In September 2020, the University of Lincoln received a GCRF / Newton Fund Agile COVID-19 Rapid Response Award to develop MAP at Home. MAP at Home is an 18-month sub-project of MAP Network Plus, which focuses on mental health support and community engagement in Rwanda during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had significant global ramifications. For example, global GDP in 2020 will contract by 5.2% (World Bank, 2020), and over 1.6 billion workers of the global workforce face the risk of losing their livelihoods (World Health Organisation, 2020).
The Small Grant activities continued to explore the findings from the MAP at Home project through youth-led research projects between January 2022 – July 2022.
MAP Co-Investigators in Rwanda on the MAP Network Plus project were in contact with the UK MAP team during the pandemic’s early stages. They described the detrimental effects that Covid-19 and its related measures were having on young people’s mental health. As a result of collaborative conversations and co-production with colleagues in Rwanda, the MAP at Home project was devised and awarded funding by the UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund Agile Response call to address COVID-19. The project was born from a collective desire to lessen the negative impacts of Covid-19 on young people’s mental health and explore how arts-based youth engagement can be extended in a digital and socially distanced manner. The research questions are as follows:
- How can arts-based approaches be translated to online platforms to enhance psychosocial well-being?
- What lessons can be learnt from the provision of online arts programmes for psychosocial well-being, especially regarding building resilience (individual and systemic) against future outbreaks or crises?
- How might MAP at Home advance digital innovation in the design and delivery of mental health provision and response services in Rwanda?