Elearning! Feb-Mar

FEB-MAR 2015

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

Issue link: https://elmezine.epubxp.com/i/471607

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Page 39 of 52

Tips Tips Elearning! February / March 2015 39 Leadership BY TATIANA SEHRING Morris Koffa, an American Public University graduate, has helped establish a non- profit organization, Africa Environmental Watch, whose purpose is to educate African citizens on environmental issues such as toxic waste, hy- giene and beyond. In this ar- ticle, he discusses his group's work with local governments in Africa to provide better education and leadership re- sources for its citizens, help- ing prevent events such as the Ebola crisis. Q: WHAT IS THE AFRI- CA ENVIRONMEN- TAL WATCH, AND WHAT'S YOUR ROLE WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION? Koffa: I am the co-founder of the Africa Environmental Watch, which was formerly the Liberia Environmental Watch. Our initial purpose was to deal with post-war environmental issues following the 14-year civil confict ending in 2003. Tere were many serious envi- ronmental and humanitarian issues in Liberia; today, this includes the current Ebola con- tagion. We also include issues impacting the entire African community — and we're con- tinuing our mission by provid- ing environmental expertise on protecting human health and the environment through educational awareness. It's our hope to create, lead and main- tain safe living environments and a sustainable future for all of Africa's citizens. Based on our longevity in leading regional aware- ness, we've received support from Liberia's Environmental Protection Agency. What we didn't realize at the time is that the agency was very much incapacitated. Rather than see it as a barrier, we felt there was an opportunity to provide leadership. So we started by arranging interna- tional environmental confer- ences. The last one featured many leading environmental organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protec- tion Agency. As a result, some tangible results were strat- egized and then delivered to Liberia. Q: TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BACKGROUND AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO HELP OTHERS? Koffa: I had a civil and con- struction engineering back- ground. I decided to enroll at American Public University to complete my master's in environmental policy and management degree, and then another in emergency and disaster management. I devel- oped a strong interest in my studies [as] the crisis in Liberia developed. I was selected to go with a Liberian delegation to travel to West Africa to partici- pate in a conference, and I saw many environmental concerns. My professors motivated me to make a diference. And we founded the Liberia Environ- mental Watch. Since then, the issues we've addressed have de- veloped into a broad scope of environmental activities. Ten, the Ebola crisis hit, and we are currently working toward re- solving the efcacy issues that surround the Ebola outbreak. Te Ebola virus outbreak is a crisis that has risen to a level that no one was fully prepared to manage. Historically, Ebola originated in 1976 from areas of South Sudan and what was Driving Social and Environmental Impact Worldwide

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