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Leaving No One Behind in Côte d’Ivoire: How to Inform Deaf People During the Pandemic

Côte d'Ivoire
© Mohamed Aly Diabaté

"I now understand how crucial it is to be inclusive in our communication and to use the correct channels to reach different categories of the population,” says Charles Sako, a returning migrant in Côte d’Ivoire.

Sako is working with the Association of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Muslims of Côte d'Ivoire (ASMCI) to ensure vital information about the virus is accessible for the Deaf.

Charles Sako is one of the Migrants as Messengers Volunteers committed to ending the pandemic. He produces videos and digital content to raise awareness of COVID-19 preventive measures.

Sako believes that it is not enough to create “quality content" to raise awareness digitally, but that the information should be accessible by everyone to ensure no one is left behind.

The concern for inclusivity led the Migrants as Messengers project to join forces with the ASMCI to produce a series of awareness videos as part of the fight against the virus.

“I am very touched by this action led by returning migrants, which promotes inclusion for all by taking into account the specific communication needs of deaf populations," said Vice-President of ASMCI.

Sako began cultivating his video skills during an IOM content creation workshop. Through ASMCI, he met with Mahmoud Ouedraogo, an interpreter in sign language and together they produced an awareness video accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing population in Côte d'Ivoire.

“The activity helped me discover the functioning of ASMCI. They teach reading and writing and also provide students with skill trainings such as baking and sewing!” "Thanks to the training in content creation that I followed, I feel more comfortable on the ground. This allows me to improve the actions we are undertaking against the virus.”

Sako stresses the importance of washing hands using soap and hydroalcoholic gel and to avoid touching the nose, mouth and eyes while outside to prevent the virus spreading in a video he made to raise awareness.

Watch video: Covid 19 Vidéo de sensibilisation en langue des signes (Cote d'Ivoire)

Thanks to the contribution of the volunteers, important values such as inclusiveness, are at the heart of the awareness campaign launched by Migrants as Messengers against COVID-19.

IOM has signed the Charter for the inclusion of people with disabilities in humanitarian action aimed at adapting its interventions to the specific needs of individuals since July 17, 2017.