In July 2020, volunteers from the West Africa CARE Youth Network decided to learn more about what young women and men are experiencing in COVID-19, and how that should shape CARE’s response and our advocacy interests. This team interviewed 128 young people between the ages of 15 and 35 in 8 countries. 86 of the young people (67%) were young women. Volunteers used Whatsapp messages, phone calls, and recorded interviews to let young people tell their own stories. With a few guiding questions, and using ONA as a platform to structure and analyze the responses, the team has been able to see regional trends and individual stories that must shape humanitarian response to COVID-19 and recovery efforts in way that include young people—especially young women, meet their needs, and value their voices and leadership.
Interviewers had a set of questions from CARE’s Rapid Gender Analysis toolkit, where they asked young people about the biggest impact COVID-19 has in their lives, their biggest need right now, how they are responding to COVID-19, and what are their hopes for the future. Listening to their answers, interviewers categorized the responses based on a pre-set list of options also from the RGA toolkit.