By Health In Five Writer
Young people, with the support of UNICEF, YuWaah, and over 100 Coalition Partners across Government, Civil Society, UN Agencies, and Private Sector, have activated the #YoungWarrior Movement. This will catalyse a pan-India movement to engage five million young warriors to take a lead in India’s battle against COVID-19.
Announcing the activation of the movement, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India and Co-Chair of YuWaah said, “A devastating second wave of COVID-19 is sweeping across India, and young people have taken on an urgent call to action in the fight against it. YuWaah, as a multi-stakeholder coalition, is ideally positioned to meaningfully partner with these young people to combat COVID-19 with the knowledge they need to keep their families and neighbourhoods safe.”
Ravi Venkatesan, UNICEF’s global Special Representative of Young People added: “UNICEF has assembled a powerful ecosystem of partners from civil society, government and private sector who are coming together in an extraordinary way to support the #YoungWarrior movement. We hope to convincingly demonstrate that young people want to lead and are capable of great leadership.”
Pledging support to the movement, Joint Secretary Padmaja Singh , Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, “The #YoungWarrior movement is timely to receive support from young people on COVID-19 response, given the start of 18 plus vaccination. We believe young people can lead the way in ensuring the safety of their communities, get vaccinated, and encourage communities to sustain COVID Appropriate Behaviours.”
The #YoungWarrior movement, led by young people, will see them mobilize, connect, learn, lead, influence, and take action to accelerate the response and return to normalcy. Debarati Ganguly, a member of the YuWaah Young People’s Action Team (YPAT) said, “We are leading this national movement and we will motivate our peers to join us and share the correct information on COVID Appropriate Behaviours, access accurate information on health and essential services, and encourage eligible family members and neighbours for vaccine registration”. Krunal Shah, also a member of YPAT said that “This pandemic is also more severe for vulnerable populations, especially adolescent girls and women and people with disabilities. We bring the passion and energy for equity into the Young Warrior movement. I believe this will inspire more youth like us and partners to come on board begin to see the positive change for millions of families across the country!”
The coalition of partners will support the young warriors with the essential tools and resources and an extensive campaign and outreach through youth groups, field partners, social media, and other mass media like TV, community radios, etc., The Young Warriors will not only secure their families but will also reach out and motivate other young people and families in their neighbourhoods.
The engagement model is built as a series of learning resources, tasks, quizzes, etc., and will be available both on an IVR-based platform and a technology-based chat-bot platform called U-Report (developed by UNICEF) – this multi-modal approach will enable youths from across the spectrum to participate in this campaign.
The #YoungWarrior movement also aims to facilitate safe spaces for other young people to talk about their challenges, including peer networks, counseling, and mentoring services with the help of experts.
Young people can join the movement by taking a #YoungWarrior pledge at yuwaah.org/becomeayoungwarrior or giving a missed call to +91-80-66019225