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Liberia: IRC’s Raising Community Voices Project Partners with My Watchman™ App to Strengthen GBV Reporting

By: Gerald C. Koinyeneh/ Aug 13, 2021/

MONROVIA – The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and its implementing partner, COWAGIL of the Irish Aid funded Raising Community Voices project (RCV), in collaboration with ‘My ‘Watchman™ App’ on Tuesday launch a pilot project in Montserrado county aimed at strengthening Gender-Based Violence (GBV) report mechanism. It is estimated that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. The My Watchman™ App provides a hotline and emergency response Service that enables survivors of GBV and other community members when in vulnerable position to get access to critical emergency response services by triggering the app.

According to the collaborating partners, users of the APP will be able to report incidences at the same time capturing and storing crucial data including location, time and video/images where applicable (images and videos are captured by the responder(s)). Under this partnership, 150 selected WAGs members and Girl Shine graduates, primarily women and girls including survivors of GBV have been selected from the community to participate in the three months’ pilot. Speaking at the launch in Chicken Soup Factory, Gardnersville, Madam Bentoe Tonhungue, the Director of the Family Health Division at the Ministry of Health commended the partnership between the IRC, COWAGIL and ‘My Watchman App’ for this innovation that will help the government’s efforts to respond to GBV. She further highlighted that this will empower the community members to respond and will also bring dignity to survivors. “This is the kind of breakthrough idea we have been looking for she said.” My watchman App is the perfect opportunity to help prevent GBV in Liberia. We are with you along the way. Please be an ambassador and represent Liberia.” The IRC’s Country Director Madam Faith Akovi Cooper, earlier giving the overview of the RCV project, said the partnership is supported by Irish Aid with a focus on promoting community involvement in GBV prevention and response. She encouraged participants to understand that collectively, everyone has a moral obligation to help fight GBV in Liberia and this is an opportune time to do so with this App. “Understanding that GBV is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue IRC, COWAGIL and My Watchman™ App encourage and promote reporting of GBV in a safe and confidential manner without being labelled. Each participant will be equipped with this tool/APP and trained on how to utilize the My Watchman™ emergency response App,” she said. She noted that the IRC has been in Liberia for more than two decades but has realized it cannot work alone, adding, “We must work with partners and we must work with community. On the RCV project, she said the IRC requested its donor for opportunity to partner with the private sector owing to its critically important role in driving the economy and society.