Leaving no one behind: supporting refugees in Tajikistan to tackle COVID-19
Ruhafzo Nekushoeva, serves as a UN Volunteer Protection Assistant with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Tajikistan, Dushanbe. She is actively engaged in rendering support to refugees and asylum seekers in the COVID-19 crisis. Ruhafzo shares how she is making a valuable contribution to ensuring that no one is left behind.
Awareness-raising and dissemination of information materials are paramount for COVID-19 prevention. Therefore, UNHCR, through its civil society partners, is ensuring outreach to refugee communities.
As part of a dedicated information campaign for COVID-19 prevention, UNHCR facilitated the printing of information materials and disseminating them through partner organizations in locations where refugees and asylum seekers reside. Posters, for example, depict hygiene measures and restrictions on gatherings and travel, and guide on maintaining social distancing.
Ruhafzo supports colleagues in preparing campaigns and disseminating materials. These were initially elaborated in English and Russian by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), in coordination with the Ministry of Health, and were later translated into Dari, the native language of a large group of refugees and asylum seekers.
With the outbreak of the virus, our work within one strong multifunctional team has intensified. Being a UN Volunteer for me is to have an opportunity to incite change and make progress now, when it is needed more than ever. --Ruhafzo Nekushoeva
Despite the current telecommuting arrangement, Ruhafzo is engaged in multiple activities, including compiling reports on profiling the refugee population, translating official letters and implementing information and sensitization campaigns on refugees and statelessness.
She also contributes to preparing regular situation updates, media monitoring, liaison with partners, and rendering direct assistance to refugees..
At such a difficult time for my country, I genuinely want to be useful and to help the most vulnerable – the refugees who are experiencing extreme hardship as a result of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus. --Ruhafzo Nekushoeva
Ruhafzo studied European Studies at the American University of Central Asia, majoring in European politics, economy and European integration, with a minor in International and comparative politics and human rights.