We are facing a global health crisis that is a major threat to life and wellbeing of everyone. People are dying in their thousands across the world and millions are quickly sinking into poverty and untold depression every single day.
Throughout this pandemic though, there have been countless stories of hope in humanity. Nurses, doctors, clinical officers and community health workers are risking their lives in order to save the world. Citizens, rich and poor have rallied together to contribute to the Covid-19 fund kitty set up by the government. Thousands are self-isolating in order to prevent spread of the disease in the communities. These are signs of hope and proof that we are all together in it.
The University of Nairobi through the Elimika Wajibika program has been working tirelessly to adapt, prepare and respond to the pandemic because young people, who make majority of the university community, are key to defeating corona virus. In a show of resilience and continuity, the University has shifted to online teaching and learning. Not only was this enough, but it went ahead and partnered with Telkom Kenya to provide free internet bundles to both students and staff.
Prof Judith Bahemuka, UNESCO/UNITWIN chairperson and Lead Elimika Wajibika program says, “We want to play our part with young people in creating powerful movements of action: A movement of young people spreading messages of hope amid the pandemic, a movement of young people and citizens holding themselves to account for every action taken and a movement of young people caring for each other in the spirit of Ubuntu.”
While supporting Prof. Bahemuka and the Elimika Wajibika program vision, Prof. Ndeti Ndati, Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication observes, “With young people, we are fighting the spread of fake news about the virus both online and offline. We want to dispel Covid-19 myths using technology and to spread factual and lifesaving messages.”
The Elimika Wajibika program is mobilizing young people to show leadership during the pandemic in various ways including:
#KeepHopeAlive Campaign: This campaign calls upon young people to spread messages of hope amid the confusion and desperation brought about by coronavirus. It’s evident that governments, scientists and health professionals are burning the midnight oil to find a lasting solution to the pandemic. Therefore, there has never been time for young people to be champions of hope than now.
#StoptheSpread Campaign: This campaign implores the youth to stop the spread of coronavirus by advocating for behavior change among themselves and in their communities. The program also offers support to youth in fighting misinformation by policing fake news and spreading accurate information.
Post Covid-19: The Elimika wajibika program will work with young people to build resilience and support recovery of various communities through evaluation of the impact of the virus. The program will also support young people to utilize the power of knowledge in providing sustainable solutions to both local and global issues.
The time for young people to drive global change is now! #PamojaTwaweza.