USAID and UNICEF support young people to improve their media literacy skills to address COVID-19 related disinformation
Tbilisi, Georgia, 2 May 2022. UNICEF in partnership with Media Development Foundation (MDF) and with the financial support from USAID have launched a series of trainings for children and young people to counter disinformation, dispel myths and further spread correct information among their peers about COVID-19 prevention measures and COVID-19 vaccines.
Do not get the virus of disinformation – is the name of the campaign that includes media literacy trainings and webinars for children and young people, teachers and parents throughout Georgia. The main goal of the initiative is to equip children and young people with skills to understand how to verify sources of information, to identify fake news and certain groups spreading misinformation about COVID-19, and proactively debunk those using scientific facts. In total, up to 2000 young people will be equipped with skills to access, analyze, critically evaluate the complex information and messages they receive from various media and address misinformation.
"Media literacy is a crucial 21st century skill and it develops critical and analytical thinking in children and young people." - Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.
"UNICEF with the support of the USAID and in partnership with MDF has initiated a series of trainings on media literacy for children and young people and this will help young people to get equipped with necessary skills to counter disinformation and spread correct, evidence-based information on different issues, including Covid 19 pandemic" - added Khalil.
"In the new media ecosystem, anyone can combine traditional media functions and carry out journalistic activities. Freedom also means responsibility, and anyone should be aware that without critical analysis of the source and verification of the information, they might unwittingly become disseminators of harmful information," said Tamar Kintsurashvili, executive director of the Media Development Foundation (MDF).
The trainings have been carried out throughout Georgia from April until September 2022 and include in-person sessions as well as online webinars. The initiative also entails information campaign for young people on digital literacy through digital platforms that will reach 100,000 young people in total.
The project is part of USAID supported project “Preventing and Responding to COVID-19 in Georgia” which aims to support the Government in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and minimizing the overall impact of the pandemic through: risk communication and community engagement; improved infection, prevention and control measures and water, sanitation and hygiene services; and provision of critical equipment and supplies to strengthen health services for the prevention and management of COVID-19, including COVID-19 vaccination and eHealth services.
About USAID in Georgia: As the leading development agency of the U.S. Government, USAID supports Georgia to build the capacity to plan, finance, and implement its own solutions to development challenges. USAID has worked in Georgia since 1992, supporting the country’s transformation into a developing democracy that is increasingly integrated into Western political, security, and economic institutions. More than 30 USAID programs strengthen Georgia's resilience to malign influence, consolidate democratic gains through enhanced citizen responsive governance, and enable high-value employment through increased economic growth. For more information, please visit: https://www.usaid.gov/georgia.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/