Covid-19 was one of the toughest challenges South Africa has faced and it taught us lessons we should never forget about the importance of good hygiene and caring for others.
Remembering those lessons will be easy for learners at 123 schools and orphan and vulnerable children centres (OVCs) thanks to an educational campaign designed by Jive Media Africa.
In 2021, as the third wave of Covid infections was peaking, UNICEF asked us to put together materials to support Covid risk communication and community engagement.
We designed a programme called Covered, Clean and Caring to encourage children and communities to wear masks (covered), wash hands (clean) and practise social distancing (caring).
Activities for each of the themes made learning fun, and groups of children were asked to round off the programme by creating a Covid song, dance or chant that emphasised the importance of being covered, clean and caring and reinforced the important messages.
Once we’d prepared a guidebook for teachers, cut-and-paste activity posters, sticker templates and instructional videos, we handed over to Partners in Development, who implemented the programme.
It was rolled out at schools and OVCs in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo where UNICEF and funder USAID installed handwashing stations.
The campaign was well-received and feedback was positive.
In 2022, with Covid finally on the retreat, UNICEF asked us to update the campaign. The “covered” activity switched from mask-wearing – which was no longer compulsory – to getting vaccinated, and “caring” now emphasised the toll the pandemic had taken on mental health, encouraging learners to get support and to support others.
We also developed short animations in five languages for each of the three themes.
The project reached 77,917 learners but isn’t over yet (more about that in a later post) and we couldn’t be prouder of what it achieved.
This work was also featured as a case study on the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine’s Covid-19 Hygiene Hub.