to the disseminated preventive messages. “It is expedient that you adhere to the precautionary measures as it’s the only way we can chase COVID-19 out of our country”. With the world’s attention on COVID-19, the menace of sexual and gender based (SGBV) violence against girls, boys and women is gaining ground. Taking an aside, ABSI project coordinator Osman Bundu Sidique explained the effects of SGBV and how it can be tackled at community level.
“Sexual and domestic violence is a problem that can affect the victim’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Talk to your children especially the young and energetic male youths to refrain from all forms of sexual and domestic violence”. Addressing the audience on the importance of peace building, the youth chairman of Taiama Kori Chiefdom, Lansana Amara Fofanah said their main occupation is petty trading and small scale farming, adding, “Development can only occur in society when there is peace”.
By David Thoronka