By Levani Kopaliani, Generations For Peace Pioneer in Georgia
Being involved in youth-led initiatives in Georgia and abroad, I believe that young generations are the leaders of forging structural change and creating more responsible societies. In light of COVID-19 and the many challenges the world is facing today, I am convinced that individual and collective responsibility are vital to preventing the further spread of COVID-19.
In Georgia, we have been in lockdown for over a month now. While the government imposed strict measures from an early stage in order to flatten the curve of the virus, we all play a role in protecting our communities, especially the young generations. By leading with our own actions, I believe that we are extremely powerful in inspiring others to act.
Around the world, many youth-led initiatives have created online platforms to share accurate information and dispel common myths about the virus. Others also created Facebook groups allowing people to request and provide a wide range of services to families and people in self-isolation, including group study lessons and food delivery. In Georgia, many young people, led by the belief that it is essential support the most vulnerable around us in these difficult times, have reached out to the elderly to provide them with food, medical supplies, and sanitary products. It is clear youth-led movements and initiatives around the world have been successful at supporting the response to COVID-19 and leading by example.
I have also been taking the initiative to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and educate those around me to do the same. While at first it was difficult to stay home because I am a very social person, I decided to change my outlook on the situation, viewing my time at home as an opportunity to focus on personal development. I began to learn Japanese and have dedicated most of my time to reading about history and arts. After seeing the spread of false information online, my friends and I have also collectively decided to report misleading social media posts and accounts in order to stop the spread of rumours, which has been a source of stress and anxiety for many of us.
While some have taken advantage of social media to spread rumors, I decided to use my social media platforms for good. Through online interactions, I have been sharing tips for ways to keep busy while staying home and keeping in touch with my family and friends, allowing us to stay connected while remaining physically apart. I believe we all have the power to reinvent the way we live and connect with one another. Whether it is by recommending the World Health Organisation’s safety tips, sharing bakery recipes using the hashtag #BakeCorona to encourage homestay, or organising online sport sessions with friends, we can all find ways to show solidarity with one another! It is our responsibility as national and global citizens to protect our communities and lead positive change.