According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current global pandemic is first known to emerge as the result of a novel coronavirus, identified as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19. This disease has spread, threatening the whole of humanity without distinction between people of different ages, color, sex and locations in any country of the world or even a city and a village, no one is immune from this virus or the effects it’s having on our communities.
Young people are heading towards an important stage, they can be an important resource in mitigating risks, and community outreach in this crisis and to do everything possible for the benefit of our planet. Furthermore, the negative impact of the crisis are expected to be more pronounced in developing countries. Therefore, there is an urgent need for policymakers to monitor the extent of the spread as well as ongoing and future implications, but we can’t do any of this without youth. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is leading us to change our lifestyle but the main question is how to keep ourselves and our communities healthy and safe. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many of youth have reached out asking how they might help those in need and weather these difficult times.
African ChangeMakers Initiative is one of agency that works with young people to lead in solving those challenges, because they believe young people have the power to solve these problems we face in our daily life’s. Be it supporting communities, because they work with talented, creative young people to change their lives and the lives of people in their communities. African ChangeMakers Initiative is committed to the success of public health response, building up the capacity of youth to be able to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for their own health, it’s a key element of the African ChangeMakers Initiative. Together and with confident, we will come out of this COVID-19 crisis as our stories of success and impact continues to pour in from Africa and around the globe. One of the inspiring actions they’re sharing is building-up the capacity skills of youth to be able to make their own decisions on environment and health to take responsibility for healthcare like COVID-19 crisis in Africa.
African ChangeMakers Initiative have organized many event and activities as examples of creating awareness during this hard times, doing their part to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve witnessed in the past stories; how African ChangeMakers Initiative encourage young leaders around Africa, share stories of social connection in this hard time of social distancing and their experiences on how they are managing the effects of COVID-19, raising awareness on barrier measures and how young people can become the key actors in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Capacity building event Organized by Africa Changemakers Leadership Meet-Up, Mutasim Adam Khartoum, Sudan
Call to Engaging Youth in the COVID-19
Today youth must play their role with others to help build the greatest global movement to combating the spread of the virus and workto mitigate and address the pandemic’s impacts, for example young people can:
- Share social media resources – it provides patterns of communication for example, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp to encourage people to practice social distancing and help spread the correct information on COVID-19 offer potential to promote those communicate and connect with mass, local, digital channels and platforms such as radio programs and local communication.
- Follow COVID-19 volunteer opportunities that are connected to local volunteer centers. This is because volunteer centers know the organizations in their communities and are vetting the opportunities for safety and quality and today many volunteer centers across the world have volunteer matching platforms where individuals can find and apply online to volunteer opportunities during COVID-19.
- It’s time for youth to reflect on their responsibilities to unite together, to use this moment to learn from one another, to grow, and connect with youth organizations, networks, and volunteering by remotely or On-Site.
- Youth can encourage partners of youth organizations in collecting information on the secondary impact of the out break in their lives, families, school and their future plans and make this information to advocate to policy makers, schools’ authorities, and community leaders to address needs in the next phase of the response
- Youth can lead and create opportunities to identify solutions in sectors like public health and medical institutions, start-up organizations, academic and research institutions, and front line work to support the COVID-19 response efforts.
- Young people engagement in the COVID-19 response including designing the social and behavioral change communication interventions, with consideration for the need to tailor, interventions and age appropriate messaging to different communities and groups.
- Governments, private sector and NGOs they can support young people by create online opportunities to share their experiences and concerns, and showcase examples of young taking positive actions in the response to COVID-19 moreover organize competitions and challenges, such as a Youth Challenge.
Volunteers clean up Sunut forest, by picking up the waste objects, Organized by Mutasim Adam Khartoum, Sudan.
Today’s youth all around the world are part of the COVID-19 crisis solution, they are actively contributing to efforts to reduce the spread of the virus and mitigate the pandemic’s impact, and they are advocating environmental action to drive transformative change, at scale, to leave no one behind so all we need to stand and put our hands together!
Stays Save, Stay Healthy, Stay Hopeful,
By: Mutasim Essa Abdallah Adam (African ChangeMakers Fellow, Cohort 1)