In Friday 2010 the Sierra Leone Association of Non Governmental Organisations (SLANGO) in partnership with UNIPSIL embarked on a major exercise to inform the general public (in their local languages) that the three major political parties had come together and issued a joint communiquť. The communiquť is designed primarily to spread a message of political tolerance ad secondarily to offer alternative means of registration political complaints.
The communiquť was dramatized and acted out in the six most commonly spoken languages in Sierra Leone and a total of thirty-five NGOs and CBOs were chosen to provide national coverage. Key to the dissemination of this information was the need to reach as broad a cross-section of society as possible (namely: Women Youths, Children Opinion Leaders Ward, Chiefdom and Local Councilors) and to facilitate this, the DVDs were shown mostly o market days in the various towns. In order to maximize exposure and publicize the viewings, diverse strategies were used in the various chiefdoms. In some cases the entry point was a radio discussions via a community radio whilst yet others made use of Town Criers to sensitise and mobilize communities for the video shows.
The results is that a much greater portion of our society are now aware that a communiquť was jointly put out by our leading political parties, these same communities now have a better understanding of the need for political tolerance and more importantly are aware that the political parties they support have signed up to this agreement at the highest level. Women have been at the forefront and most vocal in their promise to carry on the campaign of disseminating this information, whilst Many Paramount Chiefs and Ward Councilors requested further screenings of the DVDs particularly in areas there have been eruptions of political conflict.
Both SLANGO and UNIPSIL are committed to carrying this process through to 2010 in the drive to eliminate political intolerance and violence from our electoral processes.
¬© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.