She transferred knowledge about the prevention of the COVID-19 outbreak to over 1,000 villagers through Wechat

Zhaolan, a staff of World Vision in Yulong Area Program, once was responsible for promoting the communication among children, community and sponsors. But her life has been interrupted by the unexpected outbreak since the beginning of the year. She said, "Both work and life become inconvenient once we try to stay at home and avoid gathering, making it hard to carry out work down to the countryside."

Although she couldn't go down to the countryside for work, children in the community and their families still needs support and assistance during this special period. After the Spring Festival holiday, Zhaolan went back to work. She get to know the influences caused by the outbreak on the community and children's conditions through the communication with the community by cellphone and Wechat.

▲Zhaolan works from office during COVID-19 outbreak.

At that time, there were a lot of rumors about the outbreak in the Internet. Some people in the community may have difficulty distinguishing the truth from various information about outbreak prevention, causing deviations from the knowledge about the coronavirus and correct protection measures.

From February 24 to 28, World Vision started a promotion week called "Prevent the Outbreak together" to promote knowledge about outbreak prevention in the Wechat official account. World Vision selected and pushed information about the coronavirus prevention related to the public from domestic authoritative institutions as a way to help the public get to know how to correctly prevent the coronavirus outbreak. This week, Zhaolan forwarded the daily published knowledge about outbreak prevention to her project community. "Our community has 29 community facilitators. We have a Wechat group where I forward the knowledge about outbreak prevention published by the official account and ask assistants to forward it to the community members." ("facilitators" refers to community volunteers assigned by the World Vision to assist in carrying out activities in the community.) Although it seemed easy according to what Zhaolan said, it was no easy to carry out. Sometime she had to teach community facilitators every step of "forward" because they were different in ages and had different familiarity in using cellphones.

"Some community facilitators are over 50 years old and they are not familiar with cellphones in the first place. It's really not easy for them to forward articles.  But they all study the steps earnestly and forward articles in time. Every time I see a mistaken world due to handwritten input, I can feel that they are serious about the work and supportive. I'm really grateful." said Zhaolan.

Zhaolan with community facilitators in 2017.

Many community facilitators are teachers and each of them can basically forward to one school teacher group and student parent group of 6 grades. Some community facilitators sent group messages and some sent private messages and shared it in the Wechat friend circle, covering an average of 600 people. With the great support of community facilitators, some parent groups immediately gave response. Children and their parents can study correct knowledge about the novel coronavirus prevention together. According to Zhaolan, one community facilitator who had the highest forward amount continuously forwarded the knowledge for several days, adding up to almost 40 times of forward because he was sure that the information was helpful for the prevention of the novel coronavirus. 

Judging from the feedback from community facilitators, parents and children, Zhaolan witnessed the effectiveness of this knowledge dissemination. "One facilitator said that the knowledge was practical and simple, bring us new understanding of the virus. Parents in the community also learned the knowledge with their children or shared it in dialect. Children all said that it was useful."

One facilitator teacher sent Zhaolan children's learning results. One kid said that she learnt how to wash hands in a correct way. One kid said that he learnt how to wear mask in a correct way.  Parents also gave feedbacks in succession. They got to know the characteristics of the novel coronavirus and some good ways to prevent the outbreak such as staying at home to protect themselves.

▲Zhaolan with community children in project activity launched in 2014.

The positive feedbacks from the community greatly praised Zhaolan's efforts.  But she also admitted that some difficulties appeared during the process. Zhaolan said, "It is hard to carry out full coverage because some facilitators are not skilled in using Wechat or some have poor network signal, especially those living in remote areas. Through this knowledge promotion of outbreak prevention, I find out that the community is very supportive and does a great job in helping the facilitators focus on the schools and children that they are in charge of.  The practical, simple information in public platform of the institution helps both parents and children a lot. This way of communication is also fast and timely."

Some authorized, reliably information, one cellphone with smooth network, a forward to the community, these are elements that we find essential in the knowledge promotion carried out by social media. We also see that the trust and support accumulated in years of community work are more important. Thanks to the company of community partners and thanks to every diligent community workers. (Written by Lily Li)

 

If you are interested to be involved in the COVID-19 response, please go to WV China's website in Hong Kong -  www.wvchina.org

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Su, Director of Resource Development, World Vision China
Mobile: +86-155 8708 7042
Email: jonathan_su@wvi.org

Special Feature: WORLD VISION CHINA REPONSE TO THE CORNAVIRUS OUTBREAK