When Covid-19 hit the world, no one knew that by 2022 we will still be talking about it let alone be dealing with it. For a moment we all thought it was a phase that will quickly pass just like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a respiratory illness that affected many people worldwide in 2003.  For countries like Zimbabwe, which strives on informal industries, a lot of people’s livelihoods were negatively affected due to the imposed nationwide lockdowns. Many students dropped out of training as they sighted the need to assist their parents or guardians to economically provide for the family.

In responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, Young Africa with support from the Embassy of Netherlands in Maputo is implementing a Covid-19 Emergency response project under our broader Skills2live project where around 16500 beneficiaries are set to benefit through Health and Covid response activities, food security, Psychosocial support, Continued learning and Livelihoods activities.

Yeukai Stacy Ushe, 22 years of age is one of the Food vouchers beneficiaries. Coming from a family of five, with no regular income and no economic muscle, Yeukai almost dropped out of training,

“Things changed at home when Covid-19 hit, my grandmother who has a market stall selling tomatoes lost everything when the lockdown came.  By the time things normalized, she could not start over. There was little to no food at home, and we decided that I stop going for training and start helping around the house,” said bright-eyed Yeukai.

“This food voucher will go a long way in assisting my family. Now we can purchase whatever groceries we need at home, and I can continue with my studies,” she said.

The distribution of food vouchers followed the engagement of a nutritionist who conducted anthropometric measurements to all target beneficiaries as well as training on healthy eating, its benefits, food preparation, and preservation.

The Covid-19 Emergency Response is being implemented at our Centres in Mozambique and Zimbabwe with sensitisation activities encouraging young people to get tested as well as get vaccinated for Covid-19.

“I joined a group that went for Covid-19 testing at the centre, I had not been tested ever since and it was my first experience. After getting tested I realised I could get vaccinated and a few days later I got vaccinated now I am due for my second jab,” said Yeukai.

The call by governments to citizen to get vaccinated is being resisted due to misinformation and conspiracy surrounding their use in different communities that Young Africa works in. Therefore  Young Africa with support from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Mozambique is partnering with the Ministry of Health in the 2 countries conduct awareness and sensitisation campaigns to demystify myths surrounding the vaccines as well as encouraging vaccination.