INCHR Embarks On Awareness Campaign

...On Reconciliation, Healing In Gbapolu

MONROVIA-This followed a seven-day capacity building training conducted by the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) through the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from June 26-2 July 2023 in Bopolu City.

Recognizing the importance of open dialogue and community engagement, the INCHR decided to organize a Palava hut dialogue in August this year in Henry Town, Tumuquelleh, and Bopolu City according to the INCHR Awareness Giver Supervisor, Cassius Garpeh.

While describing the Palava Hut mechanism of reconciliation as a “Traditional gathering,” Cassius said the event will provide a safe space for community members to come together, share their stories, and find common ground for reconciliation.

“But before the Palava Hut dialogue take place, the INCHR has decided to raise awareness and ensure the participation of as many community members as possible.

As a result, trained awareness givers are actively creating awareness in the Bopolu district.

“INCHR believes that the success of the dialogue relied on the active involvement of those who had experienced the consequences of the 14 years of civil war firsthand in Liberia” This is why Emery Ciapha said they were trained to roll out awareness ahead of the Palava hut dialogue.

He said as a result and with determination and passion, the INCHR and UNDP launched a major awareness campaign throughout Bopolu District right after the training.

“So, we are traveling to villages, towns, and remote areas spreading the word about the upcoming Palava Hut dialogue. We are organizing community meetings, holding discussions with local leaders as well as engaging with individuals from all walks of life,” she said.

At the same time, Hawa Berker, one of the nine (9) awareness giver members said through radio broadcasts and word-of-mouth, the message is resonating. She said that the communities in Bopolu District have started to feel a renewed sense of hope and a readiness to confront the painful past while working towards a brighter future.

She is certain that the awareness campaign is a catalyst for change, igniting a collective desire for reconciliation and healing.

As the Palava Hut dialogue approached, community members are eagerly preparing to participate, knowing that this event will mark a significant milestone in their journey toward peace, according to Leone Momo.

Leone and five others are documenting testimonies from survivors that will be used during the Palava Hut dialogue in August.

“After the awareness, we are taking statements from people who were somehow affected during the war,” he said adding that these statements are confidential and will be disclosed only during the dialogue, this is why the awareness team is helping to path the way for our work.”

Meanwhile, the INCHR  Awareness Giver Supervisor, Casius Garpehj is optimistic that the ongoing awareness campaign and the anticipated Palava Hut dialogue is going to serve as a symbol of the power of dialogue, understanding, and community involvement in the face of the terrible 14 years of adversity.

He said it is going to serve as a reminder that even after the darkest of times, reconciliation and healing is possible, and together, a brighter future can be built.

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