Mandera, Kenya, July 2020 - Partners from local and national government, civil society and the private sector came together to launch the One Stop Youth Resource Centre, which will be the base for COVID-19 prevention in Mandera in northern Kenya. The aim is to see 200,000 hand washes over the next few months, in addition to the one million elsewhere in the country supported by the Youth-led COVID-19 Emergency Response team.

“We are grateful to UN-Habitat, the Canadian Government and Accept International for the launch of the One Stop Centre along with 10 hand washing stations in Mandera County,” said Farhiya Alinoor, Chief Officer Youth, Gender and Social Services Mandera County, “It's our collective duty to make sure that we are all safe from COVID-19 by raising awareness on the importance of washing hands and keeping social distancing in Mandera and we appreciate the role of young people in the community during this pandemic.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, UN-Habitat had been working with Accept International to construct a One Stop Centre as a contribution to creating an environment of peace in Mandera. The County is located in the “Mandera triangle” close to Somalia and Ethiopia and has seen a lot of violence.

"Accept International is proud to be working with UN-Habitat, Mandera County and the Canadian Government to open the One Stop Youth Resource Centre (Mandera)," stated Yosuke Nagai, CEO of Accept International, "In these difficult times, the One Stop will act as the hub for COVID-19 prevention in the County, providing support for handwashing and prevention information. We will also implement various programmes at the centre for comprehensive youth empowerment, which strongly contributes to development and radicalization prevention for youth in Mandera."

With the arrival the pandemic, the Canadian High Commission through its Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, supported youth-led organization in Mathare informal settlement in Nairobi, Mandera and Kismayo, Somalia to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mandera Anti-Drug Movement (MADMO), a youth organization that works with UN-Habitat’s Youth-Led COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, has been supported to set up five stations over the next three months, in addition to five others established by Accept International.

“Madmo is very proud to be associated with UN-Habitat and the Government of Canada in launching of the hand washing stations in Mandera County,” said Abdikadir Omar Kunaye

Director of MADMO, “The voice of youth and their role taking the lead to help the public get more information on COVID-19 in Mandera county is very important.”