Building Awareness to Fight and to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood
Supported by: The United Nations Children’s Fund
Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood (PAFEC) and UNICEF have designed a three-month long ‘COVID-19 prevention and mitigation campaign’ aiming at creating mass awareness to stop the community spread of the virus. The campaign has been launched in the four districts of Punjab which are Faisalabad, Lahore, Multan and Gujranwala. Specific objectives of the campaign are as following:
a) Build capacity of communities through sensitizing them using different strategies
b) Create preparedness among communities to deal with virus in case of being infected and to mitigation the situation
c) Provide necessary health and hygiene guidelines information and identify services available for this purpose
The key components of the campaign include training of master trainers, influencers, disseminating COVID-19 prevention and mitigation messages through mosques, social media platforms, webinars and miking in all the four districts using ‘chingchies’ (the popular three wheelers). PAFEC has engaged four institutional members (AFAQ, Muslim Hands, Momentous Schools and Tiflee Education) to train influencers. The influencers have been divided into four categories, i.e. religious/community leaders, school principals, head teachers, youth workers, and community representatives. PAFEC and UNICEF launched the campaign in all the four districts by training 20 people from each implementing partner as master trainers. These master trainers are responsible to train the influencers. Each implementing partner is committed to training around 2,520 influencers making the total number of influencers 10,080. So far, 9,070 people have been trained who have started working with networks of schools, colleges, universities, mosques, civil society organisations, volunteers, and semi-government institutions for the campaign. WhatsApp groups of these influencers have been formed to disseminate this information further, adding local flavour and value.
Miking: 10 chingchies in each district are being hired to disseminate the campaign messages on every alternate day for a month. Audio-speakers are installed in the chingchies and recorded messages about COVID-19 awareness, prevention and mitigation are being played for 5-6 hours daily. Chingchies are laced and decorated with banners/posters with COVID-19 prevention messages written on them.
In addition to the above activities, messages and footage of the campaign activities are actively being disseminated on PAFEC and its partners’ social platforms and through other networks in the country through boosting the content. PAFEC and its partners are organising weekly webinars on the topics related to ECD, child protection, impact of online learning etc. Each guest speaker of the webinar is expected to talk about the importance of SoPs and give critical information to audiences about COVID-19. These webinars are organised as Live Stream sessions on Facebook, so that maximum people can benefit from them.
As a strategic and long-term activity, PAFEC has also initiated incorporating content and key message on COVID-19 in selected university courses and training modules and other materials of PAFEC partners to better understand and respond to similar pandemics in future. PAFEC will continue to engage its network organisations and partner universities, colleges and schools across Pakistan to organise sessions for creating uninterrupted awareness about the pandemic and the critical role of vaccines in its prevention.