Student Empowerment Forum (SEF) is a non-profit youth organization working in Chitral that believes in the collective efforts that can bring a positive change to society. SEF has members hailing from the remote areas of Chitral, covering almost the entire region of Upper Chitral and Garamchashma (Lower Chitral). Amid crisis, the SEF team wants to play its role in community service.
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading at an alarming rate in Pakistan. However, some of the cities are still safe from this contagion. Chitral is one of them, where no cases have been reported yet. Also, certain myths are circulating in Chitral which makes it hard for law enforcement agencies to maintain the lockdown.
Moreover, people from downstream are returning from the infected cities of Pakistan and some of them are not taking the precautionary measures defined by the national and international health organizations. The government is doing its best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Chitral. It is not merely the government’s job to curb this menace. This fight against COVID-19 cannot be successful without the role of civil society and non-governmental organizations.
Due to the lockdown, people are confined to their houses. Especially the closure of educational institutions has disturbed the normal routine of students and there is not any alternative learning platform. This stagnant lifestyle is affecting the people psychologically. SEF is introducing Quarantine Libraries in different villages where they would be lending books to people. This would benefit the students as we will ask them to write book reviews and rewarding them with different prizes. Furthermore, they have planned to train and engage students to make different posters depicting awareness messages regarding COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Apart from that, they will identify students preparing for university entrance examinations. SEF has members from different universities who can guide them regarding the admission deadlines and test patterns if possible providing them with preparatory materials. However, the head of households, shopkeepers and other people who get out of their houses to keep the stove burning are often susceptible to catch the virus. Market places in Booni and Chitral have been installed with hand sanitizers so people returning to their homes get their hands sanitized, but this measure has not been taken in any other area.
SEF will plant hand-sanitizing units in market places where our volunteers will educate the people to sanitize themselves before going to their homes. Although, the government has done enough to create awareness Our members will further visit the household (taking into consideration the precautionary measures of COVID-19) educating the people about the symptoms of COVID-19. So they can report in case anyone develops symptoms similar to COVID-19.