If you’re an activist staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re probably looking for a way to continue your advocacy. Luckily, our Youth Ambassadors are here to give you advice on how to take action, brush up on some knowledge, and make the best out of being at home.
Here’s some of our favourite pieces of advice from Youth Ambassadors:
Francesca Memmi, UK, Youth Ambassador 2020
Let’s take this opportunity to use our voice for the most vulnerable and support the global issues we care for.
Like many other people in the world, I am currently in lockdown. Just three weeks ago on International Women’s Day, I was able to meet up with UK ONE ambassadors and other activists at an event to discuss important issues, such as how we can finally achieve global gender equality, exploring creative solutions and inspiring ideas.
Right now, we are all challenged to find new ways to stay active. Because these issues cannot afford to wait any longer. If you think about it, this is the perfect time.
Right now, you have the physical time you could never dream to find before to get involved. You can keep informed, share important petitions and messages via your social media… even from your couch. That’s the beauty of the internet!
And you can see the world effectively reacting and changing from your window. Like literally, the “stay at home” message was so loud on social media that even before the lockdown, I could see my neighbourhood coming together and adapting. That’s an incredible power we have. Let’s take this opportunity to use our voice for the most vulnerable and support the global issues we care for. There’s no time to waste.
Anne-Kathrin Born, Germany, Youth Ambassador 2020
Especially in these times of crisis, we need to think beyond borders in order to invest in global responses to this crisis. Knowledge is power. I share the daily news and developments of COVID-19 in Africa on social media.
We can create change by educating others about justice and why a global health system is necessary.
While facetiming, my friends and I talk about a partnership of Europe and Africa that can help build out existing defenses against the virus. We can create change by educating others about justice and why a global health system is necessary.
Stevan, Netherlands, Youth Ambassador 2020
It is especially during this pandemic that people have to continue to take action — not in the least to also prevent boredom. I will write blogs and sign petitions, contact the media or tweet at politicians. There is still so much you can do, and as activists, you must continue to take action. Keep pushing your boundaries. If you’re not very good at writing blogs, just practice! Practice makes perfect and every little bit helps.
What is important is that you keep busy, so you’re not constantly thinking about coronavirus and remind yourself that you can still make a positive change.
Oyinkansola, Belgium, Youth Ambassador 2020
We are in trying times and for the first time in many years, social order has been deeply challenged, thus showing new insights. For instance our biggest problem, COVID-19 transcends beyond colour, race, or socioeconomic status, showing that we are all in this together.
COVID-19 transcends beyond colour, race, or socioeconomic status, showing that we are all in this together.
Social media has been a powerful tool for me with my most used hashtag being #StaySafe. I have been educating people via the use of my Instagram page and women empowerment page.
I have also taken it upon myself to record WhatsApp voice notes in basic/layman language to connect with Nigerians grassroot who are still of the opinion that COVID-19 is an Aso rock(Nigerian government house) propaganda to sway people in regards to the coming election. In order to do that I had to read up on several materials with the most enlightening one being how Nigeria defeated Ebola.
I’ve been helping with awareness on a campaign themed #1For1With5k that is targeted at helping indigenous women affected by the lockdown in three communities in Lagos, Nigeria, and also encouraged followers to donate on my Instagram story.
David Reviriego, France, Youth Ambassador 2020
Even during this pandemic, our fight doesn’t stop. 1.5 million people are still dying every year from disease that can be prevented by vaccination. Extreme poverty still exists, and in the current context, it would be tragic for least developed countries to be affected by COVID-19. So even during this peculiar period, I’m still an activist. I use my free time to make my quarantine-roommate and my friends aware of Gavi-related issues. I can also ask people to sign the petition.
Being an activist during this pandemic also means, more than ever, being a supportive neighbor and friend.
But more generally, being an activist during this pandemic also means, more than ever, being a supportive neighbor and friend. I check on my neighbors, help them buy their groceries, call them or take the time to discuss with them to avoid loneliness.
Alexis Ahern, Ireland, Youth Ambassador 2020
We are so lucky to live in a time where, even in a shutdown, we don’t have to shut up. There are so many amazing ways to stay involved and take actions even from sitting on your living room couch.
I’ve been participating in online meetings, conferences and talks, signing petitions, getting involved in online campaigns, and volunteering with an NGO by helping them with some of their online work. It is so easy to do all of these things right now.
However, I also think this time is the perfect opportunity for reflection and to recharge your batteries. Being an ambassador and activist can be emotionally, mentally, and even physically draining. Minding your own mental health, especially during a global pandemic when anxieties and fears are high, is a form of activism. Because if you’re not at your best, you can’t give your best. So please mind yourself and those around you and take this time to do both what you want and what you need.
Anna Frattaruolo, Italy, Youth Ambassador 2020
You can catch up on your reading wishlist, just like I’m doing: from the autobiography of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, to the fictional world of The Handmaid’s Tale, each of these books contains a useful lesson about the importance of activism in every society. You can start a blog about the issues you care about, or sign one of ONE’s relevant petitions, just like me and my friends.
You can make yourself available to your community. For example, the Italian Red Cross has started a campaign for temporary volunteers that gives the possibility to help in distributing medicines and groceries to those in need.
You can simply reach out to your friends, your neighbors, or your grandparents whenever they feel alone or whenever you feel alone. Social distancing is important, but mental health is too!