UNICEF and the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) partnering to support Indigenous communities impacted by COVID-19 in South Suriname
As part of the C19 immediate response to support children and families
PARAMARIBO, 24 JULY 2020 – “It is quite amazing how little people know here about COVID, but what they do know is that they have to keep people coming from elsewhere outside the village” says Marcel Kawaidoe from Pelelu Tepu, an Indigenous village along the Tapanahony watershed in the far South of Suriname.
Marcel is one of the leading Amazon Conservation Rangers (ACR) closely collaborating with the Amazon Conservation Team Suriname (ACT-S). He is currently supporting the KAP (Knowledge Attitude and Practice) survey which is being carried out in the framework of the Programme Cooperation Agreement between UNICEF and ACT in Suriname.
This partnership aims at reaching around 2,000 people in five (5) Indigenous villages impacted by COVID-19, including estimated 600 children and 500 households in South Suriname. Relief actions will help reducing vulnerability through an integrated package of interventions covering access to essential items, WASH services, health care, psychosocial and educational support.
Data generation collected through the KAP survey and interviews with relevant target groups will serve as a baseline to monitor implementation and customize multi-sectoral interventions to reach children and young people. Existing structures, such as women groups, ACRs traditional authorities and other stakeholders in the communities will be involved closely to achieve an all-inclusive approach taking into consideration cross cutting issues as gender, climate change and sustainability of interventions.
Key activities include: (i) Develop/disseminate risk communication products on COVID-19, (ii) develop/provide material to support the education process in primary schools, (iii) provide urgent WASH services, (iv) train young Indigenous people to provide psychosocial support to those in need within their community.
“COVID-19 is reaching everyone and everywhere. Such partnership helps accessing the harder-to-reach communities and increase their resilience in hinterlands”, says Sylvie Fouet, UNICEF Representative for Guyana and Suriname. She added “No one is to be left behind and focus is on reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized children and families”
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.