ONG BIFERD DR Congo in partnership with the Baptist Ministry in North Kivu facilitated a training for 64 Baptist Church youth on COVID-19 prevention. The training, which took place on 23rd August 2020 in Goma, DR Congo, aimed at empowering youth with information and building their resilience against the pandemic.
During the meeting it was noted that DR Congo’s protracted conflicts, which have escalated poverty and deadly diseases such as Ebola, Malaria and HIV/AIDS have put the country at an increased risk of COVID-19 infections; with minimal ability to respond to the pandemic. Youth and children are similarly at risk of contracting the virus due to their unrestrained socialization behaviours. Members were saddened by the closure of learning institutions due to the Coronavirus.
Topics covered during the discussions included ways one could contract the virus, understanding water hygiene and sanitation, and disinfection processes. In the meeting the GNRC–DR Congo Coordinator, Jonas Habimana, shared about the Congolese government response to the pandemic, including restricting movement, partial lockdown of certain districts and the compulsory wearing of masks in public.
It was noted that the government together with civil society organizations and ministry of health have been raising awareness on protective measures such as hand and surface hygiene, coughing etiquette and social and physical distancing.
During the meeting members learnt how to educate the community on preventive measures of the pandemic. Youth were inspired by the knowledge received and pledged to volunteer in responding to the pandemic.