COVID-19 & Informal Settlements: What’s happening on the ground in Brazil and Kenya? (Panel 3/3)

June 15, 2020 10:00 am - 11:00 am


The final of a three-part panel series co-organized by Assistant Professor Samantha Winter and Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi & Rio de Janeiro

Moderated by

AMY KAPADIA (bio), Lecturer, Columbia School of Social Work

A panel of experts and community members will discuss COVID-19 and how stigma, bias, and discrimination are exacerbating living conditions in informal settlements in Rio and Nairobi.

  • ROBINSON OCHARA (Kenya), University of Nairobi
  • CHRISTINE AMOLLO (Kenya), Peer Educator and Community Mobilizer
  • RITA BARROT (Brazil), Family Physician, Rio de Janeiro
  • MARIANA GALDINO (Brazil), Educational Leader at Cidade de Deus (City of God), Rio de Janeiro

About the Panel
In a recent article in Psychology Today, Dr. Patrick Corrigan stated, “Twenty-plus years of research have shown that the stigma of mental and physical illnesses extended to people with these illnesses can be as harmful as the symptoms themselves.” The coronavirus, like other pandemics before it, has provoked stigma, bias, and discrimination as various groups are scapegoated and blamed, which in turn causes additional harm to those groups. In this panel, experts and community members will talk about how stigma, bias, and discrimination are exacerbating existing inequalities within informal settlements in Kenya and Brazil, hindering efforts to prevent and manage the virus. They will also discuss strategies and recommendations for addressing the situation. Over half of Nairobi’s 4.3 million residents live in informal settlements and close to a quarter of Rio de Janeiro’s 6.3 million residents live in informal settlements known, locally, as favelas.

About the Panel Series
This is the second in a three-part panel series hosted by the Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi and Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro. The purpose of this series is to hear from experts and residents of informal settlements in these two populous cities about the most pressing issues they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please contact Dr. Samantha Winter at