In recent times, Nigerian youths have been praised and criticised for doing good and bad. The praise pours in when it is obvious that they made significant contributions to their personal and collective development of the society. When the criticism occurs, it is clear that they have erred. In both situations, the youths and other concerned stakeholders have had the course of creating more initiatives that increase the encomiums and that correct the wrongs. These are being done before the first health pandemic in a new decade happens. Various sources indicate that as soon as Nigeria reported her first index case of COVID-19, youth organisations in the Civil Society and Non-governmental Organisation spaces swung into action, creating a number of projects and programmes for the youths and others to cope with emerging effects of the virus.
During the early wave of transmission of the virus, UNICEF Nigeria launched a design challenge targeting Nigerian youth, inspiring them to create solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though, Knowcovid-19 Nigeria is not a beneficiary of the UNICEF initiative and other organisations, the youths at the organisation led by Abideen Olasupo [one of the co-founders] have been making significant contributions towards total containment of the virus since March, 2020.
Our analyst recently conducted a study to understand the group dynamics and factors contributing to the creation of relevant, reliable and relatable information for the public. Each member of the organisation is spending more than 5 hours a day for researching, producing content and creating infographics that appeal to varied audiences in Nigeria and beyond. Out of active 55 volunteers, 36 are in research and development, 7 in the media, 3 in content production and 9 in infographics units. Our analysis shows that over 70% of members of research and development units have monitored news between March and May, 2020 and still surfing the Internet, listen to broadcast media and make a lot of phone conversations. Over 14%, 4.3% and 10.6% of members of the media, content production and infographics respectively have equally monitored news stories. This implies that all members are on the lookout for information relevant to their group’s tasks.
Attitude about Group Cohesion
The more they believe in taking responsibility, the more they unite towards common goals attainment. This is well pronounced when they are conducting research and creating contents from their findings. This is also observed while creating infographics that support the generated contents. Analysis also indicates that the active members of Knowcovid-19 Nigeria prioritise self-development while pursuing their daily strategic objectives and goals. They encourage each other in taking available opportunities through sharing of positions and training events in other organisations. According to our analysis, this has significantly contributed to successes recorded in the last three months.
Exhibit 1: What Unite Us
Exhibit 2: Our group is united and trying to reach its goals performance
Dr Chineye Fabian
It’s a great pleasure being celebrated for the work we do at Knowcovid19 Nigeria. The world is currently grappling with the realities of a pandemic but an infodemic has even far more weightier consequences hence the need for a group committed towards dispelling rumors and fake news through fact-checks which are widely shared via social media, while also providing rigorously researched information about Covid-19 using infographics and in simple layman language.
At the break of the pandemic in Nigeria a call was made for volunteers by the Visionary founders of Knowcovid-19 Nigeria and we started our own war against all that threatened to worsen the already debilitating situation. I double as a Research analysist, Data miner, Health content developer and strategic planner within the group and it been amazing seeing selfless young people use their time, skills and wealth in pushing the need for the health and safety of their fellow countrymen- the results have been exceptional. The pandemic is still raging and I urge you to take care while arming yourself with the most reliable information available today.
When you help others, your routes to success become shorter. When you don’t, you will spend more times, days, months and years to get to the success point. This has been my story since I joined Knowcovid-19 Nigeria, a non-profit organization, helping Nigerians, business and political leaders to understand #coronavirus, especially misinformation, responses, counter and alternative narratives on a virus that has infected millions of people and killed thousands.
The call came in on the 23rd March that “Lukman we need your hand with #graphic designs and #analytics and you will serve as a volunteer”. At first, I was reluctant because I had many tasks on my desk at that time. But I had a rethought that this is the best moment to use my expertise in educating people about the #coronavirus #pandemic, debunking #fakenews and misinformation about the #virus while applying scientific based methods in analyzing and visualizing Covid19 related data. Till date, we have over 350 designs. We have reached over 5 million people with our research works and 5 #continents. I appreciate Know COVID-19 Nigeria for recognizing my efforts and my teammates’ efforts.
I joined KnowCovid19 with the intent of contributing my research experience into debunking Covid19 related fake news and providing adequate, relevant and relatable information and safety tips.
A few days after Nigeria recorded her first case of Covid-19, I got the opportunity to join this amazing organisation, Know COVID-19 Nigeria as a researcher and a content creator. Since then, I’ve been doing my part by joining the team to debunk fake news and provide data and reports related to Covid-19 to help the public. KnowCovid19 has not only given me the opportunity to improve my research and communication skills, it has also given me the chance to meet awesome people like my team members, and every other volunteer.
Miss Baliqees Salaudeen, one of the volunteers/supervisors challenged us to take Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) ‘s course on breaking the Covid19 chain and that was the first course I took when the lockdown began! It’s been great learning and collaborating with other people while knowing we are doing our part.
Giving back goodness to my community is my topmost priority. Then, comes Know COVID-19 Nigeria just some days after Nigeria reported her index case, which avail me the opportunity to volunteer as a Researcher. Being a Researcher at Know COVID-19 Nigeria is not being easy but we kept moving. Know COVID-19 Nigeria we have been able to debunk a lot of fake news relating to #Covid19 and also try to give to the general populace real-time information and update about #covid19. Every #knowcovid19volunteers are just so spectacularly amazing, that we keep learning from each other daily. At #knowcovid19 we are truly #covid19heroes.
Working with Knowcovid-19 Nigeria as a volunteer has been one of the best decisions for me this year. At Knowcovid-19 Nigeria we simplify data and information on COVID 19 and share verified information to combat fake news. As a member of the Research and Development team, it’s been an amazing opportunity for me because I’ve been able to learn how to use digital tools in analysing data and information. I’ve been able to use these digital tools effectively in submitting reports and data.
When we started Knowcovid-19 Nigeria, we were just passionate about dispelling fake news and making information understandable and accessible to people. Two days into the work, the activities were overwhelming, it became necessary to get many hands on board. We received over 150 applications from our initial call for volunteers. We began to structure our work for more effectiveness. We appointed people into different roles and grouped them into syndicates. Our work got more serious and we couldn’t deal with laxity or mediocrity. We downsized the team, removing all inactive volunteers and became stricter with our recruiting strategy. The faces here are the champions of Know COVID-19 Nigeria. They are not paid but they work tirelessly and are held accountable.
Connecting and Working virtually, during this Pandemic, with people from different social backgrounds has been challenging and fun as well. I had great experience working with my team at Knowcovid-19 Nigeria where I played the role of graphics designer with team members who are passionate about debunking fake news and making information accessible and easy to understand to the general public. I enjoyed every bit of time spent as we engaged in making infographics, statistics design, report designs and all. This has in return sharpened my design and interpersonal skills.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has been faced with another great pandemic which poses to be a greater threat that the real Pandemic, ranging from misconceptions about the virus as well as false news about cures, vaccines, government bodies distributing palliatives, amongst others through which people have lost their lives and resources to fraudsters.
In the light of the above, Knowcovid-19 Nigeria, a youth-led organization of young Nigerians who are passionate about making differences, no matter how little it may seem, considering that little drops of water makes the ocean embarked on a journey to debunk fake news, inform the people about the virus in different indigenous languages suck that a lay man can understand.
Since the inception of knowcovid19, we have countered hundreds of fake news as well as hold the NCDC to accountability of information been dispersed to the public. It’s a great pleasure being celebrated for the work we do at Knowcovid-19 Nigeria. I work as a team lead in the Research department, working round the clock as Data analyst, Data collector, verification and storage of information relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.