In the month of April, 2020 the Centre for information Technology and Development (CITAD) got a grant from International Institute of Education and MacArthur Foundation to help in addressing the issue of COVID-19 in Kano State by creating awareness on how the virus was spreading among the people in the State, engaging of young people to help in propagating the knowledge on the need for social distancing, wearing of Face masks and regular hand washing, and creating awareness through the use of conventional and social media.
The trained youth who were selected from different communities in Kano State carried out different activities in their respective communities which helped in creating awareness about the virus in the state. During the training, CITAD was able to mobilize over 120 youths who were trained by experts on the areas of health, communication, social media and community mobilization virtually. These rigorous training sessions equipped the youth with better understating on how to engage their communities both online and offline.
Following the training, CITAD invited the participants to submit application for mini projects to be carried out in their communities. Following a rigorous evaluation of the applications, 44 were given mini grants to carry out various interventions to promote public awareness and understanding about COVID 19 in their communities and to provide support in terms of linking communities to health authorities and agencies should the need arise such when individuals need testing.
In the course of conducting their mini projects which were supported by CITAD some of the youths went extra miles to initiate activities around protective measures of COVID-19. Some of the fascinating ideas exhibited were the production of locally made hand sanitizers by 3 beneficiaries, Face masks by 9 beneficiaries; Ado Sunusi Sabongida, Ahmad Abbas Dalhatu, Aina’u Sarki, Zahra’u Waya, Basira Lawal, Fadil Muhammad, Hauwa Kassim Ahmad, Sale Bidillaji and Sumayya Dalhatu, and fliers in Hausa, Fulfulde and English and distributed to their community members. For the production of hand sanitizers, three of the sub-grantees produced different types of hand sanitizers, these hands sanitizers were distributed during the sensitization campaigns carried out by the sub-grantees. The production of Face masks was in addition to helping with this protective measures and also to draw the attention of youth to potential business opportunities.
The distribution of the hand sanitizers to the communities helped in accepting the campaigns by many as some people in the state do not believe in the existence of the virus before the sensitization campaigns and also many did not have money to buy either hand sanitizers to wash their hands or buy Face masks that they would be using to protect themselves. Many of the beneficiaries of the sensitization campaigns carried out by the sub-grantees had expressed their joy over the distributions of the hand sanitizers and the Face masks.
At Gyadi-Gyadi community of Tarauni Local Government where Aina’u Sarki, a beneficiary of CITAD mini grant who is also a community youth activist and community mobilizer conducted her sensitization campaign in her community, the community members were overjoyed on how they were given free locally made hand sanitizers after the training. One of the beneficiaries of the sensitization campaign, Malama Fatima Abdullahi of Gyadi-Gyadi community said she was very happy to receive the training, she continued to say that the training has helped her to understand the pandemic more and dispelled her previous stand denying the existence of the virus. She also thanked the organizer of the sensitization and CITAD for the hand sanitizers and Face masks given to her. Other beneficiaries that produced the locally handmade hand sanitizers were Ahmad Abbas Dalhatu, Mr. Ahmad is a youth activist and the co-founder of Rijiyar Zaki Progressive Association working on the area of improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in their community and Hauwa Kassim Ahmad, Mss. Hauwa is a women advocate working in the area of improving the lives of women in her community.