#AlleanzaAgisce Collects and Shares Solidarity Efforts
Category: Stories of Solidarity in Action
Italy | Europe
#AlleanzaAgisce is an online platform that collects eclectic initiatives and concrete solidarity efforts implemented during the Covid-19 emergency by hundreds of Italian civil society organizations, members of the ASviS network. The platform highlights how diverse and widespread the solidarity actions have been and also offers dedicated news articles to describe the most effective and meaningful ones in different fields: from education to work, from climate to culture.
Among the hundreds of initiatives there have been fundraising, webinars, free book distributions, campaigns, workshops, new learning platforms and educational projects developed by universities, innovative healthcare solutions addressed to elderly people and disabled persons. The online platform collects and shares all the useful information in order for people to take action or just learn more. The Alliance’s aim, in cooperation with the Italian TV broadcaster, is to share with institutions and the general public these good practices in order for them to be replicated at many levels.
As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, Iraqi refugee Mohammed Alhashimi and his wife Smaher discussed how to help their new country of Luxembourg in return for taking in their family. Mohammed, son of a tailor, and Smaher, a seamstress, put their skills to use and sewed masks. They have produced 14,000 masks for free with the help of their two children. Their masks have been distributed across Luxembourg, even reaching the country’s royal palace who thanked them for their work.
The Covid-19 crisis has proven that cooperation is vital for solving global challenges. Yucatán Solidario has been a shining example of cooperation during the pandemic. Yucatan Solidario is a joint force including more than 30 companies and Civil Society Organizations that work in coordination with governmental agencies, along with the active participation of members of society. This united coalition has collected and delivered more than a million supports, including 1,232 tons of perishable and non-perishable food, 8,243 personal hygiene and cleaning articles, 156 goods and services, as well as 3,294 medications in the 106 municipalities of Yucatan. Additionally, they have provided support to more than 158 shelters, dining rooms and care centers for the elderly.
The campaign ‘Distancing but Connecting’ was first initiated by Ms. Anusha Maharjan. She arrived to the US as a Fulbright exchange student in January 2020 for four months, but due to the pandemic and international border closure in Nepal she still hasn’t been able to return home. She loves being around people and the idea of social distancig and living alone in a foreign country, after missing her opportunity to meet fellow Fulbright scholars has affected her a lot.
Together with the We for Change NGO, ‘Distancing but Connecting’ aims to manage mental stress among young people living in Nepal and overseas. This digital platform promote communication and leadership skills by organizing programs including mental health talks, a youth appreciation week, a weekly podcast release, virtual challenges, and storytelling through poetry and painting. The online campaign started in April and has connected with more than 500 youths. The purpose is to stay united and connected, to inspire young people of the age group 16-24 years and continuously grow together.
A Brazilian beverage company, Ambev, initiatted broad company-wide response effort. Through their project Together at a Distance, the company has taken many actions promoting solidarity during this crisis. Working with local partners, they expanded a hospital’s capacity by 100 hospital beds in São Paulo. By pivoting operations, they have produced 1.2 million alcohol gel units, prioritizing distribution in public hospitals. 3 million face shields made utilizing the same material used in their soft drink bottles have been manufactured and donated, and in response to water scarcity, they have donated 700,000 2L bottles of water to hospitals and needy communities. Aside from these and several other response actions being taken, the company is working to ensure their employees are safe at work and maintain a healthy routine at home.
By 18 May, Ecuador had 33,182 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 2,736 deaths. The damages are already noticeable. Families have kept their dead relatives in their homes due to the lack of capacity to cremate them and hundreds of parents have been unable to feed their children for several days. These are not just stories, but realities for many. Quid Ecuador has been able to assist 101 families by delivering emergency food kits so that families can avoid hunger while in lockdown. With these kits, around 450 people, out of which 40% are children, have received the assistance they need. 81% of Quid’s beneficiaries are immigrants who are not able to apply for government programs and thus are unable to access official economic relief.
Established in 2019 by two high school students in Seattle, Student Art Spaces (SAS) offers accessible studio space for youth involved in the creative arts. Their goal is to promote art equity by eliminating financial hurdles, along with racial and gender barriers for minority artists. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SAS is creating a teen-curated magazine, with their first edition titled “Art During a Pandemic”, which sheds light on the voices of underrepresented and underprivileged youth.
World Bicycle Relief knows that the lack of efficient, reliable transportation adversely affects economic and social development in regions where distance is a barrier, so their work focuses is rural and remote communities. These communities are extremely vulnerable to a global health crisis with healthcare systems overburdened and out of reach for many patients. Therefore, health workers mobilized with a bicycle play a critical role in response and recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
WBR has responded to Covid-19 by ramping up their operations and increasing bicycle distributions to health partners. Working with local partners and governments, they are providing bicycles to frontline health workers. This allows health workers to offer expanded home treatments and patient transportation using bike ambulances. Looking ahead to the long-term effects of COVID-19, the mobility of frontline health workers will remain critical to addressing the needs of those who are being driven into extreme poverty due to COVID-19.
More than fifty football and sports stars from across Belgium have joined the citizens’ initiative Souliers du Coeur. Tlogehter, they support organisations caring for the most vulnerable groups during this pandemic, such as homeless, disabled people, vulnerable children and elderly. To date, they have supported more than 75 associations and distributed more than 30,000 masks and 20,000 pairs of gloves.
Kenyan Youth, Kiyaan Kapila, has taken on the challenge of climbing the equivalent of Kenya’s Mt. Longonot by walking up and down 80 steep garden steps daily. Though he has struggled with coordination challenges, he has persisted in this effort, raising thousands of dollars for I Afrika, which cares for children living on the streets in Nairobi, and Ewaso Lions, which works to save lions.