Undeniably, the COVID-19 has posed many challenges globally. Tanzania is not an exception to this pandemic; it has not been exempted from the infection and effects of Coronavirus. Its impacts are felt especially to the vulnerable groups including children, women and the elderly. Closure of schools has also disrupted children’s ability to learn and interact with others. The containment at homes has added stress on family members. Working from home is also proving to be a hectic task. As the country is adapting to the new situation, many are also at risk of loosing their employment.
Moreover, gender-based violence has increased in rural communities amid the pandemic. Cases of assault across the country have made the news as the virus threatens the economy. As social distancing and staying at home are encouraged, most single young mothers and women are bearing the brunt having to take care of the family.
I have had a chance to engage with my peers from different areas of the country through several chats and phone calls, and many share the same sentiments that I have – of families facing challenging times.
As youth we have invested more time on awareness during this time of COVID-19. We are encouraging the community to practice social distancing, hand hygiene and self-isolation. We are also working with the local government and community based organizations on offering psychosocial support to the affected. We have also been actively engaged in social media campaigns and awareness on the pandemic. Nonetheless, more awareness ought to be directed in ending violence against children and women.
I call all community members to flatten the curve of violence against children and women, as both require equality and equity on provision of services in communities.