Facebook has launched key resources to help faith groups stay connected and engaged during the current COVID-19 outbreak. The resources include the “Faith on Facebook Resource Hub” and the Faith on Facebook toolkit, both providing guidance and step-by-step tips that faith-based groups can use to keep their communities engaged while observing social distancing. The tools are part of Facebook’s ongoing efforts in keeping communities safe, connected and informed during this pandemic.
Some of the tools that faith-based groups can use to connect with their communities during the COVID-19 outbreak include:
· Facebook Pages: Explore how to build an active and engaged audience of faith communities, advice on posting interesting content, as well as creating events and using Groups for discussions.
· Facebook Groups: Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, discussing issues and ideas, posting photos and sharing related content.
· Facebook Events: Host virtual events using Facebook Events to spread the word.
· Utilising WhatsApp: Consider sending bite sized sermons or recordings through the voice note feature on WhatsApp to members, using either the dedicated broadcast list function or creating a New Group list.
· Watch Party: Host a Watch Party for your Group, choosing videos that are relevant to your community and invite members to join and discuss.
· Facebook Live: Stream live stream events and performances on Facebook, utilizing interactive features such as reactions, shares and comments enabling you to further engage your audience.
Commenting, Facebook Africa Regional Director Nunu Ntshingila said, “At a time like this, our mission has never been more relevant, to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. We know that faith leaders across Africa are grappling with the unexpected challenges in serving their members digitally, and we’re committed to providing them with the resources and tools to support them as much as possible”. She added, “Our ultimate goal is to equip faith-based communities with the tools to help them continue faith conversations throughout the pandemic.”