Mobilizing the Youth against COVID-19

National Union of Eritrean Youth and students

Mobilizing the Youth against COVID-19

Brief progress report March-May 2020

 

The main priority during this time, whether in the international or local matters, is the fight against COVID -19 and the resources allocated to effectively control this pandemic; which includes the participation and contribution of everyone.

Accordingly, the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS), as a broad based national institution, is an entity that is expected to play an important role in this endeavor. Hence, the following plan and arrangement is being implemented in order to synchronize the capacity of this organization to effectively and sustainably make an impact in this effort.

 

Arrangement

During the month of March, a coordinating committee was established at a level of the central office. Similarly, a committee that implements the planned activities was established at Zonal (Zoba) and sub zonal level. A preparation is also made at sub-zonal (sub-Zoba) level to mobilize volunteers according to the demands on the ground and supervision of the sub-zoba NUEYs office head.

 

Programs and Activities

After making links with the Ministry of Health, the committee established at the central office level, outlined and agreed in the areas where NUEYS could take part, such as: campaigning, preparing a volunteer base of the youth, monitoring discipline, and collecting & distributing resource.

 

Preparing Volunteers

In order to let health professionals focus on their healthcare related duties, volunteers would be necessary to cover the other ordinary activities around health institutions. Accordingly, a group of volunteers were given initial training on self-protection and protecting others and were kept ready to work as volunteers in such activities.

Initially, around 100 young people form colleges, the central office of NUEYS, and Central Zoba of NUEYS were given training in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and were made ready.

20 of them started to work as of the first week of April, volunteering at Orotta Hospital, assisting the OPD patients during their arrival in maintaining social distancing, washing their hands thoroughly, and conducting temperature testing, while disinfecting facilities and tools used by outpatients with spray after the treatment is over.

Similarly, starting from the third week of April, 13 youth took part doing similar volunteer work at the Halibet Hospital.  10 others were allocated to Hazhaz hospital in Asmara. The rest around 70 youth are scattered around the central zone, fulfilling assignments given to them in conjunction with the implementation unit in their sub-zones. Mainly in conducting campaigns through mobile units and assisting gatherings in keeping the social distancing.

This endeavor of organizing a volunteer base is being worked upon around each sub-zone at a national level in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, in order to satisfy the needs on the ground.

Campaigning

In accordance of the meeting that the committee from the central office held with the Ministry of Health, a first phase training is provided to those that can disseminate awareness to groups with less 10 people and following the laws against social gatherings and observing social distancing. This training was initially provided to 16 sub zones in the Central Zone.

Each of these who participated in the training were made ready to work in their own sub-zones in training core members of NUEYS and young workers, and also to work in collaboration with the “emergency preparedness team” that was works in sub-zones at a national level.

Preparing Campaigning Materials

It is known that several learning materials about COVID-19, such as brochures, and posters are produced by the Ministry of Health. As a result of the meetings held with the Ministry of Health, it was identified that NUEYS could play a role in artistic production such as plays, poetry etc., in order to make the awareness raising efforts effective and impact-full, in a way that the community could absorb and understand it easily.

Accordingly, using the learning materials provided by the Ministry of Health, volunteering artists were able to submit their artistic outputs as video production through the Archiving section of the organization (Lul Audiovisual), reviewed by the promotional section of the Ministry of Health, it is made to reach the public through USB Flash drive and mobile through Ministry of Information and other media outlets.

 

Campaigning Activities

At the sub-zones, the regulations provided by the Ministry of Health and learning materials are disseminated to the people in villages and cities, setting loudspeakers in fixed places, or mobile on cars, motorcycle, and bicycles or walking.

Informative brochures are being posted around roads, groceries and shops to reach out to the larger population.

Similarly, in those shops that are permitted to operate, hygienic tools such as water, soap etc., are provided for their customers to frequent washing their hands.

 

Media

There are several broadcasting were made from young people, by young people, for young people using the national TV on a program called “youth dialog”, and on a weekly 10 youth radio programs in 8 national languages.

 

Collecting and Distributing Resources

Young people are also engaged in collecting support material from donating citizens to be distributed to those who have been economically affected during the lockdown period, such as those that survive in meager subsistence, needy people.

 

Facilitation and Consumables

It was decided that every endeavor to implement these programs to be done by voluntary basis. Hence, citizens have been highly engaged in donating consumable goods, offering facilitation, and providing consultation.

Victory to the Masses!

Central Office of NUEYS

Coordinating Committee against the COVID-19 Pandemic

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