Digital Opportunity Trust launches #DOTYouth Street Team to tackle COVID-19

April 7, 2020 - Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) is announcing the launch of the #DOTYouth Street Team, a coordinated support network of youth in Africa and the Middle East who are responding to COVID-19 with needs-based interventions. 

In the midst of a global pandemic, youth are identifying the challenges and needs in their communities, and moving rapidly to address them to get ahead of COVID-19 as it hits their regions. 

The first #DOTYouth Street Team will consist of 50 youth with already-underway and impactful COVID-19 response initiatives in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Lebanon, and Jordan. 

DOT will support the impact and reach of the #DOTYouth Street Team by connecting members of the team with partners who can provide supply chains, up-do-date information, tools, and best practices in community response work from reliable sources. DOT will also provide targeted learning and training opportunities and a peer support community.

Examples of how #DOTYouth are innovating to take action on COVID-19 include youth who are distributing soap and sanitary supplies in slums and vulnerable communities; youth who are mobilising to rapidly share up-to-date information in refugee camps; youth who are creating support networks for women in crisis; and youth who are leading inclusive education for out-of-school children. Read more about how #DOTYouth are creating rapid responses to COVID-19.

The #DOTYouth Street Team will consist of youth who are leading COVID-19 community response efforts across three pillars:

  • Community Outreach – knowledge sharing and sensitization about COVID-19; building digital communities of support for peers and neighbours; digital interventions such as radio and social media campaigns; establishing supply chains for essential healthcare and sanitation materials.
  • Digital Education and e-Health – digital learning platforms and activities; supporting teachers and schools to reach students virtually; digital skills, inclusion, and access initiatives for communities; e-health initiatives.
  • Gender equality – health and wellness initiatives for women and girls; skills development; connecting women to digital jobs; gender equality advocacy.

Youth know what is most needed in their communities. They are trusted community members who have the ability to adapt and respond quickly to emerging crisis situations. Youth in DOT’s network have the digital skills, gender equality, and facilitation knowledge necessary to rapidly intervene where their communities need it most. UNHCR recommends that one of the primary tactics to combat the spread of the virus in vulnerable communities must be to engage local youth and youth networks

Youth between the ages of 19 and 34 located in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Lebanon, or Jordan with an active community-based COVID-19 response initiative can apply to join the #DOTYouth Street Team here: http://bit.ly/DOTYouthStreetTeam 

DOT is seeking organizations and individuals who can provide partnership opportunities for youth in areas including (but not limited to): linkages to supply chains for essential sanitation items; training on best practices in community outreach and community health during pandemics; access to digital education platforms and/or multilingual content; best practices and training in health and wellness for women and girls; digital jobs and digital opportunity training and platforms. 

For media inquiries, interview requests for DOT staff or youth, or to learn more about ways to support the #DOTYouth Street Team, please contact: 

Anne Patterson
Director, Communications and Digital Engagement
apatterson@dotrust.org

About Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)

DOT is a youth-led movement of daring social innovators who have the tools, knowledge, and networks to create opportunities and transform their own communities.

We work with youth, the private sector, governments, and community-based organizations towards a collaborative vision of communities around the world shaped by daring social innovators.

Our growing network of 6,000 youth have created opportunities for 1 million people in communities across Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Indigenous Canada.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with locally-managed offices in Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania, we work in 25 countries as development innovators and catalysts.

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