As part of ongoing efforts to aid the government in the fight against the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, a good governance and research institution has started the provision of small grants to support community-based interventions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

15 institutions including networks in Montserrado County on May 4, 2020, received a total of L$465,845.00 as part of the first phase of the institution project dubbed: “Community Action Platform Against COVID-19”. The funds will be used to create awareness on the importance of hand-washing, social distancing, wearing of face-masks, signs, and symptoms of COVID-19, encouraging citizens to adhere to the National Health Protocols, and why citizens should always call 4455 if they or someone in their community feels sick.

Of the 15 institutions, 7 are youth-led organizations, 4 are District Development Councils, 3 are women-led and 1 Youth with Disabilities; grants to institutions run from LS$20,000 to L$99,925.00 and selection was made from a total of 47 applications received so far, and the second payment will be done on May 11, 2020, as applications are still being received.

Furthermore, the institution has hired 10 volunteers to carry out awareness using mobile phones and have offered LS$278,600.00 for the mobile awareness campaign to be conducted within 30 days. Volunteers are expected to reach 6,000 people with accurate information approved by the Ministry of Health (MoH), National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Each volunteer is expected to call 20 persons a day for 30 days. Presently, the institution has a database of over 12,000 registered voters across the 15 counties that will be used to mobilize and educate thousands of Liberians about the COVID-19 using mobile phones. The institution also has a Liberia Decides Facebook Page with over 23k followers that will be used to share adequate information about the virus to reduce misinformation and fake news.

This project is designed to increase grassroots response to the fight against COVID-19, enhance community engagements and ownership. The Executive Director of Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, Eddie D. Jarwolo believes that the approach is highly adaptive and supports community resilience. He said, the institution will use community organizing skills and social mobilization lessons learned from the Ebola crisis, his institution is prepared to ignite the same spirit and vigor to help save the lives of vulnerable populations in Liberia.

NAYMOTE is calling on the government and partners to support more community interventions as this is the best way to save lives and eradicate the COVID-19. The institution is also calling on citizens across the country to join the fight by adhering to all preventive measures and stop the denial.

The small grant fund offered is part of the One Million Liberian Dollars (L$1,000,000.00) promised by the institution on April 29, 2020 and was made available from a redirected budget line from the President Meter Project funded by the Open Society Initiative of West Africa. The Community Action Platform Against COVID-19 project is expected to, directly and indirectly, reach over 500,000 people in Liberia.

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