In an interview with our magazine, Ms. Diaka Camara, CEO of CBC Worldwide Communication Production Company and also the President of the Diaka Camara Foundation for Education in Guinea, explained to us how the telethon “All Against Covid19” came to be.

“Since the emergence of Covid-19 in our country, the Guinean government has embarked on a real race against time. First, exceptional measures were taken, including a call for national solidarity to address this unprecedented health crisis and limit its harmful effects”.

The “LET’S PROTECT OUR GUINEA AGAINST COVID 19″ initiative carried out by The Diaka Camara Foundation in collaboration with CBC Worldwide, HR Workshops, the Islamic Bank of Guinea, UBA Bank, Orange Money, MTN Mobile Money and several media and strategic partners, was born out of the need to raise funds to come to the aid of the people who were struggling to keep food on the table during the pandemic.  The initiative led to a Telethon “ALL AGAINST COVID-19”. The main objective being, raising enough money from individuals, public and private enterprises so that we could supply the most vulnerable people with sufficient food and health kits during this period of crisis that not only our country was going through but the whole world as well.

The very dynamic Diaka Camara points out that the beneficiaries of the initiative ”TELETHON-ALL ENSEMBLE AGAINST COVID-19” are, as a priority, orphans, strays, people with disabilities, sick people who are unable to move, families in long-term distress, single-parent families, households in loss of professional income as a result of the health crisis, or simply in one-off difficulty.

” Our Emergency packages consist of non-perishable goods such as rice, oil, sugar, tomato paste, as well as sanitary kits delivered directly to the beneficiaries,” she announces.

Diaka Camara is not at first rodeo when it comes to such initiatives.  During the Ebola crisis, she worked with UNICEF to raise awareness in the fight against the virus.   She has also worked with the U.S. Embassy in the fight against female genital mutilations.

“Through communication, we can raise awareness and educate people on sensitive issues, in order to eradicate bad practices and bad behavior,” she says.

Diaka Camara adds that CBC Worldwide COM-PROD in partnership with the Diaka Camara Foundation has launched the coronavirus initiative “PROTECTONS OUR GUINEA” for a awareness campaign in local languages.  “We brought in public figures, such as: journalists and celebrities such as Mamadou Thug, Petit Tonton, Gnamakala, Aly 100SON to raise awareness about preventive measures in the fight against covid19.

Speaking from a humanitarian point of view, the Diaka Camara Foundation has done a lot: “We have told ourselves how can we directly help people who are unemployed and who are destitute? Many people have been confined to their houses in order to break the chain of contamination.  But it’s hard to stay at home if you have to go out every day to earn your daily bread, which is why I came up with the idea of raising money through a telethon so that every Guinean citizen nationally and internationally could donate” says Diaka Camara.

She added: “We want all Guinean citizens here and the diaspora to participate. We have always said that people have no problem making a donation, they just want to make sure that the funds will go the people in need.   So, we decided to implement the Telethon initiative in complete transparency. The telethon is a live television fundraiser so we have gathered all of the TV stations:   RTG, Espace TV and CIS Media, to air it live and simultaneously, she explains.

Thus, she tells us, the telethon took place over a period of three days, on the three TV stations from 9pm to midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “We highlighted all the platforms where you could donate: via the Islamic Bank of Guinea, Orange money, MTN mobile money, the Guinea diaspora platform for those who wants to pay via credit card also via the UBA bank card, which were all partners in the telethon,” she says.

“We have managed to raise 96,000 euros half in cash and the other half in food.  For transparency purposes, we have created a whole platform, so that people can see how their money is used. We have created a website to allow people to register beneficiaries and track cash inflows and outflows. When it comes to registering beneficiaries, anyone can do it on the platform. We also have our teams on the ground to make sure that the people who are registered are really in need. With the funds raised, we can accompany 500 families for three months, or 5,000 people for a period of three months, instead of doing a one-off action. At the moment, we are continuing deliveries. To date, we have served 200 families, and we continue to identify families, Diaka Camara reassures.
Finally, she points out why THE FONDATION has focused on Conakry, the most affected area. “Unfortunately for us, Conakry remains the epicenter of the disease. In the country side, they really managed to stop the spray of the disease.  We decided to focus first in Conakry, then we will go inside the country. We are in the process of setting up a partnership with traders with whom we can work across the country with. The identified families will be able to go to these different places to have the food packs we have set up delivered.”
The food kits consist, per beneficiary, of a 50 kg bag of rice, 1 can of 5-litre oil, 10 kg of sugar and 5 kilos of tomatoes accompanied by sanitary kits: a bucket with 4 pieces of soap and a can of bleach and masks. “This is what we will delivered to each beneficiary three times, for the 500 families that we have fully identified over a period of 3 months.  We invite everyone to visit our platform www.telehtonguinée and make a donation because the telethon continues,” concludes the president of the Diaka Camara Foundation.

Zézé Enema Guilavogui

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