Kenyan Youth leaders Trained to counter COVID-19 Disinformation

As cases of COVID-19 infections rise across the world, so does false information related to the disease, particularly through traditional and digital media channels. This has particularly left young people vulnerable to being misled about the novel disease, threatening to derail government efforts to fight the pandemic.

Concerned by this emerging phenomenon and as a response, UNESCO kicked off on 14 October 2020 a series of virtual workshops for youth leaders in Kenya to equip them with skills and competencies to tackle disinformation and misinformation about COVID-19.

Sixty Eight (68) youth leaders comprising of 31 men and 37 women aged between 18 and 30 years, and drawn from 50 youth led community centres, youth organizations, community-based organizations, and community learning places across 47 counties in Kenya, took part in the first series of UNESCO virtual training workshops from 14 to 13 October 2020, facilitated by the Africa Center for People, Institutions and Society, and funded by the European Union, as part of the #CoronavirusFacts project to address the ‘disinfodemic’ on COVID-19.

The 68 youth leaders were taken through theoretical and practical exercises on forms of information disorder, alternative media and the spread of disinformation, fact-checking, social media verification and combating online abuse, among others. This training was designed with materials from UNESCO publications such as Journalism, ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation and Media and Information Literacy