Youth as Change Agents for COVID-19 Response
According to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the population of India is young, with 25.6% of people below the age of 14 in 2018. CNN reported as of October 2021 there have been over 30 million cases of COVID-19 in India, with more than 33% of cases in people under 30 according to India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
EngenderHealth partnered with The YP Foundation, to reach young people with critical information to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. We also aimed to meaningfully engage with young people and amplify their voices to influence change in their communities.
As part of EngenderHealth’s commitment to elevate youth leadership and civic engagement, we supported young people to become change agents in India’s response to COVID-19. We engaged adolescents and youth and amplified their voices in national- and state-level youth-led campaigns around COVID-19 prevention. Further, program also addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people.
In 2021, EngenderHealth conducted focus group discussions with youth to rapidly assess their knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors related to COVID-19. We engaged a diverse cadre of more than 600 young people (of different ages, working in different sectors, and from across each state) to serve as champions for the campaigns. We also engaged high-level officials and well-known influencers at national and state levels to further amplify the young champions’ messages. The program shared 1.4 million messages across online networks and communities and delivered 50,000 vaccination messages at the community level.