“Try explaining social distancing in a context of ubuntu”
In a blog post published today, Fiona Mavhinga, a founding member of the CAMFED Association and its Executive Adviser, highlights some of the unique challenges faced by rural African communities, like her mother’s, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are places where, under normal circumstances, families and communities quickly rally around one another to cope with sickness, grief, and loss.
Now, Fiona and other educated young women in the CAMFED Association are focused on helping communities come to terms with social distancing, and to ensure they have up-to-date, reliable information. Where there is little access to the internet, television or radio, for example, CAMFED Association members are translating World Health Organization advice into local languages, to write on posters or disseminate on WhatsApp. They are reaching out to vulnerable girls to prevent child marriage at this time of economic crisis. They are supporting girls and young women with learning materials, and mentoring them in small groups or via mobile devices. They are meeting with traditional leaders to help bust myths about the virus, and trying to pivot their businesses to provide essentials like soap and face masks. And this is only the start of our leaders’ activism to ensure marginalized communities are not overlooked.
In troubling times, Fiona urges us all to find new ways to stay connected, share only verified information, and together, find a way forward.