Meet young people stopping the spread of COVID-19 and supporting communities

Meet three young leaders who are determined to play a leading role in how their countries are responding.

Restless Development
07 May 2020

Young people, who make up the majority of most communities in the developing world, are the key to turning the tide on COVID-19.

They are innovating and organising en masse to stem the outbreak and support communities through the consequences.

Will you join them?

The Local Youth Corner Cameroom team in their laboratory.
Courtesy of Local Youth Corner Cameroon

“The mass message in the media has been consistently calling on people to sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. Wash hands, wash hands, wash hands. But the question for most Cameroonians has been where to get the sanitizer.” Andrew, 29, Cameroon

Working with his colleagues at Local Youth Corner Cameroon, a youth-led organisation, they launched the ‘One Person One Hand Sanitizer Campaign’  which now involves a coalition of 8 youth-led organisations called the Cameroon Youth Coalition Against COVID 19.    

“We assembled a team of six young experts and turned our office into a Rapid Response Laboratory where we are producing up to 1,000 hand sanitizers a day.”

The sanitizer has been approved by Cameroon’s health ministry, the United Nations Cameroon Clinic, and so far they have made 10,000 bottles available. They are aiming to distribute over 25,000 bottles, particularly to communities who are hard to reach and do not have access to clean water.

Natalie holdling menstrual health care packages that they are giving away.
Courtesy of Natalie Tingo

“In times of a crisis like this, every effort matters and I feel good that I am able to help the most vulnerable women and girls in my community to access menstrual health care.” Natalie, 27, Kenya

As COVID-19 impacts Kenya, Natalie, End FGM campaigner and founder of Msichana Empowerment Kuria, has her efforts focused on the menstrual health of women and girls during lockdown. She has been leading a team of volunteers to source, sort, package and distribute menstrual care products, reaching 100 young women and girls a week in rural Kenya, because periods don’t stop in a pandemic.

Abideen and the KNOW-COVID-19 NIGERIA platform.
Courtesy of Abideen and KNOW-COVID-19 NIGERIA

“Beyond this pandemic is an ‘Infodemic’: a lack of adequate information, fake news, and misinformation. In Nigeria we have seen this before with Ebola and we know how damaging it can be.” Abideen, 26, Nigeria

Having seen a lot of rumours and misinformation online, Abideen teamed up with a group of young skilled professionals and started ‘Know COVID-19 Nigeria’.

Together they spot misinformation and share up to date information on the latest preventive measures and medical advice on the pandemic.

Within a week of its launch, they had debunked over 30 fake news reports and reached over 4 million Nigerians through social media, helping reduce the number of people who put themselves or others in danger as a result of misinformation.

Learn more about the project here.

To find out more about Natalie, Abideen or Andrew and their campaigns follow them on social media: @robi_natalie, @opegoogle and @tangangandrew.