The pandemic has put many people to the test, and journalists are no exception. Coronavirus has waged war not only against people's lives and well-being but has also spawned countless hoaxes and scientific falsehoods.
The pandemic has exposed how important it is for the right to access to information to be respected and for accurate reliable information to be freely available for decision-making by both governments and citizens: A win-win situation.
The COVID-19 inoculation is "just like any other vaccine" a UN Women staff member is telling the Syrian refugee women she cares for in camps in Jordan, as she tries to combat misinformation and false rumours, and avoid spikes in infection.
Venezuela's community of refugees and migrants in Boa Vista, Brazil is fighting misinformation with the community radio programme La Voz de los Refugiados. In a studio that works as a radio laboratory inside a refugee shelter, eleven volunteers record podcasts answering questions from the community and thus fighting misinformation about COVID-19, documents, access to rights in Brazil, job search and other topics.
In the heart of the Amazonas state, young Brazilian communicators had a powerful idea to teach prevention against COVID-19 in a soft and playful way for indigenous children. “I feel privileged to be part of something that can impact many people's lives,” says Anderson Teles Marques, 28-year-old video editor and photographer and member of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coiab, in Portuguese).
Denise Cardoso has partnered with companies in São Paulo and Salvador to take up sales for family farms in northeastern Bahia.
On 17 March 1943, an 11-year-old Simon Gronowski was taken by the Gestapo in Brussels, Belgium with his mother Chana and sister Ita. The young Jewish boy was being deported to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz when, “by a miracle, I jumped from the train and escaped,” he recounts. His mother and sister died in Auschwitz and his father, Leon, left devastated by their deaths, also passed away within months of the end of the war. The young Gronowski was left alone in the world.
Brazilian activist Paloma Costa is creating a new generation of youth engaged in climate activism. At the age of 27, she led Brazil's delegation to the Youth Climate Summit in 2019, and coordinated the climate working group at Engajamundo, which invited youth to participate in "Fridays for the future" and climate strikes. The organization was born following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio + 20. During the event, which took place almost 10 years ago, many young people felt that their views had not been adequately represented by world leaders and UN agencies.
During the Covid-19 pandemic when social distancing is a key factor in limiting transmission, Palestinian refugees are able to use smartphone apps to access an online healthcare network through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The refugees receive reminders to take medicine, check blood pressure and exercise. They can check their test results and message healthcare providers.
For Sister Juliet Lithemba, the past year has been “nothing short of grace and mercy from above,” as she explains it. The 77-year-old resident of Mt Royal Convent of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, located in Lesotho’s Leribe district, didn’t know much about COVID-19 until her convent home and fellow sisters were infected by the deadly virus.
Top Brazilian designers led a workshop earlier this year to teach victims of slave labor a new and more dignified career in fashion. The workshop is part of the "Slave Labour Never Again" project: a collaboration among the Public Ministry for Employment, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the University of Campinas (Unicamp).
Major European airlines are among those helping UNICEF in its historic mission to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines and medical devices across the globe in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Women researchers have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, with female scientists across the globe playing pivotal roles, from advancing knowledge on the virus, to developing vaccines, treating patients and assessing the pandemic’s devastating economic and social impact.
Everyone stayed inside their homes in 2020 because of the pandemic and in-person learning at school in the small city of Vigia, in Pará, Brazil was suspended. For students like Ágata Melo, 8 years old, not only did she lose contact with her teachers, she lost an entire year of school.
One full year into the COVID-19 pandemic, our world has faced a tsunami of suffering. So many lives have been lost. Economies have been upended and societies left reeling. The most vulnerable have suffered the most. Those left behind are being left even further behind.