Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) is pleased to launch the second cohort of the #DOTYouth Street Team to tackle COVID-19 response, recovery, and community resilience. This cohort will consist of 70 youth from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Lebanon, and Jordan who are leading crisis response initiatives in their own communities.
In April 2020, DOT launched its first #DOTYouth Street Team initiative – a coordinated support network of youth in Africa and the Middle East who are responding to COVID-19 with needs-based interventions.
Through the #DOTYouth Street Team, DOT supports the impact and reach of youth by connecting them with partners who can provide information, tools, and best practices in community-based crisis response work. DOT also provides targeted learning, training and coaching opportunities, and a peer support community.
The impact of the #DOTYouth Street Team is tremendous: the first cohort of 43 youth supported 480,301 community members through their initiatives and 87.5% of #DOTYouth Street Team members reported that they are confident or very confident in their abilities to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals because of their experience with DOT.
Members of the #DOTYouth Street Team are transforming digital education, taking action for mental health, working in prisons and refugee camps, and creating critical support networks in marginalized communities.
We are excited to support the impact of this next cohort of 70 young changemakers who are creating opportunities and transforming their communities.
Here are 3 ways that youth in Africa and the Middle East are leading community recovery and resilience efforts:
Human skills for resilient communities
In Jordan, Ashraf Alshdefat founded the Jordan Volunteer Network – an initiative that encourages youth to actively participate in the development and transformation of their communities. The Jordan Volunteer Network offers a variety of training and learning programs to uplight and support youth to leverage their knowledge, skills and abilities to create long lasting positive and collaborative change. Ashraf has already supported over 5000 youth in Jordan, with plans to involve thousands more youth in the coming months.
In Tanzania, Gerald Mukama started Vijana Tech, an initiative that supports youth through capacity building, skills development and outreach. In the midst of COVID-19, Gerald is organizing online training sessions focused on digital skills and literacy and is providing mentorship opportunities to youth in his community.
Digital skills for a new world of work
Saida Ally is the founder of Her Fingers Can Code – an NGO that focuses on bridging the gender digital divide and enhancing the ICT skills for young women and girls in Tanzania. Since launching her initiative in 2020, Saida has supported more than 200 girls with training on digital literacy, coding and mentorship and coaching opportunities.
In Tanzania, youth have expressed their need for digital skills training programs that are youth-led, focused on skills development and established based on local context; and Saida’s work is an important part of meeting these needs..
Francis Inyangat is the founder of Blueprint Digital Service – an initiative in Uganda through which he is helping community members adapt to new digital technologies by offering youth-led training on digital skills and literacy while providing jobs and career guidance. Francis is striving for community impact, social change and seeing his community fully adopt digital technology in the midst of a global pandemic.
Campaigning for healthy communities
Malik Abubakari started his community initiative in Ghana to spread awareness, provide information and address community issues resulting from COVID-19. Through his initiative, Malik has gathered a group of youth to conduct COVID-19 awareness campaigns using social media, telephone and radio. Malik and his team also provide masks, sanitizers and soap to community members in need. Malik plans to continue his outreach and train young women on liquid soap making so they can earn a living.
Salma Kasonta is the founder of Coco Hedhi Ujauzito & Afya – a mobile app platform that provides health information and tracks a woman’s menstrual cycle. The app provides women in Tanzania with the information and knowledge about personal care and wellbeing, while debunking myths and stereotypes associated with a woman’s body, her menstrual cycle, and pregnancy.
We’re inspired by the incredible work of #DOTYouth!
To learn more about how Digital Opportunity Trust is supporting youth who are developing solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: DOT Launches #DOTYouth Street Team to tackle COVID-19
Digital Opportunity Trust’s #DOTYouth Street Team is a COVID-19 response and resilience initiative supported the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation
How to Meaningfully Engage Young Social Innovators in Post-COVID Recovery
Perspectives and Recommendations from #DOTYouth
The Digital Shift: Youth Voices on Digital Inclusion and Skills
A new report highlighting youth perspectives from the 2020 Tanzania Youth Digital Summit