The UNDP recently launched a youth webinar series, entitled Yuwa In Action Against COVID-19 on 23 June 2020. The webinar series is the first of its kind and the very first webinar was conducted on the topic, “Access to Basic Facilities.” It brought into light rich discussions on how many people at the grassroots have faced economic hardships, with many losing their jobs in the current context. The webinar showed that many people did not have adequate food stock during the crisis, and that there was limited availaibility of essential food and medical supplies in their local markets. Furthermore, the education of the school going children across the country has also been severly impacted with very few students having access to online classes, and majority having no such access to education.
The survey also showed that means like miking, local radio, televison and social media were effective in helping spread information on the pandemic. Moreover, most of the respondents agreed unaimously that the government needs to increase its testing of the coronavirus and that lockdown should not be lifted.
The first youth webinar was attended by over 60 participants, who expressed their solidarity and commitment to bring the issues of inclusion to the forefront. As most of the youth are losing their jobs because of the crisis, reintegrating them into productive activities is one of the major challenges the stakeholders will face. The webinar series therefore are led by UNDP youth volunteers spread across all seven provinces in Nepal. The youth volunteers survey the community members and using modern technology to understand the problems they are facing collectively in the context of the COVID-19. Each volunteer surveys at least five respondents from their communities to get an accurate picture of the ground realities. They then present their findings with the data and information in the webinar, offering insight and suggestions in terms of what needs to be done to address these problems at the community-level.
More of the series will take place in the coming days on topics including problems faced by women, senior citizens, people with disabilities, sexual minorities, informal workers and other marginalized communities during this crisis, and the role of the stakeholders in combating COVID-19. All of these will be led by the youth, for the youth.