We face a pandemic that threatens the lives and the wellbeing of all people globally. It doesn’t stop there. The most vulnerable people in the world will be hit the hardest. Hundreds of millions could fall into poverty within months.
Against this pandemic stands the best of humanity. Nurses, doctors and community health workers risk their lives daily to protect us. Neighbours and friends rally together and care for each other. We self-isolate as individuals, but we do it collectively as a community reaching out to help each other. We are in it together.
Our teams have been working flat out to adapt, prepare and respond to the pandemic because young people, who make up the majority of almost every community in the developing world, are the key to turning the tide on the virus.
Medical personnel and government alone cannot stop this pandemic from harming countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Ordinary people and communities must play a leading role.
At Restless Development we are redirecting almost all of our resources, efforts & networks to this fight. We know that we can play our part with young people and others to help build the greatest global movement of collective action in history. A movement of people staying home, caring for each other like never before, fighting fake news, fighting stigma, dispelling myths, using technology to spread key messages, helping their governments and their healthcare workers.
We will do this by mobilising young leaders to take action now, in three ways:
Youth Superheroes Stop the Spread. Young people changing their behaviour, role modelling the behaviour to stop the spread, to care for ourselves and for others. Young people influencing their peers in mass to change behaviour. Young people preparing and organising their communities to stop the spread.
Fighting the Misinformation Pandemic. Never has fake news or misinformation been more harmful. Young people create attractive, exciting content to spread core messages for planning, prevention and response to the pandemic via digital channels that youth use. Young people policing fake news and misinformation, myth busting online and provoking engagement. Young people challenging stigma and championing mental and physical wellbeing.
Reclaiming the Power. Young people reclaiming power in the face of this pandemic and the powerlessness it makes us all feel. Youth-led civil society and movements acting on an unprecedented scale. Youth mobilising communities to protect themselves. Youth supporting governments and health workers through collective action. Through our individual acts and collective action, we reclaim power over this pandemic and we take the fight to it.
The existing problems that young leaders have been fighting - like climate change, violence against women and girls and unemployment- will not go away - many will be worsened by Coronavirus. We will adapt our methods so that we support young people to confront these problems in new ways and when the threat of coronavirus has subsided we will be ready.
We are all in it together, young and old, north and south. Young people can drive global change, helping our world to stand and to act in solidarity as never before. Fake news will be fought. Super spreaders will be stopped. Accurate, accessible information will reach those who need it. Government efforts will be supported through the changing behaviour of all people.
We work with youth networks spanning nearly 100 countries and have experience and expertise working with young people to mobilise communities in mass and at scale for urgent behaviour change in crisis.
We’ve created the #TriThisAtHome challenge to help our triathletes stay fit, stay happy and stay connected with their friends. The fun activity will boost their mental well-being and raise vital funds for Restless Development and your school’s chosen charity - keeping all the best bits about the Schools Triathlon you know and love!
Triathletes can take part in the challenge when it’s best for them and as often as they like. You can do it individually, or as a team over phone or video call. Teams can have fun comparing their distances and there will be a scoreboard for team distances - this is still very much a team challenge. It is really exciting and we know they won’t want to miss out! Find out more here.
We know that being stuck at home split off from one another can make you feel powerless and alone. But you are not. Every day over on our blog, in our newsletter and social media accounts, we will be bringing you ideas, opportunities, tips and advice on how to exercise your #YouthPower from your living room to fight the virus, look after yourself and keep making positive change. Find out more.
At the centre of our response to coronavirus is the safety of everyone with whom we work - it is always our number one priority.
Our safety and security team and robust systems are working to ensure that every decision we make in the coming weeks and months to adapt our operations and programmes will be based on the safety and wellbeing of our people.
Read our Guidance for Volunteers - this document provides information on COVID-19, how it spreads, the symptoms, prevention and response, and where to find further information.
If you live in any one of our 10 Hub countries and need to contact us, please get in touch with your local office. Contact details for each office are available on our website.