Meet the Young Warriors supporting their communities in the fight against COVID-19

Across the world, young people are taking action to stop the spread of COVID-19, fight misinformation and ensure the safe and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for all.

In India, the Young Warrior initiative was launched last May with tasks for young people to support their communities in their country's fight against COVID-19: Vaccine Buddy, Stress Buster, Fake News Police, Recovery Tale and Super #YoungWarrior, reaching over 422.000 participants across the country and reaching over 1 Million participants through U-Report India

Meet four of these Young Warriors and learn how they are making a change in their communities every day:

Sharmin Banu M S

Sharmin Banu M S, Karnataka State, 23

"I am a very outgoing person and an active participant in taking actions for sustainable development goals but all the activities have slowed down because of COVID-19 restrictions. The Young warrior initiative aims to mobilize, connect, learn, influence, and lead action against COVID-19 & other skills.

When the country was hit by COVID and people were in dilemma, the Bharat Scouts and Guides introduced Sankalp 2.0 where I got a chance to be a Young Warrior through Sankalp's Activity Pack, just like thousands of BSG members. This initiative inspired us to spread the facts & health measures where we encouraged everyone around us to take the vaccines.

Volunteering got me closer to my community and once you start living for others there is no coming back and it gives me a lot of satisfaction to help people keep themselves healthy."

It is difficult for people to differentiate between real or fake information regarding COVID. That is where I think youth plays important role in spreading correct information to the young and elder. My friends and I  have been able to do it.
Rajindar Singh

Rajinder Singh, Barnala Punjab, 24

"Young people can make a difference because they have all the knowledge of the internet and have access to it, and they have the enthusiasm.

I share videos and photos from UNICEF by creating WhatsApp groups. There are around 400 people with whom I share the authenticated information about COVID-19. I also share information with my villagers about how to properly wear a mask. Along with this, I also have tried to break the myths in my village related to COVID-19 and vaccination."

I will first give other young people the proper information about the pandemic as a little knowledge is a bad thing. Then, I will tell them to take smaller steps. I will then tell them about the U-Report and how they can get the right information there.
20 years old Anil Pachaya, Kothwar of the village educate young boys and girls on the registration process on Cowin in Narsingh Runda, Jhabua.
Due to the overwhelming participation in Young Warrior movement, Yuwaah/Gen-U in India launched a follow up called Young Warrior Next (#YoungWarriorNXT) to keep the movement going, this time with tasks beyond COVID-19, like learning stress management, building self-awareness, sharpening communication skills, practicing critical thinking skills, and preparing for jobs.
Aabhas Senapati

Aabhas Senapati, Ahmedabad, 16

"Being a Young People Action Team Member, through platforms of YuWaah and UNICEF, I tried to support my communities by helping stop the spread of misinformation, checked upon people in my community to ensure their well-being, tried to connect people with resources through social media platforms and through all these channels I also tried to raise awareness about vaccination.

I spend time making several videos to amplify the Young Warrior Movement through digital channels, and also conducted various orientations to empower the youth with these resources.

We the youth can also take some simple steps, like checking upon regularly with people in our community, and taking care of mental health and well being, and advocate for the right steps, like wearing masks and promoting vaccination by word of mouth, and busting myths."

Now under the YoungWarrior NXT, we are trying to equip youth with 21st century skills, also this platform provides the opportunity to disseminate information and advocate voices through this huge interconnected network of youth for collective action. This Young Warrior community together can serve as the much needed drivers of change because of this common link between all of us!
Ranveer Singh

Ranveer Singh, District Mansa

"As we know, the epidemic is very deadly. It encompasses people of all walks of life. Our team launched the Corona Free Village campaign in which we made the villagers aware and gave information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Even now we have vaccination camps in the village once a week.

In this crisis, young people can come forward and bring great change. Ask young people to get vaccinated themselves and ask their family members to get vaccinated. And if someone is COVID-19 positive, young people can tell them how they can protect themselves and others."

I share the link of the U-Report on Whatsapp groups so that someone can get information about COVID-19. And I have also created a Whatsapp group to share authenticated information and to break the myths.