Ethiopian Scouts Spend Over 72,780 Hours in COVID-19 Community Service
When COVID-19 struck in Ethiopia, the Ethiopia Scout Association immediately formed a National COVID-19 Response Taskforce to assess the situation and advice the NSO leadership on how Scouting in the country needed to respond. This led to the development of National Crisis Management and Response Guidelines which anchored ESA’s response to the pandemic.
To support the government’s COVID-19 containment efforts, ESA donated two of its training centres for use as isolation and quarantine facilities. Support to vulnerable local Scout Groups was stepped up with the help of partners. The ESA headquarters further donated personal protective equipment to Regional Scout Councils where Scouts were involved in providing COVID-19 community response services.
Across the country, over 1,000 Scouts and 300 Scout Leaders from 7 out of the 11 Regional Scouts Councils were involved in community response activities providing over 72,780 service hours. They also took part in 3 blood donation drives contributing 137 pints of blood to the National Blood Bank. The Scouts raised awareness about COVID-19 prevention, offered tuition services for school-going children who had to stay home due to closure of schools as a result of the pandemic, donated food to the vulnerable community members and contributed to enforcing the government’s stay home orders.
With the help of partners like the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, Federal and Regional governments and community members the Scouts were able to reach thousands of people with personal and community safety messages, encouraging handwashing, social distancing and regular temperature checks in markets and on mass media through radio and television programmes.