Mumbai : Educate Girls, a non-profit working in the most rural and remote villages of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to bridge gender and literacy gaps through girls’ education, has joined #YoungWarrior Movement in its fight against COVID-19. Nearly 5,800 Team Balika volunteers from Educate Girls, between the age of 18 and 30 years, have registered as Young Warriors and pledged their support to take positive action in their villages and communities.
The Young Warrior Movement has been initiated by the Young People, Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYAS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), YuWaah, UNICEF and 1,350+ partners, to engage 5 million young people to take action against COVID-19, and cumulatively impact the lives of 50 million people across India. Through this movement, young people are engaged in easy real-life tasks to encourage families and community members to get vaccinated, curb COVID-related misinformation through fake-news busting tools, promote and amplify information on COVID-appropriate behaviour, among other important initiatives. In the last two months, more than 6 million young people have taken action as a part of the #YoungWarrior Movement.
As a part of their COVID Relief Initiative, Educate Girls’ community volunteers called Team Balika and their 2,200 employees have been promoting Covid-19 awareness, distributing ration and hygiene kits to over 115,000 ultra-poor households in remote villages of India. Efforts of more than 15,000 Team Balika volunteers have helped Educate Girls in ensuring 2,30,600+ children from the most marginalised, rural villages of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh stay connected with education through Camp Vidya, a community-based learning initiative.
Elaborating on the collaboration, Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director at Educate Girls, said, “Our Team Balika volunteers have been working at the frontline in support of their communities and the children we work with during the pandemic. They are ensuring children stay connected with education and are safeguarded against the direct impacts of Covid-19. Furthering this support to the most marginalised communities and vulnerable children in rural India, our Team Balika volunteers are joining the #YoungWarrior Movement.”
The tasks are hosted on both tech and non-tech platforms in 12 regional languages. When young volunteers complete the tasks, they are equipped with information to take the first steps to secure themselves, their families, and their communities.
Ms Dhuwarakha Sriram, UNICEF India’s Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah), Youth Development and Partnerships, said, “If we can equip young people with the right support, they can change the course of the COVID-19 trajectory in India. The Young Warrior Movement aims to engage young people from all parts of the country. For those with phones and internet, we have developed a simple chatbot that issues tasks related to fighting COVID-19. Those without internet connectivity can give a free missed call to an IVR number. For young people who may not have access to device, information is shared through 200+ community radio stations. We welcome Educate Girls’ Team Balika volunteers as Young Warriors to safeguard themselves, their families and their communities in this fight against COVID-19.”
Educate Girls is also collaborating with YuWaah for multiple trainings for its community volunteers that will enable them to tackle issues like gender-based violence, caring for people with disabilities, among other initiatives as part of the collaboration.
Young People can join the #YoungWarrior movement through any of the following ways:
· Type ‘YWA’ and send it to +91 96504 14141 on WhatsApp (linked to a tech-based chat-bot platform called U-Report);
· Give a missed call to 080-66019225 (an Interactive Voice Response (IVR)-based platform for those without WhatsApp / Internet service on their phones)
· Take the pledge, post ‘I am a #YoungWarrior’ & tag 5 friends. Log on to yuwaah.org or visit its social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. (Need to hyperlink the social media pages and website)
· Search for UReportIndia on Telegram.