Mindanao youth group conducts COVID-19 information campaign to keep locals updated

By Roy Mabasa 

To curb disinformation and the spread of fake news about the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the Coalition of Moro Youth Movement (CMYM) recently conducted an information dissemination campaign with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Australian Embassy in the Philippines.

The CMYM produced materials with updated information and frequently asked questions about COVID-19 by capitalizing on their significant social media following.

The materials were translated into local languages and dialects to adapt to the different communities in BARMM.

In areas with limited internet connection, the CMYM distributed flyers to ensure that people are updated with correct information and even tapped faith-based leaders to reach out to more conservative and remote communities.

MP Marjanie S. Mimbantas Macasalong, member of Bangsamoro Transition Authority and executive director of Bangsamoro Youth Commission, commended and supported the initiative aimed to minimize the impact of the pandemic in the community.

“It is not unknown to us that this false information sometimes end up being more harmful than the pandemic itself,” she said.

Alongside the information dissemination, the CMYM also distributed over 700 sets of hygiene kits among frontline workers in 54 barangays in Lanao del Sur province, including those from the Local Task Force against COVID-19 and frontline workers from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The CMYM is a consortium of Moro youth groups advocating for peace and inclusive development.