As the Coronavirus pandemic accelerates in Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is increasingly affected. Fear is gaining ground, especially in the east of the country, where numerous armed groups are fueling the humanitarian crisis. The local non-profit organization Amani-Institute ASBL indicates that displaced populations are particularly vulnerable because of their material living conditions resulting from armed violence. Fearing more amplified risks in the province of North Kivu, this socio-cultural movement of young volunteers has already launched the challenge of intervening in the camps for internally displaced persons to raise their awareness of preventive measures and the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic but also solidarity and non-violent communication in this time of crisis.
We are implementing COVID-19 initiative in our community and we are interested in an opportunity to share it with you
So, our initiative is called « Tupone wote » in local Kiswahili it means « Heal together » and we are working on behalf of the local non-profit organization called « Amani-Institute » which is a socio-cultural movement of young volunteers working for promotion of a culture of peace and sustainable development in eastern the Democratic republic of Congo.
As we live in a region already weakened by the activism of armed groups, we are challenged to educate our communities on preventive measures and the fight against Coronavirus but also and above all solidarity and living together in this period of crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That why, we regulary produce and broadcast radio programs including radio spots and soap operas broadcast to mobilize local communities.
We organize awareness campaigns on the street and in places where the vulnerable live, in particular people living in makeshift camps fleeing community violence or armed conflicts, and we use megaphones, drawing, songs or printed posters. Since containment measures have an impact on the lives of populations laready vulnerable because of the deplorable living conditions, we thought of setting up a vegetable garden to supply women survivors of sexual violence and other vulnerable people in our environment.
We also made a small guide of conduct in confinement, to avoid idleness to push several of our young people to moral perversion and others would try to join the ranks of the armed groups active in our region here in the North-Kivu province because they don’t know what to do right now. And as an impact, we reach a lot of people, more than 50 000 people because with the radio campaign we have a large audience and even on the street people are numerous but also in the camps of displaced populations.
And now, we can see people gradually adopting responsible behavior in this period of crisis, but the challenges are still enormous because the situation here does not allow people to control themselves well because many already have a mind wrought by war and violence and they are sometimes suspicious.
But because we are motivated and dynamic young people, we see how to find small solutions with our means on board but also because we master the local context.
What do you think of our approach ?