Combating COVID-19: call for initiative projects in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger

June 17, 2020

As part of the fight against coronavirus, young people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have launched campaigns aimed at raising awareness among other young people about the extent of the disease: whether it be donations, awareness-raising or the production of information-based content, MediaSahel is supporting their implementation.

In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, young people are getting involved in the fight against COVID-19. The initiatives have ramped up since the virus first appeared in the countries of the Sahelian strip, whether through local awareness-raising initiatives within individual neighbourhoods, the provision of support to vulnerable people or donations of hand sanitisers or even hand-washing facilities, which are sorely lacking in many regions.

The involvement of young people in the civic life of their country is at the heart of what MediaSahel does. This project therefore offers to support young people involved in the fight against coronavirus and to enable them to gain access to the media space that they need in order to get their messages across.

From April 2020, young MediaSahel representatives in Ouahigouya in northern Burkina Faso put forward the idea of recording a radio programme to raise awareness of COVID-19 in their local area. They contacted MediaSahel's regional team and then Wend Panga, one of the radio stations benefiting from the project's capacity building component. The initiative quickly took shape with the production of a 90-minute programme in French and Mooré and involving various speakers: a radio host, four young representatives and two nurses. They discussed the fact that the disease does actually exist in view of the doubts expressed by certain people, which pose a health risk to the population, the preventative measures to adopt and the various symptoms of the disease.

This initiative, which was welcomed onto the air by many Wend Panga listeners, will be followed by other campaigns led by young people, thanks to a call for projects launched by MediaSahel in the three countries. There will be a particular focus on gender-sensitive initiatives directed at the populations via the media. The most relevant projects will be selected and supported within the scope of the technical and financial support that will be offered between June and September 2020.

The MediaSahel project is supported by the French Development Agency (AFD).
This new content is also funded by AFD as part of the French COVID-19 - Health in Common initiative.