Educating and protecting high risk communities mask handover ceremony

Young Africa Botswana in conjunction with The British High Commission, the United States of America Embassy, and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture Development would like to invite media to cover the handing over ceremony of 3000 free face masks to the Old Naledi community which is a part of the “Educating and Protecting High Risk Communities” COVID 19 relief program. 

This unique and ambitious programme has two main activities: 

1. Training of 100 Botswana National Service Program beneficiaries in basic sewing and entrepreneurship skills, as a result of this programme the beneficiaries will produce 9000 facemask that will be distributed for free to the community. 

Wearing masks in public has become mandatory by law since the 1st of May 2020 and still not everyone has or is able to afford having at least 2 facemasks. The participants will learn how to make masks and some basics of (hand and machine) sewing skills as well as entrepreneurial skills to commercialize the face mask making after the course. The 9000 facemasks that will be made during the programme will be distributed for free to the community members in need. In this way, we hope to help to prevent the devastating results the spreading of Corona would have in the high – risk communities 

2. Education campaign in high risk communities 

Local tuck shops are central points in the communities. People pass by tuck shops daily. Using tuck shops as a vehicle to educate the community in how to protect themselves against COVID 19 will have a great effect, without requiring any additional physical contact. Images communicate stronger than words. To share necessary information that will enable the community to protect itself from the COVID-19, 40 tuck shops in high-risk communities will be utilized as information distribution points. The tuck shops will be, recognizable for the community, painted by local artist, depicting the social health behaviour rules. 

Furthermore, the selected artists will be asked to develop simple coloring sheets with same message specially designed to engage children. The coloring sheets will be distributed via the tuck shops to avoid unnecessary contact. While coloring the children will automatically adopt the message. 2000 coloring sheets will be distributed during the project, together with basic information about COVID 19 and Gender Based Violence in simple Setswana. 

On the 9th of April 2021 the third and the last batch of 30 BNSP beneficiaries will complete the 2 months programme and will hand over more than 3000 facemasks to the Kgosi in Old Naledi as a symbolic gesture of putting them in the community’s custody.  The handing over ceremony will be held at the Old Naledi Kgotla from 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M in the presence of the highest representatives from MYSC, British High Commission and the US Embassy. 

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