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Safe, Child-friendly and Effective Awareness Raising during COVID-19

Learn the key considerations to safely adapt child protection awareness-raising activities to enable continuity during COVID-19.

‘Safe, Child-friendly and Effective Awareness Raising: Adaptation for Safe Continuity of Awareness Raising in COVID-19’

Work with key community members to:

  • Identify established and trusted approaches to raise awareness and engage the community (including children and youth) in protecting children through phone, radio, internet or other means of communication.
  • Develop safe and appropriate ways to communicate about the virus with children and families and to support caregivers to communicate to children in a way that is accurate but does not cause undue stress (see tips below).
  • Ensure relevant, accurate and accessible messages are incorporated into awareness-raising activities to help prevent and detect COVID-19 and to reduce rumours and stigma in the community. For example, provide information on:
  1. Methods to prevent COVID-19, such as hand washing, community social distancing and the use of masks;
  2. Modes of transmission and risks of infection;
  3. Ways to recognize signs and symptoms of the disease;
  4. The importance of reporting; and
  5. COVID-19-specific health referral pathways and hotline numbers.

Remember to:

Strategize before you communicate. Consider developing a user-friendly on- and offline communication and community engagement strategy that includes child protection and COVID-19 messages which take age, gender, language, literacy and education levels, and disabilities of the target group into consideration.

Coordinate with education services where they are operating remotely as well as with health actors.

Consider:

  • Setting up fixed-site loudspeakers within the community for information dissemination when the use of portable public address systems is common.
  • Using posters, community bulletin boards or printed flyers and images at key locations in the community, which can be regularly updated with the latest information and advice in the appropriate language(s).
  • Using your established and trusted networks to share information by phone, internet or local radio when courtyard meetings or group gatherings are common practice but are no longer possible.
  • That community members might avoid using large amounts of data for online communications, so make sure that content is produced in a low-resolution format that allows for sharing over internet or MSM with the minimum file size.
  • Encouraging discussion and receiving feedback from the audience when using social media to disseminate messages. (For example, questions and feedback could be recorded and shared with the community through appropriate channels.)
  • Involving children with a smart phone to make a short video, use TikTok or make a cellfilm to record their lives and experiences during COVID-19 and share them with others.

Ensure that:

  • Children know how to use social media and keep themselves safe online if engaging with your programme through online methods.
  • All workers are familiar with their organisation’s child safeguarding policy and the measures covering safe use of video, photography, and other technology. Where a policy is not available, refer to available resources such as:
  1. Child Safeguarding PowerPoint Toolkit, Keeping Children Safe
  2. Safeguarding resources, Bond

 

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Protecting Children during COVID-19 and other Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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