International Women’s day is celebrated on March 8 every year to showcase the symbolic journey women around the world have taken to better their lives and that of their communities.
It comes as a reminder that while a lot has been achieved, the journey is long and a lot more needs to be done.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. It indicates that a “challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change.”
One of such challenge efforts is the “Corona Story Books” of Hajia Amina Yusuf Gwamna, a primary school teacher in Kanye, Kabo local government area of Kano state.
Her Corona story books are written in simple English and Hausa with illustrations.
During Covid-19 lockdown in Kano, Amina noticed people in Kanye, her local community do not believe Covid -19 is real and do not adhere to its safety protocols which includes regularly and thorough washing of hands with soap and running water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
And maintaining at least 1 and half metres distance between anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
They don’t believe persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or if one feels unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing should visit hospital.
When people begin to die in the Kano city as a result of the pandemic and one of her neighbors got infected by Covid-19, she felt scared and challenged to do something to help the larger community.
Amina says “I like writing but, in this case, I got inspired and challenged to write when I noticed neighbors and community members were being infected by the virus.
“So far, I have published three Covid -19 books, one in Hausa and two in English; they are “Corona Stories for Primary Schools 1 & 3,” and “Rayuwa A Duniyar Corona.”
“I financed the publication of the over 5,000 copies with my personal savings; I am still distributing them to schools, social hubs, women empowerment centers, market places and mosques.”
She says they books will help children, community and family members to understand, believe Covid-19 is real and take responsibility.
Amina says “children and people who got her books are beginning to change their perception and attitude towards Covid-19; they now wear face masks, wash their hands and are seen educating other people in the community.
Inusa Bello is a primary four pupil in one of the primary schools in Kanye, he says “the corona story book is very simple to understand and I have learnt a lot about Covid-19 from it……Malama gave it to me for free.”
Bello wears face mask and is seen maintaining distance from his colleagues.
She is looking to get support from government, donor agencies or Non-governmental organizations to write and publish more books on different aspects of life.
Amina says “I am challenged to contribute towards achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world.”