This is a project, which a coalition of seven CSOs had implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Peace to contribute to the effort being made to respond to the problems and devastating effects of COVID-19 in Woreda 10, Keranio Sub city of Addis Ababa and beyond.
The overall objective of the project was to enhance the leadership and institutional capacities of local structures, increase access to essential life-saving materials and galvanizing communal solidarity to defeat the pandemic. The Coalition members had carried out the different activities of the project categorized in five thematic areas. As one of the coalition member, Pro Pride had implemented the activities categorized under ‘Theme One’ to build the technical and institutional capacities of youth associations of Woreda 10 of Kolfe Keranio Sub city. The five themes of the project include:
1. Theme 1: Leadership and Institutional Capacity building
2. Theme 2: Provision of personal protection equipment (PPE) and wash facilities
3. Theme 3: Provision of Basic Food Items for Highly Vulnerable Groups
4. Theme 4: Enhancing Livelihoods of Highly Vulnerable Groups
5. Theme 5: Ensure Sustainable Peace
Pro Pride had organized a three-day Training of Trainers (ToTs) to build capacities of young people and their institutions on the prevention of COVID 19, facts about the disease, the roles and responsibilities of the youth and their associations. The ToT was given to a total of 35young people (15 female and 20 male) selected from among members of their respective associations. The training covered various topics that mainly include modes of transmission of COVID-19; prevention methods; most at risk groups for severe infection; distinguishing symptoms of COVID-19 and comparing them with common cold; COVID-19 surviving time on materials and the care that need to be taken, understanding COVID-19 testing; methods on how to treat COVID-19 infection at home; COVID-19 related to gender based violence; pandemic related stigma and discrimination; addressing the pandemic related rumors and the role of volunteers in tackling them; guide for families on how to inform and protect children from COVID-19.
After the training, participants had cascaded the same to a total of 344 young people (120 female and 224 male) of their respective associations. The training used different methods including presentation, group exercise, brain storming, demonstration (hand washing, face mask wearing, hand sanitization) as well as role plays to make it more interactive and educational.
At the end of the training, participants were asked to reflect on all aspects of the training. Almost all of them said that the training had increased their understanding of COVID 19, its modes of transmission, prevention methods, on who the most at risk groups are, on the symptoms of the pandemic, testing and its importance better now. They further said that the training had also enhanced their understanding on gender based violence, its damaging effects on women and girls.
The understanding was also reached with training participants on how sensitization of the community on the challenges and effects of COVID19 should be done. It was agreed to do the sensitization both individually and in groups among their friends, families, and community members. Representatives of the youth associations agreed to follow up, and also facilitate mobilization of the community by informing community leaders to support the youth in the process of carrying out the sensitization activities.
Training on Active Citizenship
The second training, which was of five days duration, was Active Citizens training, focused on strengthening engagement of youth on issues affecting them, their families and communities, etc. This was because being connected to other groups and communities can bring positive changes to everyday lives of people including new relationships, new opportunities and a feeling of empowerment.
A total of 31 people (8 female and 23 male) comprising leaders and members of the different youth associations selected by the Woreda Administration in consultation with representatives of the youth associations participated in the training. The training was designed to equip the young leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge on how to engage as an active citizen to bring about positive change in the community they are part of and hence, constructively participate in the local development through designing and implementing effective social actions projects. So participants of the training were supported to understand interdependency and be socially responsible, and also be aware of the consequence of their actions. The training also helped deepening participants’ understanding of communities and systems, which they are part of, and value the needs and perspectives of those who are different from them. The training had also enabled them understand that it is possible to engage peacefully and effectively with each other in the development of their communities.
Based on the understanding reached with participants on how to cascade the training, ten young people who performed well during the basic training advised to form a group of three each in collaboration with the Woreda Administration to cascade ‘Active Citizens’ training. Accordingly, a total of 10 groups comprising 30 participants each had cascaded the training to a total of 300 young people. The ten youth who performed very well in the training as recommended by the Master trainers played leading role in the process of cascading the training
Community Action Project
The organization had supported the youth to implement a Community Action’ Projects identified as part of the ‘Active Citizens’ training given to selected youth in the 2020. Accordingly, Pro Pride supported those young people who had taken the ‘Active Citizens’ Training to select a feasible community action project from among those they had developed as part of the training. Based on the understanding reached with them, the youth selected a community action project that helped addressing a conflict that used to occur between young people of the intervention area and the community residing nearby a football field, where large number of youth gather to play and watch football and other sport activities. According to the information obtained from the youth, more than 900 people gather over a week period to watch and play football. The youth spend their weekends and idle time by playing football and doing physical exercises. By spending their off time in the sport filed, they said that they avoided the risk of involving in activities that are detrimental to their health and relationship with their families and that of the community.
As expressed by the youth, however, there was no wash facility around the football field, and some youth that often gather to play or watch football usually relieve themselves in different corners of the field. This was observed affecting the sanitation of the area as well as the health of the community residing around the field, and hence became a cause for conflict among the youth and the community.
To address this problem, the youth had developed a project with the technical support provided to them to construct a wash facility consisting of both toilets as well as shower rooms, and also use the facility for income generation and also employment creation for some youth. Recognizing the contribution of the facility in terms of addressing the health problem resulting from lack of such facility, and hence reducing the conflict caused among the youth and the community because of the sanitation related problem of the area, the provided financial support amounting to Birr 150,000 to finance community action projects developed by the youth.
The WASH facility was constructed based on the design prepared by experts of the Woreda 10 Administration. The facility, which is of six rooms including hand wash room, was handed over to Woreda 10 Administration on the closeout workshop organized for this purpose. Major stakeholders including officials from the Ministry of Peace, Woreda 10 Administration and representatives of the youth had attended the workshop.