- 27 May 2020
- by Fredrick Shija, GNRC–Tanzania
- Category: Blog
Transforming Lives in the Face of COVID-19: My Lived Experience
The COVID-19 pandemic that has been with us for nearly half a year and has brought many challenges that has affected and changed communities and lives across the world. Social and economic crisis induced by COVID-19 are deep and long. The restrictions put due to the pandemic are taking a toll on the stock exchange and local trades. All these drastic changes have an effect on the political life and systems of a country. Access to government services and basic amenities is also hard. Daily life activities have also been hindered.
Freedom of movement is becoming a myth. As a youth, travel bans, social distancing, ban of public gathering, and lockdowns have led to economic and social implications and a potential rise of violence especially in the developing world. Sources of income are shutting down and the price of commodities is shooting high especially foods and medical amenities. In Tanzania for example, the price of sugar rose drastically in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The little amount people have saved over the years may not be enough to sustain them if the pandemic prolongs. With countries protecting themselves against the pandemic and the world’s elites and businesses moving to online technology, I fear cyber-crimes will also be on the rise.
We live in a time of fear and caution; a time where there is fear of increased spread of the pandemic; a time where we all fear movement. There is fear of inadequate medical facilities and lack of cure for the virus.
The situation is even worse to the vulnerable groups including youth and children. They are exponentially exposed to more opportunities of abuse and violence including domestic violence and online exploitation.
Our focus on preventing underlying problems such as violent extremism, poverty and peacebuilding has been overtaken to attend to the current global COVID-19 crisis. As a youth in action, during this hard time, my COVID-19 response is focused on raising awareness in my society through the use of social media. Similarly as an SDG Ambassador, Peace and Climate Change Activist I am writing articles and designing social media posters to spread and share information on the pandemic specifically on how the virus has affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how it threatens progress, peace and security.
Countering the pandemic however needs our joint efforts to subdue the virus. As students of peace and conflict resolution, we have a duty to conform to the regulations put by our governments and the World Health Organization (WHO). Together, I believe we will elope this crisis.