There’s no doubt these are difficult times, but throughout Ireland, we’ve seen people from across communities come together to face this global pandemic. From doctors returning home from around the world to support our hospitals, to scouts making sure food and medicine gets delivered to the doorstep of older neighbors, and volunteers in soup kitchens continuing to serve up hot meals, it’s clear we’re in this together.
And together we can make sure no one is left behind in this crisis. This virus will affect every single person in our world, but by using our collective voices we can and will help, by putting equitable access to health and vaccines at the top of everyone’s agenda — especially our world leaders.
Stories of hope from our community
We asked ONE’s global community for their stories of hope and solidarity. Here are two from our community.
Since beginning my volunteering with ONE two years ago. I now have a true sense of being a global citizen. As a university student, studying international development, I have seen the power of community cooperation; from a local level at home in Cape Clear (a very small island off the coast of Ireland) to my global campaigning with ONE. In the face of the current pandemic, ONE’s actions matter, staying apart to work together.
— Treasa Cadogan, Student and ONE Youth Ambassador, Ireland
I am inspired by the staff and volunteers of Brighter Communities Worldwide in Kericho County, Kenya. They are reaching out to 47,000 families in the communities where we work to teach them about COVID-19 and how to stop the spread of the virus. The campaign includes handwashing demonstrations; social distancing practice; information posters; and soap and water containers for the most vulnerable and under resourced clinics. Handwashing is the most important protection against COVID-19 and the biggest challenge when you don’t have access to water.
— Rosie Hennessy, ONE supporter Ireland
Do you have an uplifting story that you’d like to share? You can submit your story here.
How you can help locally
If you are healthy and able, and not living with a vulnerable person, here are some places to consider if you’re looking for ways to help in your community. (If you need guidance on what it means to be well, consult the HSE website).
The National Volunteering Database is a great place to start, with information for those who are looking to volunteer in response to COVID-19 and links to finding local volunteering opportunities in your area.
We also recommend ALONE – Supporting older people to age at home. With more than 1,000 calls in a single day to their helpline after cocooning was introduced, ALONE are looking for volunteers to deliver food and other items to isolated older people. And the Irish Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help relieve existing volunteers who have been overwhelmed with requests for support during this pandemic.
Resources and recommended reading
We’ve put together a list of resources for at-home activism — from ways to stay involved from home, to online activism classes and online museums. You can also catch up on our latest blog coverage: Here’s why we need a global response to this global pandemic — and how we can achieve that. We’ve also gathered some key facts to know, and what we can learn from the pandemic. We’ve rounded up 5 major health organisations taking action globally against COVID-19, and our CEO Gayle Smith explores the need for collective global action.