“Expats needed to help promote compliance with corona measures”

The city of Ghent is enlisting the help of influencers on social media to get the Covid-safe message across to youngsters and non-Dutch-speakers, who are less likely to follow Dutch-medium media.

The city has decided it needs the help of influencers to get the message about corona measures across to groups in the population that are hard to reach. Ghent wants to see all layers of the population following the corona measures.  Earlier videos using sign language were recorded to inform the deaf and people with hearing difficulties.  There have been campaigns in other languages too and calls have been made to older citizens.

Co-operation with non-Dutch-speakers, who are able to promote the message in their network, already exists.  More key figures are now being recruited.

Anna Shishova, who runs a folkdance group, is an influencer, who has just recorded some new videos with Bulgarian youngsters.  In their group they serve as role models and are well-placed to explain the need to stick to corona measures.

“Everybody is doing his or her best, but the language barrier means everything is not always clear. During the first wave we helped to translate the measures.  Not all Bulgarians in Ghent watch Flemish TV”.

In all the city of Ghent has enlisted the help of a score of influencers who will start similar tailor-made initiatives in their own community. “We’re still looking for more people who can assist in their own network” says alderman Astrid De Bruycker. “People in Ghent who believe they can help should contact us.”

Co-operation often bears fruit. During the Ramadan the city collaborated with the Association of Ghent Mosques. They dispatched WhatsApp messages to tell Muslims to follow the rules.


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