Journalists from both the Print and Electronic media and officers of the Sierra Leone Police, Republic of the Sierra Leone Arm Forces, the Sierra Leone Correctional Service and the Sierra Leone Fire Force on Friday June 2nd 2017 have benefitted from a one day training program on the activities, emblem and operations of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society.
According to the Communication Coordinator and Security Focal Point, Mr. Patrick Massaquoi, one of the facilitators in the training said that the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society is not an NGO. He added that as part of their activities to render help to people and communities that are affected by disaster, they provide food security to communities, they offer community event based surveillance, provision of safe drinking water, construction of toilet, disaster management operations, restoring family links and offers commercial first Aid as the case may be. He added however that irrespective of the activities they render to people especially during armed conflicts most people misconstrue the level at which they operates and to extent that some people even point fingers at them that they are collaborating with rebels.
He went on to say that the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society is unique in the sense that they are not discriminating in terms of rendering services to people as they seek for the most affected people either during armed conflict or in the situation of natural disaster in the country. Speaking on the uniqueness of the Emblem of the Sierra Leone Red Cross, Mr. Patrick Massaquoi strongly cautioned those who are in the habit of misusing the emblem of the Sierra Leone Red Cross.
He went on to say that people wearing Red Cross polo to attend any functions other than the work of the Red Cross is an offense.
He added that a pharmacy putting up the flag of the Red Cross Society is an offense.
He went further to say that Sierra Leonean should support the work of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society as that would help greatly to tackle natural disaster in the country and give assistance to the needy or affected.
Speaking on the topic Media and Humanitarian Action delivered by Mr. James Tamba Lebbie one of the facilitators in the workshop said that Journalist in crisis or emergency period should take note of the fact that they have a duty to the public.
He added that irrespective of the fact that we are to work independently but in crisis or emergency period Journalist should work alongside the expert or experts to better inform the public about the nature of the disaster or crisis so that the general public would be in the safer side to know or understand the veracity of the disaster or emergency in the country.
However, he said that at the end of the disease nothing should stop us from asking questions about some irregularities that may have taken place during the crisis or emergency.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.