Under the Family Resilience Project, the GNRC in partnership with the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) brought together public health workers, with women leaders and youth trained in peacebuilding from the Kamukunji Community Peace Network (KACPEN) to sensitize the community on COVID-19. The activity, which took place in Kamukunji, Nairobi on 17th May 2020, sought to sensitize the community on safeguarding their children and youth from online exploitation especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Focus was on deepening understanding on the pandemic and the mitigation measures that have been put in place to curb the pandemic. The event also promoted peaceful coexistence and respect within families particularly teaching parents how to engage with children and young adults.
The one-day activity reached a total of 100 families directly and more than 500 families indirectly in the informal settlement of Kamukunji. The activity entailed public awareness through announcements and COVID-19 prevention murals done by the youth. Through the leadership of public health and social workers, families learned about the virus and ways to protect themselves and their loved ones at home.
Tools such as posters and brochures were used to educate the community on positive parenting strategies, knowledge on violence, peace and the role of parents in holding the family together and building resilient families. Members also encouraged those who might be feeling stressed to reach out to the GNRC and GCERF or health institutions for psychosocial support. Through the coordination of the women leaders, youth and social workers, GNRC members distributed essential items such as facemasks, soaps and sanitizers to the underprivileged families in the area.
“With the world shifting to the online mode of learning, many public schools in the developing world are still not ready or do not have the technology and equipment to provide such teaching for students. This has affected children’s education especially those who cannot access Internet.” – Dr. Dorcas Kiplagat, GNRC Network and Programmes Coordinator.
Parents were advised to create friendly environments in which their children could air their fears and frustrations. Similarly the youth sensitized their peers on adhering to the regulations put by the government for the purpose of their own safety. Children and youth were advised to utilize their talents to promote peace and the common good. They were also urged to be vigilant in what they access online and avoid misinformation.
The event concluded with a mural on one of the busy streets of Kamukunji demonstrating the measures to reduce the COVID-19 virus.