The pandemic COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives. Our mobility is severely restricted, and we are embracing new ways to shop, work, learn, socialize or entertain ourselves. Social distancing will likely last for quite some time. While practicing social distancing is crucial for preventing virus transmission, it is equally important to engage in volunteering and extend our support for the government and local communities to fight against the virus.
The question remains, "how to volunteer when the government's advisory is to stay indoors?. Traditional volunteering approach with on-ground relief work may not be desirable considering the specific safety precautions for Covid-19. Still, there is a lot we can do instead of being glued to TV worrying about the ongoing situation and feeling helpless. Every individual can make a difference through virtual volunteering or on-ground volunteering work while strictly following safety measures. If you are also struggling to figure out ways to support others, here are three ways to get involved in volunteering and action opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Check on your Neighbors, Friends, Relatives or Co-workers: At the time when we are advised to stay isolated and confined to interact with those at our household, your neighbors, friends or relatives door might be in need of help. Make a call or text to check on them and make sure they are doing ok. Inquire about their health and ask if anything you can do for them. For instance, an elderly neighbor may need medical assistance or even need help for picking up groceries. You can also provide meals for people facing difficulties in cooking or fetch it from the market.
Register with Volunteers platform: Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the volunteering landscape has evolved globally. There are plenty of opportunities both at Non-Profit Organizations and Government initiated volunteering programs. You can play your part through virtual volunteering or being at the front lines with the healthcare staff. For instance, the KSA government called for volunteers such as health specialists as well as volunteers who are qualified enough to raise health awareness or do inspections in the virus-hit neighborhoods. Get registered with these platforms and start helping.
Donating with and without money:
The pandemic has affected us all, changing our life routine and the ways we interact with each other, do our work or engage in learning. The economic impacts have been disastrous, with shuttering business and millions of people ripped off their jobs. We thus need to donate in every aspect we can.
Donating with money: Find non-profit organizations, the government aid programs, health centers or poor people in your surroundings and donate your money to lessen their financial worries. There are millions of poor labourers working in the Middle East from all parts of the world. The pandemic has left them without jobs, severely impacting their livelihood. Look into options to supporting them with financial assistance, healthcare, clothing or food supplies. Also, you can support your favorite local businesses, which are now open but faced severe losses during the first wave of coronavirus.
Donate Blood: The Covid-19 has resulted in a decline in blood donations for other critical diseases. If you are able, donate your blood as Red Cross and other blood banks are in dire need of blood donations.
Donate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Computers: The pandemic has either forced educational institutions to remain closed or continue their learning activities online. Few countries are now gradually opening educational institutions with strict Sop's requiring PPE's like face masks and sanitizers. However, everyone doesn't have enough resources to buy computers or PPE's. Consider donating computers, laptops, PPE's and other tools to needy students and help them continue their learning journey.
Virtual Skill Sharing If you are skilled with anything like you might be a good fitness trainer, a quality web designer, an mental health expert or an educationist, your expertise can be of great service right now. Use online tools and offer skill-sharing classes for learners or discounted service for local businesses in your field of expertise. A fitness trainer can help others to keep their fitness routine intact, so they come up with a better immune system after the quarantine. A mental health professional can help people to keep their spirits high and relax during this difficult time.
Don't underestimate yourself, your abilities and skills. There are a lot of opportunities for you to help fight against Covid-19. Engaging yourself in volunteer work will give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction in these difficult times.
Written by Tayyab Asharafat
A dedicated Khadoum volunteer
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