“Awareness saga “embodied by the youth of Yemen to prevent Corona infections

“Awareness saga “embodied by the youth of Yemen to prevent Corona infections

June 15, 2020

Sawtinsaan (human voice) platform aims to disseminate reliable and useful humanitarian information for Yemenis as well as touching stories in order to help them and find solutions.

byTaïz - Par Muhammad Ali Mahrous

“A tremendous action that gives us more hope that our country will be fine and away from the risk of corona infection". This is how, 50-year-old Radwan Al-Shawafi commented on what he considered an exciting youth movement to cordon off the Coronavirus before it reaches Yemen.

"I dealt with the issue with irony at first, but the youth's persistence, their intensification of the preventive campaign lead me to believe in what they were saying, and to trust in their proven efforts, because they were working for their community. " adds Radwan with a half-smile filled with admiration.

"Here I am trying to commit to wearing masks, covering my hands with medical gloves as much as possible, and I also refrained from direct handshaking and hugs, and I advise others to do the same, this is what I ended up doing, thanks to the preventive awareness efforts. This is what M. Radwan said about the impact of the awareness campaigns to prevent the spread of the Corona virus, he also declares he was the object of numerous comments while he was trying to adopt these methods in the street, as many, he says, deal with the matter with contempt and recklessness, for all they know is to respond with irony, without learning from what happened to other countries with strong health systems, except that they followed precautionary measures to prevent it, he said.

Early awareness education

With a package of tasks, many Yemeni youth seemed eager to tackle Corona. They worked to form voluntary awareness-raising initiatives through self-efforts, and there were those who adopted some of them after their formation in order to target efforts and intensify them to reach a broader impact area and avert any possible dispersion.

In Aden, the Aden Youth Campaign was the first on the governorate level and perhaps on the country's level, as it was formed in early January as soon as the epidemic got out of control and crossed the borders of origin: "China".

"We were 8 when we started, our ideas flowed with each of our meetings, then the idea evolved into a youth e-field campaign, and we expanded the scope of our work, and saw its impact, this is what makes us happy. "This is what Azzam Al-Najjar, founder of the Aden Corona Awareness Youth Campaign said about the beginning of the campaign, He adds: "We faced many obstacles at the beginning, but we worked with a national commitment and responsibility towards our society, and we overcame a big number of them, until we were more than 40 members, not to mention the reserve volunteers that we will use if necessary."

In Taiz, Khaled Al-Saeed, a youth activist, used his page on Facebook to publish a link that invited volunteers to join through it in order to coordinate efforts, and received about 350 requests within three days, and in the same period, Maha Aoun, a community activist, received more than 800 requests within Taiz campaign against Corona, after she published a link for those who wanted to volunteer to confront Corona and enhance community awareness about the pandemic, while what appears to be a reaction driven by a real will to do something to protect society, this is what Maha sensed through the forms that she received, during the campaign "Together against the Corona pandemic", as she said.

Sana'a, Hadramawt and other governorates, went through the same experience during the past four days, to raise awareness, mobilize society against Corona, and work with the means of prevention announced by the World Health Organization, in a scene through which the Yemenis affirmed that they are very determined to confront the means of death, whatever they were.

Digital campaigns

Campaigns do not have to be field campaigns, given the risks that the Corona virus carries compared to the epidemics that Yemen went through in recent years, which were accompanied by extensive field campaigns, most of which were successful.

Corona-related developments directed many to electronic, digital and social media platforms; in order to pump various information about the virus, ways of prevention, symptoms and how to boost the immune system, which are according to Engineer Fahmy the researcher: "Very important, and can be considered at the level of field campaigns, as there is no preference for the field over cyberspace in Yemen, and vice versa as well, in a country where only 25% of its population uses social media".

The researcher, who leads an electronic campaign called "Corona - an awareness campaign", says: We have to take advantage of whatever means available, to avoid falling victims to Corona, it is enough that we do not have real weapons on the health level to face any emergency, and this is the biggest motivation to take advantage of the possibilities we have for a collective community awareness against Corona".

Pages and groups on Facebook topped the awareness campaigns as "Yemenis vs. Corona", "Taiz v. Corona", and "The youth campaign against Corona, the "awareness campaign against Corona", the "Aden Youth Campaign", and "Hadramout against Corona", in addition to a group that traded a number of "hashtags", such as #StopYourFoolishness, #TogetherToFacetheCoronaPandemicRus, #AwarenessAgainstCorona, #YourAwarenessIsLife and #YouAreResponsible, #PreventionAgainstCoronaIsBetterThanTreatment or #StayHome, #HadramoutAgainstCorona and #MyBehaviorIsLife, and other hashtags to raise awareness some of which were in many Yemeni dialects.

Some initiatives also created multiple groups on WhatsApp, some of which were for joint coordination and others for focused and specific awareness to target people within their neighborhoods and residential areas.

The educational materials published on social media platforms varied between visual and audio content, such as flashes, recordings, designs and brochures for awareness, most of which talk about the virus symptoms and ways to prevent it, and how to follow the precautionary and preventive measures against it.

All this was appreciated by the followers of digital educational pages, as they found a summary of what they were looking for within reach, and with minimal effort, Abdo, a follower of theWa'hi awareness page against Corona, commented on one of the posts saying: "Thanks to Wa'hi for these guidelines, and we wish you more success in serving the community and spreading health awareness," which reflects the gratitude of the followers for such targeted campaigns.

Various wishes

“A different feeling for this youth initiative that works to provide a positive image of the Yemeni youth, I wish them success, and hope that God will spare Yemen all harm, and that the conflicting parties will assume their responsibility, and realize the scale of the disaster in the event that cases of infection were diagnosed. ” These are Azam Al Najjar’s wishes, Founder of the Aden Youth Campaign.

Najjar added: “I invite them to leave the arms aside and head towards creating the atmosphere in order to confront the pandemic, and put an end to it, this is not a time for war but a time for working but against Corona, they must take what the young people offer as a model,” he said in a sad tone, hoping that his wishes will come true.
Those wishes were shared by the youth, who quickly took upon themselves to spread preventive awareness, embodying the depth of national cohesion, the greatness of the Yemenis, who were not destroyed by the harsh destiny nor fate nor the factors of forced erosion that the war tried and is still trying to impose on them.

View the pages of awareness campaigns in the Facebook platform through the following links: