We are #Students_Against_COVID, a global grassroots movement aimed at spreading credible information about COVID-19, empowering student and ally voices and initiatives, and facilitating socially responsible innovation and collaboration.
Our movement began with a simple tweet on March 16th by an American medical student asking people worldwide to share what they were doing to help fight against COVID-19 by using the hashtag “Students_Against_COVID” in their response.
This student soon connected with healthcare professional students from countries like Greece, Portugal, Pakistan, and the UAE and together they wondered:
What if we could spread one local initiative by a student to a country 5000 kilometers away? What about 15,000?
What if people who were at home wanted to help, but weren’t sure how? What if someone had an idea, but didn’t know where to start?
And finally, what if we could create a common platform to help make this possible? Now was the time, more than ever before, for efficient, professional, inclusive, and urgent action.
And thus, #Students_Against_COVID was born in response to COVID-19, a contagious respiratory illness that has spread across the globe and killed thousands in its wake. A grassroots movement deemed necessary as the founders of the movement recognized the immense threat this virus imposed on their local communities, the general public, and healthcare workers for the immediate and foreseeable future.
Three weeks later, we consist of 175+ students and allies spanning across 45+ countries. From engineers to law students, from high schoolers to physicians, and from medical assistants to nursing students, you will find a wide array of unique perspectives and skill sets. And you will find these members in countries as diverse as Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Malaysia, Brazil, and more.
Although we are divided by countries, time zones, and language barriers, we have found ways to connect, communicate, and create.
For instance, our social media team has created several innovative and engaging informational flyers, materials, and graphics on COVID-19 based on off reputable scientific platforms such as WHO and the CDC. Our translation team which can collectively speak 36+ languages has translated those documents so that factual information about this virus can reach as many communities as possible. You can find these flyers on our Instagram in languages like Hausa, German, Urdu, Russian, and more.
We have students brainstorming together worldwide: for example, one of our members who was creating hand-sanitizer in one low-middle income country was able to connect with a member in another low-middle income country so that he too could help address these types of shortages in critical supplies.
We have members canvassing their communities in an effort to collect protective gear for healthcare workers, and another group highlighting the work of these front-line providers through an interview series.
Additionally, we want to remind people that they are not alone. In fact, find our mental health team - working on ways to help ease your anxiety. They even created a 30-Day Self Care Quarantine Challenge - spend a day watching a TED Talk, Netflix Partying with a friend, or cooking a meal with only 3 ingredients. The best part is that we, and people all across the globe, will be doing it with you.
Our initiatives don’t end there - we have many more exciting projects in the work along with alliances with organizations including DICE Foundation, European Student Think Tank, INNOVAMED, Replenish Detroit, and Indonesian Youth Opportunities in International Networking (IYOIN).
#Students_Against_COVID started with a simple tweet but has evolved into an innovation and collaboration hub amongst students and allies. This is no coincidence. When helping to start Students Against COVID, one of the co-founders, a medical student from Greece, felt it had the potential to resemble an ancient Agora. Agora, a dynamic civic space in ancient Greek city-states, was the center of the athletic, artistic, spiritual, and political life in the city. It was in the Agora that you could chat with philosophers and intellectual thinkers such as Socrates and Sophocles, or encounter leaders and policymakers such as Pericles. In the Agora of Athens, arts and humanities flourished hand in hand with concrete decision making and transparency.
Two thousand years later, we believe #Students_Against_COVID serves as a virtual Agora where students and allies across the globe cross paths, bring up ideas, exchange constructive feedback, and build synergies.
-Adriana Viola Miranda, Indonesian Medical Student
Our main goals as an organization are to:
- Spread credible information about COVID-19
- Empower student voices and initiatives
- Facilitate innovation and collaboration
- Champion Scientific Principles
- Support our communities and healthcare workers
We want to flatten the curve and enable others' worldwide to be in better positions to be leaders of positive change in their community. We value students and allies' voices, and we want to enable a culture that empowers their ability to make an impact across the globe long after this pandemic.
The world may be changing, and you may feel alone, but let us be there with you. Connect and engage with us online and on our social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Tik Tok); we welcome you to our community and we can’t wait to e-meet you.
Written by Alina Haque