The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused uncertainty, confusion and fear. However, in the midst of this crisis, there’s also been a spike in spontaneous acts of kindness, generosity and empathy which we want to celebrate.
Refugees and migrants are among the most vulnerable groups during the spread of the virus, despite this though, they are often on the front line, offering their help and support to those who need it.
We’ve made a collection of the 11 most heart-warming stories of the past few days.
1. Donating food stock…
The Bearwood Action Group is donating food parcels to the refugee and migrant families that, before the current restrictions, used to attend monthly community lunches cooked by the group. The families who received the deliveries said the donations have made a real difference.
Couldn’t be prouder of our amazing Bearwood Action team this weekend. Thanks to the hard work & brave hearts of our brilliant volunteers, collecting donations, assembling packs, making crafts and gifts & delivering to all the newly arrived families we support living locally 1/3 pic.twitter.com/gQjFFK92YX
— Bearwood Action (@BearwoodAction) March 29, 2020
2. … and then delivering it!
Md Mominul Hamid is a Refugee Week 2020 Leader and he is ensuring that those in need receive vital supplies during COVID-19. He packs food parcels safely and then delivers them on his bike all over Newcastle.
Manges to drop my last emergency food pack delivery onbehalf of “MAJF” to the local 7 asylum seekers now with my mighty bike. Everything is horrible out there. 4 of them are newly arrived last week in Newcastle. Feeling happy😊🙏..thanks to Mwenza for her quick help.#solidarity pic.twitter.com/zZ25Oncgrf
— Md M Hamid(Abir) (@abirhamid2017) March 23, 2020
3. SOS soap
A good supply of soap and hand sanitiser is essential during the outbreak, but what about those who don’t have access to it or can’t afford it? Luckily, there are some kind people out there. This sweet lady is donating and delivering hand soap to refugees living in a Zurich camp, while the cosmetics company Lush has contributed with a big soap parcel to South London Refugee Association’s collection of hygiene products for vulnerable people.
4. Communication is key
In Italy, the campaign #NONSEISOLO, which means ‘You are not alone’, is helping refugees and migrants to navigate Italian authorities’ efforts to contain the contagion. The campaign uses clear and easy to read updates in different languages, online videos and hotlines assistance. In the UK, Doctors of the World have translated documents on NHS guidance about COVID-19 in over 30 languages. In a pandemic, getting your message across in a clear, timely and relevant way is crucial.
5. A cute surprise
As a Canadian family was forced to isolate because of the coronavirus outbreak, the refugee family they had sponsored in 2016, stopped by their home for a no-contact drop-off of groceries. Kindness always brings kindness.
Back in 2016 we sponsored a refugee family to come to Canada. Today, knowing that we’re self-isolating because of travel, they brought bags of food to my front porch. Beans, dates, noodles, lentils, tahini, veggies, meat, and candy for my kid. So kind… and I’m so grateful♥️😭🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/BksTcxl62y
— Robin Stevenson (@robin_stevenson) March 24, 2020
6. Volunteering for the elderly
Syrian refugee families in Dorset have been among the first to sign up as volunteers to help the elderly and vulnerable ones during this uncertain time. We are all in this together.
7. Free period products
The charity Bloody Good Period is providing sanitary products to refugees, asylum seekers and others who cannot afford them because, as the organisation states on its website: ‘Periods don’t stop during a pandemic.’ Here you can donate to support the project.
8. Online cooking classes
The NGO Migrateful is setting up online cookery classes run by refugees and migrants during the coronavirus crisis. They’ll have 32 chefs from over 20 different countries, sounds brilliant (and yummy)!
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We’re buzzing after a very successful Lebanese cookery class with Ahmed via Zoom this morning (he taught the Migrateful chefs as a pilot). Online Migrateful cookery classes coming soon to keep you entertained in isolation… 32 chefs from over 20 different countries! Stay tuned for more info 😋🙌🏼❤️
9. Picking fresh veggies
Barikama is a co-operative near Rome started in 2011 by a group of young Africans. Today, its members are on the frontline of Italy’s deadly battle against COVID-19. Every day, they are out in the fields, working ‘twice as hard’ to supply their community in quarantine.
A mother and her three kids, who were planning to sleep rough in Reading after their temporary accommodation was due to end, have been offered housing and care by the local council. As the pandemic’s death toll mounts, the need for a safe home for all becomes even more pressing.
11. Cleaning to save lives
Hassan Akkad is joining an ‘army of cleaners’ that, after proper training, are making sure hospitals stay clean and disinfected for patients and NHS workers’ safety. “Since the pandemic hit, I’ve been desperate to help,” he said to the BBC. Even a small act of kindness like this can save so many lives.
Honoured to join an army of cleaners disinfecting Covid wards our local hospital after receiving training. London has been my home since leaving Syria, and the least I can do is making sure my neighbours and the amazing NHS staff are safe and sound. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/7XkBwSiXW8
— Hassan Akkad (@hassan_akkad) April 7, 2020
At IMIX, we will to continue to celebrate all these forms of kindness during the crisis. We want to thank all the amazing people working really hard at this time, the NHS frontline workers and every refugee charity supporting their communities. Without them, we’d never make it through this really tough time.
If you have any positive stories to share during this crisis, let us know @IMIX_UK or firstname.lastname@example.org.