Communities coming together for social good, amid a pandemic.
COVID-19 has stopped us in our tracks. The pandemic has forced us to confront social ills that have long plagued nations. Until now, countries are scrambling to flatten the curve, to procure vaccines, and to ensure that healthcare institutions remain strong and robust.
Experts, politicians, and scientists have come together to devise strategies and plans on how to beat the ongoing health and economic crisis. While these ongoing efforts are in motion, many communities across the world also stepped up to the plate when needed.
Here are 4 initiatives around the world that addressed rising issues in their communities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the suspension of public and private transportation in Uganda due to the lockdown, many were not able to have access to medications for HIV. Despite this, HIV-positive Ugandans banded together to deliver antiretroviral medication for members of communities living with HIV. The community-based organization, called Uganda Young Positives, has over 50,000 registered members. The volunteers usually deliver eight antiretroviral refills per day to their peers.
Brasilandia had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The alarming rate then urged residents in a community to form a volunteer solidarity network that promoted a stay-at-home campaign. The effort grew to more than 200 volunteers that had various action plans to encourage people to stay home. The volunteers blasted beats and tunes aboard a car with soundsystem, while health agents distributed masks and shared more information about COVID-19. Music never sounded so purposeful.
Virtual support groups have been helping pregnant women in Nigeria to help with information and to help address the anxieties of delivering a baby during a pandemic. Communities have used messenger apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to stay connected and exchange tops on how to stay safe while pregnant. A Telegram support group called “Pregnant and Free” envisions the space as a “place for [pregnant women] to speak openly about their journeys and encourage each other.”
Called the “rice ATM,” this machine dispenses rice to provide sustenance for communities in Ho Chi Minh City. The machine stores 10 tons of rice, and on the first day alone, over 700 people lined up to receive rice. Most of the recipients are middle-aged residents, students who hail from other provinces, janitors, and people with disabilities. The supply of rice comes from donations from different parts of Vietnam.