Plan Sierra Leone in collaboration with Thompson Foundation have on Friday completed a week long training for over twenty five journalists, all drawn from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Cameroon on Disaster Risk Reduction at the Family Kingdom, Sierra Leone.
The training for Journalists from these countries was part of Plan Sierra Leone’s effort to push children’s issues as the training was aimed at relating disaster risk reduction to the right of the child.
Speaking at the training Edward Sesay, the Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor at Plan said, disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community and that it causes widespread human, material and economic losses, which excluded the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.
Speaking on the effects of disaster, Sesay said, it undermines the result of development investments in a short time and therefore remains a major impediment to developing countries’ efforts for sustainable development, poverty eradication and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Children, Sesay said, are mostly affected by disasters but that; they are also capable of participating in disaster risk reduction as they are a powerful means to communicate disaster risk reduction.
He said, Journalists have a role to play in the society to illuminate the vast difference between people’s afflictions and their peaceful development.
‘Plan is a child centered community development organization with programmes that contribute towards the child’s right…’
Speaking on the right of the child and the Media, Grace Harman, Child Right Advisor at Plan Sierra Leone said there are two existing optional protocols to the Child Right Convention; the Optional Protocol to the Child Right Convention on the involvement of the children in armed conflict and the Optional Protocol to the Child Right Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography ‘, She said.
Grace Harman said, one of the principles of the Child Right Convention is respect for the views of the child and that articles 12, 13, 16, 17 34, 8 and 9 of the Child Right Convention talks on what is expected of the Media in relation to the child.
“The responsibility of Media practitioners for child rights include, contributing to public awareness on child rights and issues affecting children, contributing to government’s accountability for its obligation to fulfill the child’s right and contribute to child’s education, awareness and recreation through producing adequate information for young people”, she said.
The Disaster Risk Reduction aims at increasing resilience, thus reducing impact and or prevents disaster, and to also strengthen society’s capacity to cope with the effects of a disaster as well as promote development.
Formally presenting certificates to journalists, Derek Woodcock of Thompson Foundation and also a trainer admonished all to use the knowledge acquired throughout the training.
The distribution of certificates to journalists climaxed the training ceremony.
Meanwhile, a network of journalists on disaster risk reduction has been formed comprising Journalists from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Liberia.
At present, an alliance of media for disaster risk reduction has been formed in Sierra Leone to work with Plan and other bodies.