Solidarity Beyond the Smartphone
“If I don’t volunteer and those like me don’t volunteer, then who will?”, asks Malak Sabah, 24.
In her high visibility vest, she has been the linchpin of an initiative to sanitize the streets of Lebanon’s overcrowded Wavel Palestinian refugee camp, where she grew up.
Worried that some were not taking the risk seriously enough after the first COVID-19 case in the camp, an awareness campaign was launched, Sabah said.
“It’s a hidden virus, you can’t deal with it with physical strength, it requires awareness, knowledge and protection,” she told AFP.
Having always known a world connected by the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon, this generation understands the power of social networks in getting a message across, Walid Badi, a French professional handball player, said.
Not only that, but these young people also realize they’re best placed “to help the most vulnerable”, the 24-year-old, who lives in Ivry-sur-Seine near Paris, said.
The health crisis demonstrated that “we’re not just good for staying at home, hooked to our smartphones, but are deeply rooted in reality,” he added.
While competitions were off the cards during confinement, he used the time to step up action through his Solidaritess association in aid of the homeless, distributing clothes to the “forgotten” in the capital’s suburbs.