Youth key in fight against coronavirus

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Youth key in fight against coronavirus
Youth key in fight against coronavirus. Photo: Kenya Ministry of Health

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to wreak havoc around the world experts predict that African countries could be hardest hit. But African youth are not sitting idly by waiting for the worst to come; throughout the continent, they are hard at work providing solutions to help reduce the spread of the virus, and address the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic,

It is encouraging to see young people across Africa leading the way in the fight against coronavirus, and stepping up to help their communities. They know the future depends on their actions.

Indeed, youth represent energy, creativity and innovation and should be beacons of hope that can support the community at all times especially in times of such crisis. Through individual acts and collective action, young people are reclaiming power in the face of this pandemic and the powerlessness it makes us all feel. Youth-led civil society and movements are acting on an unprecedented scale. Youth are mobilizing communities to protect themselves, and supporting governments and health workers together.

Isaac 'Kaka' Muasa of Mathare Environmental One Stop in Kenya has teamed up with the UN-Habitat, the Norwegian Embassy and the Canadian High Commission to support residents of Mathare slums to stop spread of coronavirus in the poor neighborhood. The group has begun a hand-washing program meant to protect Mathare residents from COVID-19. As a result of the initiative, children and young people make up the majority of the people who are washing their hands.

What would be the situation when COVID-19 strikes in the urban slums of Nairobi or other low-income areas? This is scary to even imagine. That is why Emmie Kemper, through Miss Koch Kenya not-for-profit youth empowerment organization, is leading young people in her neighborhood to support the most vulnerable in the sprawling slums of Korogocho. They have supported hundreds of families whose livelihoods have been disrupted.

In Cameroon, Achalake Christian, the coordinator of Local Youth Corner, has launched the “One Person, One Sanitizer” operation to prevent the spread of coronavirus, especially among the poor. He’s working with young people to produce and distribute free,  homemade hand sanitizers using World Health Organization standards. He has teamed up with people of goodwill, the coalition of youth civil society organizations, medical doctors, pharmacists and a laboratory scientist.

Sibongumusa Zuma is causing waves with his humanitarian action in South Africa. Across the country, street hawkers have been prohibited from trading during the national lockdown. It is hard for everyone but for the street vendors it’s harder. To help ease the impact, he has organized young people to donate groceries to street hawkers. Zuma says that as young people, they cannot sit down and fold their arms knowing very well that there are people who used to make a living by selling food on the street, whose businesses are closing due to the lockdown.

In Botswana, Pretty Thogo is coordinating a platform that brings the World Bank Africa Youth Transforming Africa initiative and the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa are organizing regular roundtables for youth to discuss development, and spark some youth-grown solutions to influence policymaking in Africa. During its first online roundtable in April, the initiative featured medical and communications experts, and helped young Africans to learn more about COVID-19 and how to identify trusted sources of information.

Similarly, with the leadership of Immy Mulekatete and Dr. Joseph Ryarasa Nkurunziza, Youth Voices Rwanda is hosting Twitter and Facebook live discussions for youth on impact of COVID-19 had in their communities and the role they can play in containing its spread.

Then there is James Smart and Kizito Gamba in Nairobi, who are leading a team of young journalists under Tazama World Media. They are putting their lives on the line to bring out compelling stories on the effect of coronavirus among the extreme poor in South Africa, and detailing why quick, robust and well-thought responses are required.

Governments should put in place measures and mechanisms to facilitate coordinated, organized and impactful youth engagement in the fight against coronavirus. Most importantly, young people must realize that they have a critical part in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic - knowing that the spread of the virus is a threat to people, livelihoods and development and stability.

Youth should work with governments and diverse partners to stop transmission of the virus and to keep everyone safe and take measures that will bolster the fight against the pandemic.

As Doug Ragan, a UN-Habitat’s Child and Youth specialist has said and it is true, youth are Africa’s greatest asset and the future of the continent depends on them.

