At the beginning of this pandemic, I strived to help others. Like many students, I knew I was capable of making a positive impact, but I wasn't sure where or how to start. As it turned out, many students and youth around the world were asking the same question: how could we play a role in helping solve the problems COVID-19 had created?
#Students_Against_COVID answered this question. #Students_Against_COVID (SAC) is an organized grassroots movement consisting of 250+ youth-leaders and young professionals from across 50+ countries. SAC attempts to tackle the many problems this pandemic has created over the world, including social, economic, health, and humanitarian issues. From a women's health team to a mental health initiative to a podcast series, SAC offers diverse opportunities catered to each member's unique capabilities. In an effort to spread accurate information about COVID-19, I serve on their translation team. Our team can collectively speak over 40 languages; I translate flyers into Turkish and Arabic. These flyers inform the public on how to handle the pandemic, how to protect themselves from the virus, and how to avoid myths and hoaxes. Our languages range from Greek to Filipino to Gujarati. We aim for our flyers to reach all communities, big and small, so that everyone has the necessary information to protect themselves.
My work doesn't end there. 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. Although I'm based in Jordan, I have met students in Egypt through this community to form a small secondary research team. As we research together across countries, I encourage you to visit SAC's clinical resources page. Here you can find information on clinical guidelines, research collections, news from credible sources, patient education, and volunteer opportunities.
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.
Author: Haya Abu Jledan