Voices from the frontline: Zevonia Vieira

UN Women is bringing the voices of women on the front lines of the pandemic. As essential workers, care givers and journalists, here are some s(h)eroes who are out there, every day, protecting and serving their communities.

Zevonia Vieira, Journalist, Timor-Leste

Zevonia Vieira, is the President of Timor-Leste Journalists Association and now reporting from the front line of COVID-19 outbreak every day. As a journalist, I have an obligation to share information with the public at any time, including during this outbreak. People want reliable information,” she says.

As countries around the world struggle to limit the spread of the disease, journalists like Zevonia are putting themselves at risk every day to get credible information and to educate the public about recommended prevention measures.

Timor-Leste announced state of emergency in late March, and the government has issued social distancing orders and ensuring that front line workers get access to protective equipment. The journalists in Timor-Leste have called for the government to provide a media centre, with enough space and appropriate infrastructure to allow journalists to maintain social distancing while they are working.

Zevonia is also a single mother and breadwinner for her family. During this crisis, balancing her professional and caregiving roles has been a challenge, like most other working parent. “After a full day of being at work, once I arrive home, I have to tenderly take care of my family’s needs and spend time with my son until he goes to bed. Then, late at night I will continue writing,” she shares.

Zevonia is committed to her work, but exhausted. To get through this crisis, collaboration with governments is key, she says.