Understanding social norms are key to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. In rural West Africa people experience negative consequences if they do not perform expected group behaviours such as greetings, frequent group meetings and home visitations. These same behaviours accelerate the spread of COVID-19.
Sub-Saharan Africa has already begun its prevention efforts against the regional spread of the Coronavirus, with 3,924 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of this writing.
Tostan is immediately applying our 29 years of experience to support social norms and behavior changes and provide life saving information in culturally appropriate and trusted formats to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Social network influencers, including religious leaders, well-respected elders, and our own trusted local staff are acting quickly to establish and promote new norms that will replace behaviors shown to transmit the virus. We are also co-developing and distributing information in many local languages in print, on the radio, and through short culturally relevant videos.
Please contribute now so that Tostan Canada can reach our goal of raising $50,000 as part of Tostan’s overall $1,000,000 goal, and keep 782 staff employed for three months as social norms and prevention ambassadors. These trusted allies provide myriad support in their own communities to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
We believe it is possible to save thousands of lives in the most vulnerable areas of West Africa. In the future we will continue to develop community resilience at the grassroots through our Community Empowerment Program and Strengthening Democracy for Civic Engagement approach.