#COVIDPositiveStories – Amrah Aliyu

Meet Amrah Aliyu, She is a Global Goodwill Ambassador and Co-founder ArewaMeTooMinna.  A young woman who is passionate about media, community development, youth empowerment, and the rights of women and girls. This is her #COVIDPositiveStory. 


My COVID-19 project was inspired by the way people in my community responded to the novel Coronavirus. People still gather, they still shake hands, they still do their chamber, some believe that CoronaVirus is the “rich man’s virus”. My curiosity to know what is going on in my community made me realize so much about the knowledge, perception, and attitude of my community members on the ongoing pandemic; like how a lot of them spoke about the coronavirus with pride implied that they were untouchable, they could do whatever they wanted and get in contact with whomever they desire because to them, it is God who protects.  So I wondered how many people thought in this manner and had this mindset. I had to think of a way I could sensitize people in my community on the virus and also provide materials necessary for them to maintain personal hygiene like hand wash and hand sanitizer. 


The first step I took after digesting the idea of community sensitization and provision of safety kits (hand sanitizers, Handwash) to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, was to equip myself with sufficient knowledge about the Virus and then gathering materials and chemicals for hand wash and sanitizers, I later made a post on my social media handle asking people to volunteer as distributors in every part of Minna, Niger state.


We also made sterilized homemade face masks because the recommended masks weren’t affordable,  this mask is to prevent people from touching their mouths and nose as a precautionary measure. As early as 7:30 am some of the team leads come out to pick up the materials for distribution/sensitization and go back home by 9:30 am which is before the curfew which is 10 am in Minna. I also have some volunteers who through our project began theirs in Katsina, Gombe and Kaduna state.


What has this project taught me?

This project has taught me contentment. In the course of our sensitization, someone said to us “I would rather you give me fifty naira (1 cent) instead of a hand sanitizer”. Another said “Give us food, corona cannot kill us, it is  hunger that wants to kill us”; “How do I feed my family, if I don’t go out?” 

We are only but individuals doing our bits to help our community, we can’t do everything. We can only try.


This project has also taught me how to relate with people in patience because some of them actually thought we are from the Government and tried to pour their frustrations on us. People are using this period to inflate prices and make money off face masks, hand gloves and sanitizers Before now a pack of disposable hand gloves were sold for about one thousand two hundred naira (3 USD) but right now people sell gloves for five thousand naira (14 USD), a pack of disposable face masks is nineteen thousand naira ( 53 USD), hand sanitizer going from three hundred and fifty naira (1 USD)  to one thousand five hundred naira (4 USD). We are hoping the Government will do something about the prices of these materials, and also provide palliative support specifically food items to people in these trying times.


The advice I have for my fellow youth is to always try to make an impact no matter how little in their community. You don’t need to be rich or in a position of power before you can make an impact. We don’t need to always wait for our Government to make a move, collectively, we all are the Government and we can start to make an impact from our neighbourhood.