Since the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic, governments, international organizations, international non-governmental organizations, and individuals, young and old, have been working around the clock to fight the virus and to save lives. There have been also many calls for engaging youth in the global frontline against the mysterious virus.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak that prompted world leaders to take proactive measures, such as social distancing and social isolation, as well as complete lockdowns, youth across the world, including entrepreneurs and youth activists, have voluntarily introduced innovative ideas and initiatives to mitigate the profound impacts and the negative repercussions of COVID-19.
Fighting All Forms of Ethnic-Based Assaults
The National Youth Agency in the UK encourages people to voluntarily report, after obtaining the approval of the victims, bullying, assaults, and street harassment that may take place because of perceived ethnicity and because of the fallacies suggesting that COVID-19 is an ethnic-based virus.
In Haiti, a group of young people have launched a group of handwashing campaigns for those who have no access to clean water through the provision of portable sinks. In parallel, the scouts sought to raise the awareness of Haitians on the preventive measures and precautions through catchy songs.
Members of “Slow Food Youth Network” (SFYN), a network of youth who collect, cook, and deliver food across the globe, have teamed up with a charity organization and a restaurant in Colombia to reduce food waste. Such an intriguing initiative helps Familia Kabod Foundation to cook delicious meals or preserve food, as well as delivering it to people at Palo de Agua. By the same token, SFYN Italy has encouraged people living in same buildings to order products and groceries together, thereby meeting the minimum requirements for small-scale entrepreneurs and producers.
African youth have also tried to act as agents of change in their countries. Gregory Rockson launched “mPharma” for providing virtual medical consultation services and medications at affordable prices. “mPharma” is unique as it is a dashboard through which the public health sector can monitor medical consumption and can track COVID-19 cases. In addition, it helps equip private labs with PCR equipment, thus turning them into COVID-19 testing centers.
Promoting Personal Hygiene among Refugees
Despite the UN staff outstanding efforts to put an end to the coronavirus outbreak, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Om Karkour, South Sudan, has not taken the required actions in that regard. As a consequence, a group of university students in the refugees’ camp launched a campaign for collecting and providing 14,000 soaps for the refugees.
Countless crowdfunding campaigns were launched on the Indonesian platforms. Of these, many were launched by social media influencers to supply the medical staff with face masks, soaps, wipes, sanitizers, and the like of essential products, to provide the marginalized people and low-income workers with their basic needs, as well as help conducting medical checkups. For instance, Arief Muhammed, a Twitter influencer, launched a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of helping the disadvantaged and the poor during the pandemic.
Safe Transportation for the Medical Staff
FullyCharged, a well-known e-bike retailer headquartered in London, offered free e-bikes to the NHS staff and workers for a period of three months. The aim has been to provide a safer means of transportation for the medical staff.
“Rad Al-Gameel” (Returning the Favor) Initiative
In conjunction with the actions and measures taken by the government of Egypt (GoE) for fighting coronavirus and in an effort to return the favor to the Egyptian government, PLP alumni launched “Rad Al-Gameel” (Returning the Favor) initiative under the umbrella of “Hayah Karima” (A Decent Life) initiative for providing hygiene products to 500,000 families across Egypt.
Given that the coronavirus outbreak has turned the situation upside down and has triggered high death rates, it is time for a unified action and for engaging youth as they usually think out of the box and are less likely to see the ugly face of this deadly virus. Also, further measures and steps should be taken for curbing the contagion and for easing global panic.