Young people are fighting back against covid-19 in East Africa
We conducted a regional youth survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of young people in East Africa, in partnership with the YouLead Consortium and partners. Some of the recommendations that the young people shared, were that:
- Governments should do more to ensure that they are addressing the comprehensive impact of COVID-19 on their young citizen’s lives. In particular, they must design policies to address the economic and educational impact of this pandemic.
- Governments should offer concrete roles for young people in the response effort and create a platform where young people can share the innovative ideas they have on how to prevent the virus’s spread and respond to the new challenges it creates.
- Organisations should meaningfully recognise the role that young people are willing to play in sensitising and supporting their communities. With the appropriate protective equipment and clear safety guidance, young people are – in their own words – ready, willing, and uniquely able to reach communities that organisations would otherwise miss.
- Additionally, organisations should work together with young people to hold governments accountable: tracking grassroots delivery and implementation of the commitments – i.e., tax relief, food distribution, etc. – that government leaders have made verbally. How have these measures been implemented? ie Has the distribution of food and protective equipment reached their communities? Has it reached the right people in their communities?
- In the absence of specific roles from government and organisations, there is still a lot that young people can do to support their communities, particularly in sensitising them. However, in cases where communities are well connected, young people should instead support their communities – not with more information – but with where they can find the right information.