 

 

Join the Conversation

Emily
May 08, 2020

This is very well written and thanks for sharing

Alvin Daniel Onyango
May 08, 2020

Write a response...What an insight for the youths to keep the energy up!

Claudia
May 08, 2020

The youth are the driving change for a transformed world

Judy Oricho
May 08, 2020

Youths should be in the lead to help in fight against the COVID19 which has so far claimed the life of many ,through youth led organizations,youths should mobilise and feed those who are badly hit through donating and sharing food.

Judy Oricho
May 08, 2020

In Kisumu city Kenya Awino foundation has identified women who are badly hit by this pandemic(small scale traders) who are displaced from the market and can nolonger go to the market to sell their products,the foundation has distributed some food stuffs to them so that women and children don't go hungry.

Sir Julius
May 15, 2020

A nice article,
Enthralling and gripping

Marot
May 15, 2020

Nicely articulated. Youth are the wealth of this world

Timothy Okoth Odhiambo
May 15, 2020

This amazing.. Indeed it's time for we youth to rise up and help our nations and our continent(Africa) in fighting Covid-19 which is a big disaster to the economy of our nations not forgetting the agricultural and education sector which has also been affected greatly..the three being the fundamental ones(economy, agriculture and education)
Not only in fighting Covid-19 but also we need to rise up from our slunder zones and realize that the potential of our continent is on we youths..We are the leaders of tomorrow.. And it starts with today
Thanks
@Timothy_Okoth_Odhiambo

ABBY CHEBET
May 19, 2020

This is so insightful. Thank you for sharing.

John Kamau
May 19, 2020

Write on sir! I admire to walk in your footsteps.

Mickreen
May 19, 2020

Very articulate and insightful.

Jared Matunda
May 22, 2020

I hope each and everyone get the regulations and keep safe

Alice Benjamin
May 22, 2020

Very articulated and insightful. Thank you for sharing.

Navin John
June 13, 2020

It's TRUE...Youths are the greatest asset of African transformation. Nice article!

John Ladu
June 13, 2020

Am able and strong you youth who ready to fight covid19 in Africa

Serfine Akinyi
June 13, 2020

Awsome. Somewhere in Kisumu County Nyakach constituency , Been join Nyakach University Students Association is currently working on project is distribution of masks, sanitizers and handwashingdetergents.
Under my leadership of Young Women Leaders Connect Nyakach Edition we shall be celebrating the girls who are flood victims in SANGO Area West Nyakach Ward to donate masks, sanitary towels and tissue papers.

Phelix Oluoch
June 13, 2020

Well put, it's an inspiring article..The youth have a great role to play..

Peter Koome
June 13, 2020

Commendable 👏 👏, and thank you for sharing, we as youth we are working tirelessly to ensure safety if others.

Nicodemus
June 13, 2020

Covid19 has also affected persons living with disabilitiesand through our community based organization Independent of the disabled persons of Kenya which are working in collaboration with National council for people living with disabilities to distribute sanitizers within nairobi County.

JOHN PAUL NYANGINJA
June 13, 2020

Insightful article.

Muthoni
June 13, 2020

Glad to see youth being in the front line in the Fight against Covid19. The innovateness clearly shows how promising the Future is. Truly transforming the World.

Michael Mumo
June 13, 2020

Truly,its our responsibility to safeguard out lives and our future generation through stopping the spread of this virus. Thanks for the useful information.

Susan Wanjiku
June 13, 2020

This is exemplary work being done by young people. We are indeed the future. Also, it is very well written. Good read!

Martha
June 13, 2020

Powerful

Leah Adhiambo
July 28, 2020

This is a good approach of awareness of Youth Initiatives sharing their experiences on work they do have in Africa.

Leah Adhiambo
July 28, 2020

This is a good approach of awareness of Youth Initiatives sharing their experiences on work they do have in Africa.

Abass
March 16, 2021

Thanks