Leaving no one behind: time to bridge the digital gap

Tambu Muzenda
Posted June 20, 2020 from South Africa

 

I am leading a project amplifying voices of young people through writing about their experiences during COVID-19 and sharing these online and journaling realities. We have WhatsApp platforms and google meet where we discuss challenges and provide guidance in writing. In addition, we refer young women seeking medical attention to our online help station for any issues that require mental and health services given that some need their ARVs. The online platforms provides networks at local level to support the young women. Accessibility to data and virtual support could improve engagement of young women beyond the new normal. 

We have more than 15 people impacted by the work through the Still Rising Circle and they also have circles that they host in the local areas,  supporting 6-15 girls in writing and health services. We need smart phones for recording their stories and some do photography that they would like to post online, but are limited by data, advanced phone to edit and deliver this work. Data is a crucial issue as most young women would like to participate and engage with the group. So funds for data, smart phones that are compatible to have applications to engage online and share more information and write would make a difference for the young women to continue writing and sharing information on health related issues and also engage each other to check up on their peers. 

We have engaged with young women, published stories, documented powerful stories with women on GBV, had dialogues online on SRHR, GBV and COVID-19. This is powerful to focus on, especially at this time to maximise online support due to movement restrictions and lockdown. 

 

This story was submitted in response to Become a Featured Changemaker.

Comments 13

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Chi8629
Jun 20
Jun 20

Thank you for sharing .
Please stay safe out there .
Much love .

Tambu Muzenda
Jun 22
Jun 22

Thank you. Safety first.

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 20
Jun 20

Hello Tambu,
This is a tremendous project. I hope you find all the funding you need. Such important leadership and opportunity for these young women. Such a great plan, to get stories published and to make dialogue possible.

Tambu Muzenda
Jun 22
Jun 22

hello Tamarack,
We are doing what we can and it raise all voices. I thank you.

Jill Langhus
Jun 22
Jun 22

Hello Tambu,

How are you doing? Thanks so much for sharing your impressive project. Good luck with your Featured Changemaker application:-) XX

Tambu Muzenda
Jun 24
Jun 24

Thank you Jill. I am doing well under the circumstances. I am really looking forward to the opportunity as it can allow us to deepen our work at all levels- maximise the voices of young women no matter where they are.

Jill Langhus
Jun 22
Jun 22

You're welcome. Good to hear.

Hope you have a good week, dear.

XX

Anita Shrestha
Jun 22
Jun 22

Thank you very much for sharing

Tambu Muzenda
Jun 24
Jun 24

Anita thank you for reading. Greatly appreciated.

Sinyuy Geraldine
Jun 24
Jun 24

Dear Tammy dear. How are you doing today? Thank you so much for rallying the girls's stories on Covid 19. What a way to purge out one's worries.

Tambu Muzenda
Jun 24
Jun 24

Thank you. In this difficult times, writing provides an avenue for healing and thinking ahead once one sees their situation. They also feel hopeful because this time also affects many with mental health and anxieties. Thank you Geraldine.

QueenVirtuous
Jun 25
Jun 25

I'm really impressed, dear Tambu!

Amplifying voices is quite a task both emotionally and technologically. I see the challenges you've highlighted and they are valid. I am glad that you haven't allowed those challenges to keep you from bringing those voices to the fore.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours, I pray you find the funding you need for your project, and I pray you get selected as a Featured Changemaker.

We love you dearly!

Tambu Muzenda
Jun 27
Jun 27

I love you QueenVirtuous, we are grateful to share. Humbled by your responses. Our stories matter and bringing them to the world is crucial. Thank you.