When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Kenya, social and mainstream media were flooded with prevention messages. Though all these initiatives are important, many Kenyans, particularly in informal settlements, have limited or no access to social and mainstream media. This is further exacerbated in informal settlements by limited literacy. This makes them particularly vulnerable in the event of a mass outbreak.
“We began distributing public awareness materials in Korogocho, but soon realised most people were simply not reading them. Most materials were being torn down for personal use like toiletries, wrapping stuff and lighting of jikos (stoves),” says Daniel Onyango, founder and director of Hope Raisers.
Drawing on street art to reach the community
As a community organisation that uses performing and visual arts to advocate for human rights, good governance and political cohesion, Hope Raisers decided to use murals - artwork painted on walls - to raise awareness and spread information about coronavirus prevention.
Today, informative murals adorn different walls along roads with heavy foot traffic. According to Daniel Onyango, they estimate two in five people living in Korogocho have seen the artwork. The organisation is currently mobilising resources locally to provide care packages to most vulnerable households in Korogocho.
This text was adapted from an article published on the AKF USA website.