The Role of the Youth in the Pandemic Crisis
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By Haya Mohammed Abu Jledan
At the beginning of this pandemic, I wanted to help, even if it was in the most simplest of ways. As a university student, I knew I had gained enough skills to make a positive impact. While I tried to find an organization in my country to join, I wasn’t successful until I learnt of a great community: #Students_Against_COVID (SAC). This is an organized movement led by 250+ student-leaders and young professionals across 50+ countries. SAC attempts to tackle the many problems this pandemic has created over the world, including social, economical, health, and humanitarian issues. In an effort to spread accurate information about COVID-19, I serve in their translation team. While our team can speak nearly 40 languages, I translate flyers into Turkish and Arabic. These flyers inform the public on how to deal with this pandemic, how to protect themselves from the virus, and how to avoid myths and hoaxes. From languages as diverse as Greek to Filipino to Gujarati, we aim for our flyers to reach everywhere and help inform the public. A Women’s Health Team was created as a part of SAC for the purpose of launching new campaigns on how COVID-19 may affect pregnancy and increase domestic violence at home. I’m also an active member of SAC’s Research Team, where I am able to pursue my ideas, learn about scientific analysis, and present material in relation to COVID-19. I have also met some students and allies from Egypt through this community to form a small secondary research team to work on my ideas.
“As the crisis changes the world around us, students and allies across different countries, different languages, and different religions have come together under the common thread of humanity.”
Throughout my time in #Students_Against_COVID, I have not felt like a member, but rather a soldier working against this pandemic. I learned how to think, research, analyze, and apply skills when the world most needed it. Through SAC, I feel encouraged, empowered, and capable of anything. As the crisis changes the world around us, students and allies across different countries, different languages, and different religions have come together under the common thread of humanity. We hold each other’s hands on this stressful, difficult, and always changing road. I believe in our ability to help with this crisis and empower youth worldwide to be active, compassionate, and strong leaders who will make a change. When I think of SAC, I remember a quote from a Professor of Medicine and Mediation, John Kabat Zinn,: “You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”. Though COVID-19 has transformed the world around us, students worldwide are learning, adapting, and fighting.
As God tells people in the Holy Quran Also Allah tells people in the Holy Quran And the immortal miracle for human:
“that man shall have nothing but what he strives for, And that his striving shall soon be seen.”
I would also rephrase its introduction a bit: Allah tells people in the Holy Quran And the immortal miracle for human: “(verse)” and this is a source of resilience and motivation (for my work in SAC) during these times.
A similar version of this by Haya was also shared on UNICEF’s Voices of Youth Blog.