Raising Youth Voices During COVID-19
COVID-19 has impacted the daily lives of millions of children across the globe. Nearly 1.5 billion children and youth in 165 countries are affected by COVID-19 school closures. As a result of these closures, governments have been developing distance learning solutions that aim to provide remote education while supporting students, teachers, and parents. Equitable distance learning continues to be at the forefront as school closures disproportionately impact the most vulnerable children and families. Currently, youth around the world are taking action to ensure that all youth, including themselves, have access to quality education in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCC Youth Ambassadors of Suriname and Guyana are taking action on social media by sharing creative videos to educate their peers on the importance of practicing safe social distancing. Additionally, UNICEF Suriname Youth Volunteers, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), have actively been participating in the “Safe Hands Challenge.” By using #SafeHandsChallenge and #SafeHands, youth took action on social media platforms and created entertaining educational videos that teach proper hand washing techniques. These campaigns have helped raise awareness of safe methods for returning to school, sharing how to limit the spread of COVID-19 while doing so.
What else can youth do to raise their voices during COVID-19? Share social media messages from global organizations such as WHO or UNICEF, or create your own unique content. Voices for Youth offers social media toolkits and COVID-19 youth actions to help inform your community and inspire others to take action. These actions offer youth resources to help inform and fight against misinformation to lessen the secondary impacts of COVID-19, such as school closures. To ensure equal access to education, youth can continue to take action by sharing information with policymakers and local school officials. By raising youth voices, policymakers and officials can further understand the urgency for all students to have access to quality, safe, and equitable education as the world combats the impacts of the COVID-19.
Youth voices are crucial to ensuring that communities and schools come back stronger after COVID-19. Children and youth need to continuously be at the forefront of education, and their voices must to be heard by the community and those shaping their education systems in the midst of COVID-19. To learn more about how youth can raise their voices during COVID-19 visit Voices for Youth, and take action with GCE-US here.