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Mastercard Foundation

Supporting girls during Covid-19 to keep them safe, healthy, and learning

As girls are not in school because of Covid-19 it is important to be reaching them with essential information and entertainment that can help keep them motivated. 

Girl Effect and the Mastercard Foundation are partnering in Rwanda to create bespoke Covid-19 radio packages and leverage Ni Nyampinga's trusted relationship with girls to ensure girls are safe and not engaging in risky behaviours, that they are supported to use their time productively and to stay motivated and inspired to return to school. 

79% of Rwandans - 6.6 million people - are aware of Ni Nyampinga. 4.5 million people - 680,000 girls aged 10-19 – consume Ni Nyampinga content regularly. The focus of our Covid-19 content is to ensure girls know how to stay safe or access the sexual health services they need, that they are encouraged to learn new skills or hobbies, and given practical tips on how to find time to study at home.

Samantha Diouf, Country Director for Girl Effect Rwanda, said: "Because of the lockdown, we knew we needed a no-contact way of reaching girls with essential and credible information. Ni Nymapinga's radio shows air on Radio Rwanda which reaches 98% of the population. Despite the constraints of Covid-19 we've been able to create content at rapid speed and get it out to girls via radio, digital channels and our on demand audio line." 

"At this time when girls are particularly vulnerable, it is critical that we step-up measures to keep them safe, healthy, and learning. Ni Nymapinga, a show organized by the Girl Effect, has reached a large number of girls in Rwanda in the past and was a natural choice of partner for a Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program initiative to equip at-risk populations with the information they need to prevent COVID-19 while navigating the pandemic’s varied effects”, said Rica Rwigamba, Rwanda Country Head, Mastercard Foundation. 

The integrated content production process is rooted in girl insights. We asked 15 of our TEGAs (Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors) in Rwanda to self report about their experiences of the pandemic, how they are coping and the myths and misinformation they are hearing. These deep qualitative insights have informed our content so it is tailored to girls in this new Covid-19 context and is based on data about what will influence our audiences’ behaviour. 

The partnership is part of the Mastercard Foundation's COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, which aims to deliver emergency support for health workers, first responders, and students; and to strengthen the diverse institutions that are the first line of defense against the social and economic aftermath of this disease. 

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