Students found COVID-19 support hub

Two Trinity students originally from Zimbabwe are among the founders of a virtual network to support the response to COVID-19 in the country.

The Zimbabwe COVID-19 Support Hub zimcovid19.com is a project driven by Zimbabwean students and young professionals, including Trinity students Jason Brickhill and Ngoni Mugwisi. The project was founded out of concern about the threat of the virus to the country, which faces many challenges including poverty, a weakened public health system, high rates of HIV-AIDS and other underlying medical conditions, food insecurity, unemployment and fiscal instability.

The project now involves about 30 volunteers across the world, working virtually to support and amplify local efforts to respond to Covid-19 by sharing information, contacts, and by pooling in one place community fund-raising efforts. They have also been translating important Covid-19 information into Zimbabwean languages to support public awareness.

Jason Brickhill says: ‘We acted because we are deeply concerned about Zimbabwe’s lack of resources and preparedness to respond. For example, Zimbabwe was reported to have a total of 7 ventilators in the country and almost no PPE at the start of the pandemic. We created this virtual initiative as a way to support all the efforts of Government, civil society and communities in Zimbabwe to respond to the virus.

‘We do this by using our expertise in programming, communication, economics, law and other fields. We are a support resource, so our aim is to amplify the efforts of others in Government and civil society in Zimbabwe, including by encouraging Zimbabweans in the diaspora to help where they can.’

The founders of the network include three other Oxford students, Prince Abudu and Itai Muzhingi from Balliol College and Terrens Muradzikwa from Keble.

Posted: 15 April 2020

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