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.
We shared some advice from Youth Ambassadors earlier this month, and now we’re back with more:
Vanessa Woerner, France, Youth Ambassador 2020
We are experiencing an important sanitary crisis, so we have to keep fighting for equal access to health care and education. All around the world. Even when we are staying home.
This is the right time to remind that vaccines save lives so we must keep on spreading the Gavi campaign on social media and raising awareness on its issues (there’s still a petition to sign!).
Being an activist during this pandemic also means supporting local or national initiatives that help people
Being in quarantine gives us time to read, learn, and share essential topics related to global health. But being an activist during this pandemic also means supporting local or national initiatives that help people: Praising medical workers every day; creating Facebook groups to encourage community building; supporting food solidarity programs in your neighborhood.
As a teacher, I am volunteering to teach medical workers’ children so their parents can keep working, even if schools are closed.
Giulia Comandini, Italy, Youth Ambassador 2020
Despite the current situation we are living in, my tip is to continue to be connected to each other, and technology helps us a lot in this. Every day through messages and phone calls I get in touch with people and ask them a simple question, “how are you?” This is a question that in its simplicity brings with it a message of closeness and interest.
The activism and voluntary work, even if they are reduced in size, must be carried out within this context because it is important to remain present, to carry on different social battles and to support the community.
Thijs Duysens, Netherlands, Youth Ambassador 2020
Activism in these times of crisis can be tough, but it is always important to fight extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
To help inspire fellow activists through these hard times, I have some personal examples of how I am continuing my activism from the comforts of my own bed:
I’m informing my family about ONE. I can understand that it might not be ideal to be locked up at home with your little sibling or your parents, but, if you can, use this family time.
I, for example, told my parents about the the Senegalese activists that transformed sexual assault laws in the country. I’m informing myself. Informing yourself is one of the most important things you can do as an activist. I read about the handling of the Ebola outbreak in Congo. Being a ONE activist also means advocating for the elimination of preventable diseases, so eliminate the coronavirus and wash your hands.
Activism in these times of crisis can be tough, but it is always important to fight extreme poverty and preventable diseases. So keep up the good work and do what you can from home.
Kate Rice, UK, Youth Ambassador 2020
As someone who is a high risk individual when it comes to COVID-19, the increasing fear that has built over the last few months is one I know all too well. I have taken the opportunity of self-isolation to reach out to my home MP and university MP, as well as others in my local area, to discuss their current thoughts and actions in support of essential workers and vulnerable persons.
But my main focus for ONE at the moment is to look to the future! Planning initiatives like local primary school talks and student-focused events to spread our message to young people for when we are eventually able to host gatherings again is keeping me hopeful. I have a lot more time on my hands to plan and plan and plan to truly hit the ground running as soon as I can.
Ayla Akgün, Germany, Youth Ambassador 2020
Keeping social distance does not mean to stop showing social commitment. No, especially in times of a crisis, we should remember our major responsibilities. One of them is to end extreme poverty by 2030. That is why I decided to become a digital ONE activist in order to raise my voice for reasonable development assistance by three steps.
Keeping social distance does not mean to stop showing social commitment.
Keeping myself informed. I check news channels and Twitter daily to see if there are important political statements or decisions that relate to poverty and development.
Deepening my knowledge. There is always something new and more to learn. Especially about complex issues such as international development cooperation or politics and economics in Africa.
Intensifying my activism on social media. In times of social distancing, people are more online and therefore even better to reach on social media. I am active on Twitter and Instagram in order to share my concerns.
Kostantina, Belgium, Youth Ambassador 2020
Thanks to ONE, I became more aware of global issues such as poverty, world hunger, and food waste.
Being an activist means leading by example, and even if you have reached one person, you are making an impact.
During the stay-home period and the limited opportunities I have to buy groceries, I cook using fewer ingredients and turning leftovers into new meals. That helps me limit my food waste. I then share my meals with my loved ones through messaging apps and social media.
Being an activist means leading by example, and even if you have reached one person, you are making an impact. Social distancing does not need to cause loneliness. It’s a time to cultivate compassion and empathy towards others, in any way we can, even with a text message.
Pasquale Cesarano, Italy, Youth Ambassador 2020
To prepare at best for my engagement with the campaigns of ONE, I have revised my actions as Youth Ambassadors of last year to make sure that I can perfect the strategies to raise awareness on our issues during 2020. I am following very carefully American politics, in light of the upcoming US election and I am learning more about Gavi.
Never lose the sight of the objectives that motivate our work.
A tip that I would like to share with all the YAs is to go through the actions of our past campaigns and learn from that, while never losing the sight of the objectives that motivate our work: the SDGs.
Activism when you’re stuck at home is hard — mostly because you can’t physically take part in most volunteering activities anymore — but it’s not impossible.