Sudanese youth are leading the COVID-19 response in Blue Nile through innovation and creativity

From handwashing stations, masks and sanitizers, young people use innovation to protect their communities.

Iman Mustafa
Youth in front of solar-powered water handwashing station
UNICEF Sudan
27 May 2020

Finding solutions to everyday problems at his home and in his community is what Monzir Mohamed, 17, strives to do. For the past three years he and a group of dedicated youth between the ages of 10 - 18 have been working together to come up with innovative solutions to help their community in Blue Nile. 

Last year Monzir’s group built a solar-powered car as a solution to a fuel shortage in the country which made it difficult for them to find transport to school. Now that COVID-19 is threatening their community, Monzir and his peers created washing stations. The washing stations have taps that are used through pedals which allows people to wash their hands without touching anything thereby preventing the transmission of the virus. The washing stations are now being used at hospitals and at an isolation center in Blue Nile. 
 

Youth at solar-powered handwashing station
UNICEF Sudan
A group of young youth distributing pedal-geared washing stations, this helps stop cross-contamination.

“I hope this virus ends soon and it doesn’t spread,” says Monzir.  

UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) have been supporting and empowering these youth so that they can continue using their innovative skills to help the community. 

In addition to the washing stations, Monzir and his peers have also began making face masks and sanitizers in their lab. 

“I want to take away the burden from my community however way I can, and with the continuous support from organizations and the ministry, we are capable of doing that,” says Monzir.
 

Youth at solar-powered handwashing station
UNICEF Sudan
Monzir and his peers building the pedal-gear washing station.

I want to take away the burden from my community however way I can, and with the continuous support from organizations and the ministry, we are capable of doing that.

Monzir, 17-years-old

Monzir also raises awareness within his family about the risks of COVID-19 and how to increase prevention so that everyone is safe. Monzir lives with his large family of ten. Education is important to his family and Monzir is a student at the University of Sudan where he has been studying medical engineering.  

“My hope is for Sudan to one day becomes a donor to UNICEF and to help other countries and communities get back on their feet,” says Monzir.

UNICEF Sudan works closely with youth to empower and engage with their ideas as they are the future of the country. 

Thanks to the generous contribution of the government and people of Norway, UNICEF Sudan is able to provide vocational training and life skills to the most vulnerable children and adolescents in Sudan and empower them to strive for a better future.