Preliminary Campaign Outcomes
Since last September, volunteers have set up 25 sanitary stations
in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia; disseminated Ebola awareness messages (in English and eight different local dialects)
in person, in print, and on radio, including more than 500
brochures, around 200 posters, and 65 flipcharts for house-to-house health education; and reached more than 900 households
Volunteers already have noticed behavioral changes as a result.
More than 100 individuals are visiting the hand-washing
stations on a daily basis, and the number of citizens keeping
buckets of chlorine and water outside their homes for visitors
Connaughton adds, “Liberians to whom the campaign message
was spread have said that they know Ebola is real and they are
taking preventive measures, such as washing hands more regu-
larly, as well as avoiding hugging and handshaking.”
Liberians for Liberians
While a number of organizations — the Liberian government,
the United Nations, international non-governmental organizations, and Liberian civil society organizations — are also
working to educate Liberians, Connaughton says the grassroots
campaign seems to be an essential factor in stemming the
spread of Ebola.
“The Pen-Pen Peace Network’s efforts are an example of how
local citizens can act swiftly and in such a way that their fellow
citizens are open to receiving their message,” she reports. “At a
time when sadly, distrust in government institutions appears
to be high, a citizen-to-citizen approach may be one way to
effectively promote the kinds of preventive behaviors necessary
to contain the deadly virus.”
Ebola education volunteers gather. Since last September, volunteers have set up 25 sanitary stations in Monrovia.
More than 100 individuals have been visiting the
hand-washing stations daily since they were installed.
Children wash their hands at a portable station in Monrovia, Liberia.