Rosemary Sichaba is part of MC-Zambia’s Youth Program. After participating in a leadership training session at MC-Zambia, Rosemary gained the confidence needed to positively impact her community. She is now involved in community activities to raise awareness and preparedness to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Chanyanya is a relatively small village in Zambia that began to see its first known cases of the coronavirus in March. Rural communities experience disproportionate hardships during pandemics due to their geographic isolation. The factors that make rural communities more vulnerable to the coronavirus include the distance from medical facilities and lack of access to critical information. Rosemary recounts her involvement in supporting her community during the outbreak.“Living in Chanyanya does not present the youth with many opportunities because of its set up being a rural community. I have not undergone any leadership training before attending MC-Zambia’s meeting where leadership was talked about during the youth day celebrations. Being involved with the youth program helped me build my confidence. In that meeting, we were informed that as young people we should be ready to take up any challenges that we face in our community and so when I was picked as one of the youths to join in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic I was prepared to use my skills to help. I am part of the group that is distributing face masks in the community whenever Chanyanya health post receives some. I am also involved in helping out in educating the community members on how to wear them when they are being distributed. I accepted to be part of the COVID-19 fight because I had the courage and confidence instilled in me at the MCZ meeting. I had to join in the fight because it’s our time to lead as youths.”
MC-Zambia and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have produced more than 3,000 masks for those most in need. By leveraging MC-Zambia’s Tailoring Program, tailors have been mobilized to produce masks to help reduce the spread of the virus in Zambia. The masks were distributed at one of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation clinics in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation funded the production of masks while MC-Zambia provided the skills of their tailors.