Traditional Communicators bid farewell to UNMIL
27 March 2018, Monrovia – The eleven groups of Traditional Communicators (TC’s) bade farewell to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) with a day of cultural singing and dancing performances, concluding almost 15 years of partnership with UNMIL in delivering messages to all counties in support of the Mission’s mandate.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIL, Mr. Farid Zarif through a very honourable gesture received a Liberian gown from the leaders of the TC’S as a symbol of gratitude for the Mission’s work over the years.
“I accepted this invitation to come here not to be thanked on behalf of UNMIL but to personally express my own thanks and gratitude for the magnificent, outstanding and committed work that you have been doing all this time. This is not the time for self-appraisal, but it is the time for us to acknowledge all the work that has gone into raising the level of public knowledge and awareness, to the point where you achieved the best example of peaceful elections. This was due to your hard work” said the SRSG.
The Liberia Cultural Ambassador, Mr. Julie Endee on behalf of the TC’s and the people of Liberia extended their thankfulness to UNMIL. “Liberia is better today than 15 years ago when UNMIL first arrived; thank you UNMIL for saving our country,” said Ambassador Julie.
Public Outreach is a strategic and integral component of UNMIL Public Information Office (PIO) in message dissemination in support of the Mission’s mandate. Due to low literacy levels among communities, public outreach provides the platform to encourage support for peace, security, human rights, public awareness and the activities of UNMIL. It produces visual and audio content and serves it to the grass-root population in Liberia. Public Outreach is transformable and adaptable in message diffusion in respects to time and location. Since 2003, UNMIL has exploited outreach to undertake awareness raising campaigns using a two-way information exchange. In this regard, PIO has contracted Traditional Communicator (TC’s) for extending their services.
The TC’s used creative and innovative ways of sharing information such as sports, cultural events, music, dance, theatre, road shows, door-to-door campaigns and comedy. They also delivered materials produced and designed by UNMIL such as billboards, posters, banners, leaflets, customized T-shirt’s and wristbands with messaging to promote and raise awareness on specific issues such as HIV/AIDS, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual and Gender-based violence, civic education on elections, protection of environment and other concerns to Liberian society i.e.mob violence and policing.
The eleven TC's groups were represented respectively by Liberia Youth Network, Musician Union of Liberia, Traditional Peace theatre, Harmonizers, WIPNET, Flomo Theater, Lofa Youth for Progressive Action, Balawala International, United Youth against Violence, Liberia Crusaders for Peace and Development Educational Network of Liberia.
The event was attended by the UNMIL Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Political and Rule of Law, Mr. Waldemar Very, the DSRSG for Peace Consolidation and Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative, Mr. Yacoub El Hillo, members of the international community, government authorities and women groups.