The National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO) is a Youth Umbrella Body for youth organizations working in Zimbabwe. Its vision is to see a repositioned, redefined and enhanced role of youth in community and national, regional and international developmental processes. Its work seeks to redress the challenges that youth are facing and contribute towards their active participation in developmental processes through Coordination, Advocacy, Mobilization, Capacity Building and Information Sharing Initiatives.
We are calling on the Government of Zimbabwe working together with civil society and development partners to undertake the following with urgency given the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to human life especially to vulnerable groups such as children, youth, women, returnees from the Diaspora and persons with disabilities among others. We thus call on:
- Local authorities in jurisdictions where working spaces for the informal sector where destroyed to pave way for the construction of proper work spaces to expedite the construction of alternative and new working spaces for enterprises within the informal sector. In addition to this, we emphasis the need for timely dissemination of information on working spaces so as not to prejudice the young people; Government incentives to ease the start of operations for informal sector enterprises and transparency in this regard;
- The Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation to enhance dissemination of Information on the Youth Relief Fund for reach to marginalized and rural communities. Further to this, there is need for transparency in the disbursements made from the Fund and where possible aggregating this information by province, nature of youth beneficiary, gender and age of recipients;
- The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare to disseminate information on available social welfare programs to assist youth with food and other basic amenities given that the majority of youth are unemployed and live below the poverty datum line;
- The Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Health and Child Care to increase and enhance the countries testing capability for COVID-19 in anticipation of the relaxation of measures put in place to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19. Further to this, we implore the Government of Zimbabwe to provide public testing for the benefit of all and not to impose this on organizations seeking to reopen;
- We reiterate the call to the Ministry for Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation to create pathways for the participation and involvement of youth in the Humanitarian Response to fight COVID-19 within the country as provided for under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015– 2030.
Working with youth organizations and actors across the country, NAYO remains committed to support the pragmatic participation of youth even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic which is calling on all of us to play our part as part of efforts to prevent and contain the spread of the virus.
Together working with youth we can fight COVID-19.
Source: National Association of Youth Organisations (NAYO)