As governments continues to groan with the negative effects of COVID 19 on her economy, politics, security, medical facilities and citizenry, countries with low per capital income are finding it hard to cater for her huge poor population. In the midst of weak and over stretched institutions, ensuring that citizens do not die of hunger becomes paramount. Young people are at the fore front of humanitarian assistance and service delivery, mobilizing material and non-material resources towards the provision and distribution of relief materials including food and non-food items to vulnerable groups across communities.
In Nigeria, as part of effort aimed at combatting COVID-19 pandemic, a total lock down and ‘stay at home order’ was announced by the government to reduce community transmission of the virus and prevent further spread, however without adequate complementary palliatives for her citizens.
Nigeria is a country with a population of over 170 million and currently tops the world poverty chart ahead of several other conflict affected countries. The 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report shows that over 50% of Nigerians already live in multi-dimensional poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic is only making matter worse for most Nigerians.
On the 28th&29th of April 2020, youth volunteers of Building Blocks for Peace Foundation reached out to the elderly, widows and young daily earners who are struggling to survive during this period in four selected hard-to-reach communities such as Jago, Lademo, Ojoku and Eletu, all in Egbeda/Ona Ara, Local Government Area, Ibadan, Southwest, Nigeria. The motive of this journey was to support with the provision and distribution of food items to over 70 people including widows, elderly men and women and disable youths in rural communities.
Volunteers also took the opportunity to educate and sensitize community members about the threats posed by coronavirus and the existing prevention strategies. They reiterated that community members must maintain physical and social distancing, washing of hands always and avoid touching their faces with dirty hands, covering their mouth with either their elbow while sneezing or coughing or better with a tissue which should be disposed immediately after usage.
The traditional ruler of Jago/Badeku community appreciated the organization for the kind gestures and urged members to observe all the stated prevention guidelines shared.
Anthonia Folashade Adetayo