By Mohamed Konneh
The Risk Communication and Social Mobilization pillar the National Corona Virus Emergency Response Center (NaCOVERC) in partnership with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday 4th February unveils Corona fet Ambassador dubbed as “Share4 Mama Salone Initiative”.
Sierra Leone is rolling out the Share4Mama SaloneAmbassadors initiative to drive an integrated outreach across traditional and digital media channels through 50 key influencers to build and mobilize support in the fight against COVID-19. These multi-stakeholders are opinion leaders and administrators of Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter groups with each commanding a huge number of followers in social media and their communities.
The Corona fet Ambassador dubbed as “Share4 Mama Salone Initiative” are 50 in numbers ranging from journalists, honorable, civil society, Market women and artists among others.
Speaking during the meeting the Communication pillar lead, Mr. Harold Thomas said working with these ambassadors will help to position NaCOVERC and build trust in the COVID-19 response as it expands outreach and broadens engagement with citizens.
Mr. Thomas said identified Ambassadors have wide networks and considerable influencing power within Western Area, the province and even outside the country.
He said the incentive to join the initiative is primarily patriotism, by joining the initiative and helping Sierra Leonean to access and engage with critical information.
“Ambassadors will be working alongside the social media team at NACOVERC to support spokesperson, RSCM advisers, leads and RSCM sub groups.
The ambassadors shall create and share single but compelling coronavirus content in social media platforms especially Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter, he said”.
He said Ambassadors will also proactively create editorial content in cooperation with NaCOVERC social media team and adapt for media pitching and posting to respective channels, support NaCOVERC in countering false news, rumors and myth which undermines the effort of the RSCM sub- groups as partners.
He said the Risk Communication and social mobilization pillar shall provide counsel on social content strategy,provide training to ambassadors on innovative communication.
In his statement the UNICEF representative congratulate the government and people of Sierra Leone for the manner in which they have handle the virus and continue the fight.
“We know lots of effort have been put in place to slow the spread of the virus and we urged you to continue in this direction. Government continues to engage in caring for children during this period providing the much needed support, she said”.
She said UNICEF is now in discussing on the vaccine and that lot of information will be floating around.
“We also realize that lots of information is shared on social media and the more reason why the need for ambassadors. Most of these information shared are distorted and incorrect and we want to be responding to these inaccuracies. So we need to have people that will be able to counter these information, she said”.
She pledged UNICEF continued to the people of Sierra Leone while congratulating the ambassadors.
Sierra Leone enters its two week of partial lockdown this week as part of effort to slow the spread of the virus. The first week of the lockdown witness increase number of corona cases more so in the western area which is now the epicenter of the disease.
The more test have been done and this has resulted in the number of increase cases reported.