Awareness videos for protection and prevention from COVID-19
In the current pandemic situation of COVID-19, where the dynamics of work has been changed across the world, the VISION also changed the strategy for creating the awareness among the transgender community by conducting the online session and by sharing using short video messages.
The spread of COVID-19 has been rapid in Pakistan; considering this alarming situation, the team VISION decided to create awareness regarding COVID-19 with a special focus to share these messages among the transgender community. For this purpose, team VISION created a video message that is focused to provide information on how an individual can protect her/himself and others from COVID-19. Keeping in mind about the attention span of the transgender community, the team decided to limit the total duration of the video to three and half minutes. The video message was spread through social media using their WhatsApp groups created for the transgender community.
Online awareness session on the Transgender Protection Act 2018
Since, the law for the protection of transgender community is active from May 2018 but at the same time its awareness on the community level is very low, especially among the young transgender cohorts. To create awareness regarding the Transgender Protection Act 2018, VISION conducted an online session with three young female transgender in the city of Multan. Most of the young female transgender use Whatsapp for their communication purposes therefore, the YC members conducted this session on Whatsapp.
Online awareness session on Stigma
This session was conducted online by creating a video clip on stigma and its impact. The team wrote content for creating the video clip. This video was shared in the Whatsapp groups of transgender community consisting 80 to 100 transgender population. Team VISION reviewed the video before sending it out to the transgender population in order to ensure that the correct and appropriate information was given out to the beneficiaries.
The objective of this exercise was to sensitize the participants on:
- What is stigma?
- How stigma affects the life of an individual?
- What is the impact of stigma in our daily life?
- How to deal with stigma?
The Stigma exercise was developed by VISION. VISON have been extensively using this exercise in its different training and workshops to sensitize the Police, mainstream Human Rights organizations, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), students, female transgender community and other relevant stakeholders. The Stigma exercise has been fruitful in terms of its outcomes by creating empathy and letting the participants know how disastrous Stigma can be.
The Labour Day or International workers day was celebrated with the community on May 1st 2020. The importance of this day was shared regarding appreciating the efforts of the labour and working class.
One of the volunteer of VISION offered the idea to commemorate the efforts of labours and to draft relevant messages on the chart paper and spread the same with the transgenders. The Volunteer was inspired by observing the children and elder men working in the scorching sun at his neighbourhood on a construction project. The volunteer added “I felt very much for the children and the elderly men that I used to see working in the situation created by COVID-19 and lockdown.
The messages on charts also included the messages regarding prevention of child labour. Due to the social distancing, this session was conducted online and the developed content was shared online too. Messages regarding abolishing the child labours were designed to create awareness i.e. child labour is crime and should be stopped.
Distribution of ration bags
Team VISION Multan using their contacts reached out to some local volunteers. The team asked volunteers to cooperate by giving funds that they intend to use to reach and help the transgender community in shape of the provision of basic food items.
The volunteers, as proposed, provided Multan team VISION with food packages which included the basic food items such as spices, tea, sugar, oil, pulses and rice. 20 transgender households were given the food packages.
The distribution of food packages were well received at deras in Mumtazabad, KhuniBurj, Dolat Gate, Fatima Jinnah Colony, BakrabadPuli, and Bahawalpur bypass and KotRabnwaz in Multan. This initiative aided perhaps a small fraction of the transgender community members for few days.
Team Multan actively observed the safety protocols of COVID-19 while distributing the ration packages. Team Multan during the distribution encouraged the transgenders community to exercise and share the awareness regarding prevention of the COVID-19 provided to them by the team Multan.
Assess the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of transgenders in Multan.
The COVID-19 pandemic is considered as the most crucial global health calamity of the century and one of the greatest challenges that the humankind is facing. Under developed countries, especially Pakistan, where the transgender community is already at the margins of the society and is struggling for their basic human right, this pandemic became a life threat for their survival. The main occupation of the transgender community in Pakistan is begging, dancing and sex-work. Due to spread of the COVID-19 in Pakistan, the government imposed the lockdown in the country. Due to lock-down, most of the business remained closed and marriage ceremonies are not allowed during the period of lockdown.
Unfortunately, the means of transgenders’ community earning remains closed and there is no substitute earning. To gauge the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown, team VISION decided to assess the situation by conducting a small assessment with sample size of 15 transgenders in the city of Multan.
Following are some of the findings of the assessment:
- No means of income
- Shortage of basic necessities
- Fear of death with COVID-19 due to unhealthy living conditions
- Fear of bad behaviour of peoples toward them because of the lockdown situation
Capacity building of team for using online medium to work from home
VISION introduces its team with the procedures for the effective use of online medium in the situation of work from home. Teams was further oriented on the basic technicalities of the online medium. Keeping the available resources and their optimum use along with the easy access, the team/s came up with the suggestion of using the most common platform for their outreach strategy i.e. ZOOM application and WhatsApp for communication.
Multan team was oriented on using the Google Sheets as a common platform to maintain their database for outreach strategy and their activity plan. Taking this further, the team/s created a database on Google Sheets listing the relevant information regarding the transgender community members of Multan. This database helped identifying the transgenders those who have smartphones and can be approached accordingly. The team contacted the transgenders having smartphones and encouraged them on using ZOOM application. This was done sharing the pictures and screen shots along with short video calls. The database on Google Sheet is being updated on daily/weekly basis.
Preparation of list of Transgenders on Google Sheet for Online ZOOM Call
Keeping in mind regarding the changed strategy for conducting the field activities through online medium, Team VISION decided to make a list of transgender covering the following heads which helped the team for contacting the female transgender population for the future activities.
- Contact Number
- Cellular network
- Availability of Smartphone
- Access to Internet
Team VISION has made a list of four hundred plus transgender that can be contacted for purposes of online awareness session. These transgender were contacted using the ZOOM Application. The team VISION will use the ZOOM to conduct the online session.