East Guji Zone Emergency & COVID-19 Prevention
Identifying those in need
As the rest of the world grapples with the global pandemic, in the East Guji Zone of Ethiopia, it is no different. A COVID-19 crisis has emerged and enveloped most of the area, preventing emergency provisions, creating barriers to accessing education, clean water has been difficult to source and access to supplies has been limited.
Imagine1day was able to provide 1,500 solar chargeable radios complete with nightstand lights and 1,482 educational USBs to 6,000 children in grades 1-4 and distributed 23,000 soaps to over 2,100 households. These provisions were all part of imagine1day’s efforts to assist 18 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites throughout four major districts located in the East Guji Zone.
Each flashdrive contained 15 episodes of subjects created expressly for students in grades 1-4 four: Afan Oromo, Math, English and Environmental science. Out of these 240 educational flashdrive programs, nine contained COVID -19 messaging and safety information.
Banners containing COVID-19 messaging and communications have been created and distributed throughout all 18 sites in the hopes of raising more awareness about the ongoing global health issue.
Banners of COVID -19 message communication
When assessing children at risk and completing household screening for program eligibility, the imagine1day team considered the following criteria:
- Vulnerability – Are the children or adults separated, unaccompanied, single or double orphaned, disabled, members of child-headed, women-headed or elder-headed households?
- Affordability – IDPs who do not have the ability to buy materials with which to build.
- Number of children in the household – because the project aimed to reach 6,000 total children via the distribution of 1,500 radios, identifying households with four or more children led to the maximization of educational radio efforts. The larger the number of children in the household, the wider the reach and impact would be.
In order to mobilize 2,100 IDP households across 18 different sites to facilitate the radio education program and share COVID-19 prevention tactics, a 10 member committee made up of women, children, community elders and religious leaders was formed to lead the project and ensure daily follow up and implementation of protocols. Both the members and program officers had been mobilizing the community over the course of the last two months.
Handwashing campaigns were made a top priority in each targeted district. The day of the campaign launch, COVID -19 messages were communicated via a speaker system, and community mobilizing committee members delivered important messages around how to properly access the home education radio programs and COVID -19 prevention information.
Home to home visits were conducted by Zone and district-level education office representatives and kebele-level administrators. The top three performing community mobilizing committee members, top three engaged families, and top three performing IDPs utilizing and implementing key COVID -19 prevention strategies were each awarded with gifts of soap for their COVID-19 safety protocol contributions.