Community engagement and social mobilization are at the heart of USAID Read Liberia. Another Option for the activity organized and conducted a one-day workshop to introduce Read Liberia to local Community-based organizations. The meeting was held in Gbarnga, Bong County on April 24, 2018.
The workshop was designed for community-based organizations (CBOs) to share their activities in social mobilization and identify opportunities where early grade reading activities, i.e., reading clubs, parent-teacher meetings, reading contests, could be included in their outreach programs. It was helpful in our planning to learn from their rich experiences, as well as to build-in discussions of what are effective approaches to community engagement.
The large group of 52 community workers were divided into smaller working groups. They shared their different experiences on introducing different behaviors in health and education. In addition to sharing activities that worked they talked about lessons learned and what didn’t work. The workshop concluded by drawing examples of how these experiences and interventions related to the new USAID activity especially focusing on parents’ engagement in early grade reading.
Recommendations included the development of peer education training and social mobilization materials to support key messages on early grade reading as well as introducing a monitoring system to support transparency and accountability of USAID Read Liberia activities.
This workshop is the first of several planned community meetings to discuss benefits and ways to increase early grade reading in Liberia.
The initiative is active in six counties: Nimba, Lofa, Bong, Margibi, Montserrado, and Grand Bassa.
Rebecca Martinez, who wrote this blog post, is the Program Coordinator for USAID Read Liberia. She conducted the meeting in partnership with local counterparts on the ground in Liberia.