The COVID-19 pandemic magnified economic and social challenges, especially in rural communities of the country. Findings from research in Mukono, Kayunga, Buikwe, and Wakiso districts revealed that many families experienced severe food insecurity, as a result of lockdown-related challenges.
Because of school closures, DIY mentors took their work into the community. They trained 87 students in our curriculum and supported them in carrying out service projects in their home villages. Students started ten projects on topics such as clean water and sustainable farming. A majority of the participants were from DIY schools and 86% were young women. We plan to expand the Community Groups initiative, as we are receiving positive feedback from students, parents, and local leaders.
Because COVID-19 measures restricted in-person training, we adapted DIY sessions for radio. We have started to air regular radio programs on two prominent stations. We led off with DIY “lifeskills basics” and moved into teaching techniques for developing community projects. Thus far, we have received positive feedback from young people and parents (as many listen with their children). To sustain the momentum, we will be offering monthly prizes for the best community projects started by our listeners.
We made the decision early in the COVID-19 pandemic to continue and even intensify our efforts to strengthen high quality community health services in Nama sub-county. In a few short months, and under very challenging circumstances, we managed to train and equip a cadre of 50 CHWs, begin building capacity at government health centres, ramp up our outreach and clinic services, and reach out directly to our community through various types of media. In response to COVID-19 we supplied our health workers and CHWs with personal protective equipment (PPE), distributed hand washing stations, supplied CHWs with infrared thermometers, set up screening and triaging station at our health centre, and disseminated over 1,000 pandemic prevention posters. While the COVID-19 pandemic was destabilizing and caused great suffering in our community, we have come out of it stronger and with an even greater bond with the communities we serve. click here to watch a video that details NAWEC’s proactive response to the COVID-19 crisis.