“We are prepared to join the men in every decision making and community development process about our natural heritage and resources”

16
Oct

Two National Civil Society Organizations on Thursday, October 15, 2020 launched a mobile application title “SAVAPP” in Monrovia at the Bella Casa Hotel. The Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI) in partnership with the Girls for Change launched the mobile app to help fight against sexual and gender based violence and other forms of violence against women and girls.

According to Madam Ora Barclay-Keller, Executive Director of Girls for Change, the app will be available on Google Play store for android phone users and also on the Apple store for iOS users. In her statement, she call on the general public to get involve in reporting cases of sexual and gender based violence from any part of the country through the app. “even if you are in your bedroom, you can report a case using the app” said Madam Keller.

She further added that the app also provides other services in addition to just reporting cases of SGBVs. “The app can also be used to in programmatic areas like accountability, transparency, good governance, reproductive sexual education and many others.

The SAVAPP as commonly called, can be used to seek help from a Doctor, a Police Officer, a counsellor and other experts. There are various doctors from various one-stop centers around Liberia as well as psychosocial counsellors and police officers from the women and children protection section of the Liberia National Police available for 24 hours daily, 7 days a week  round the year to respond to these cases that will be reported.

For her part, Madam Loretta A. Pope-Kai of the Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI) and also the Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia said “The fight against sexual and gender based violence is a holistic approach and its time that all hands get on deck to help put an end to all forms of violence against women and girls”. \she furthered that this SavApp is a game changer and by working in partnership, we are out to make lasting change in Liberia and globally. She concluded with emphasis that this App supports the Government of Liberia’s efforts through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection Anti SGBV Roadmap which seeks to end Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Liberia.

Providing the overview of the project, Madam Kai mentioned that the project title “Community engagement in Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Response” will contribute to UN Women thematic outcome 2: Women’s rights groups, autonomous social movements and relevant civil society organizations, including those representing youth and groups facing intersecting forms of discrimination/marginalization, more effectively influence and advance progress on Gender Equality WE and EVAWG, including SGBV and HP and Women and girls’ safety, security and human rights are enhanced.  

The project which will be implemented in Montserrado, Bomi, and Grand Cape Mount County will target 20 communities in the three counties. This project is funded by UN WOMEN through the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund of the United Nations.

Also speaking during the program, a representative from the UN Women, Ministry of Gender and Children Protection welcome the App and pledge their support to supporting the app and ensuring that they remain partners in the fight against SGBV.

A representative from Lonestar Cell MTN speaking at the occasion pledged their support to providing a Zero rate for the app downloading and usage for Lonestar subscribers only.

Also speaking, Carter Center Mental Health Program Lead, Mr. Benedict Dossen pledged his institution’s support in linking those trained in mental health counselling by Carter Center to the app. They also pledged support in training members of the Gender Justice Clubs that will be in the three counties to be first respondents to cases of SGBVs.

The development of the App is driven by Liberian Technicians. This App has been engineered through the instrumentality of Ora Barclay Keller, M. Sahr Nouwah, Alexander T. Cole, Sr. and Loretta Alethea-Pope Kai.

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