COVID-19 has brought a wave of health concerns coupled with financial insecurity due to the economic crisis that followed. Even though the experts believe that Bangladesh is about to hit the second wave of pandemic, travel restrictions all over the country have been relaxed, with shops and offices opening up.
However, without proper measures to curb transmission, the situation is likely to become even more dangerous and there’s no possibility of the coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh coming to an end any time soon. Experts suggest, there must also be continuous public information campaigns to spread awareness on coronavirus safety measures. The ‘Mask Awareness Campaign’ of Youth for Policy aims to do just that.
The first phase of ‘Mask Awareness Campaign’ was held in the last week of August 2020. 221 volunteers from 19 districts assisted the campaign reaching around 3800 people nationwide. The volunteers spread awareness among their community members about the correct way of using, storing and cleaning masks to minimize their chance of transmitting virus as well as distributed reusable, environment friendly 3 layered cloth masks. The volunteers also embarked on community engagement by asking community members about their socio-economic situation during the pandemic.
Youth for policy is an initiative of IID. Formed in 2018, the initiative promotes active participation of youth into public policy. It is an extensive network and coalition of youth organizations and NGOs coming together to train youth in policy advocacy and provide them with a platform to voice their needs and opinions.
The campaign will continue as the volunteers formulate recommendations on COVID-19 issues they identified through community engagement and present their findings to national level policy makers next month.