Dear Global Citizen,
The entire world is going through such a difficult and challenging time right now. This feels like what we went through in Liberia during the Ebola period a few years ago. However, it is particularly scary this time around because, in the past, there were some corners of the world where people were not affected and could reach out and give hope. Now, everybody is dealing with the effects of this global pandemic and figuring out how to live through it. As a result, most of us have gone into self-preservation mode.
In these difficult periods when we are all affected in some way regardless of where we are on the economic spectrum, this presents an opportunity for us all to give and share the love with the world around us. More than anything, this is a time and opportunity for us to reach out to that family member or friend we have not called in a long time; just to ask how they are doing. This is the time as we are working from home to reflect on where we have come and the future we wish to see in this world.
One thing that was important for us during the Ebola crisis was having a sense of hope. There was a point when it was projected that tens of thousands of Liberians would die from Ebola that the Liberian President called a press conference and said: ‘I don’t care what the experts say, but we will beat this virus.’ Those words instilled hope. We got up, dusted the fear and worked in a concerted way to defeat the virus. That hope of what it would look like to be Ebola-free made us stronger and helped us kick it out of West Africa.
Another important thing was information dissemination. It is one thing hearing about preventative measures from the authorities (whom most of us don’t trust anyway). It is another thing when we hear it from a warm and familiar voice (this is why during Ebola, we used only used volunteers working in their own communities to spread awareness messages). So when you make that call to check on a long time friend, loved one, or somebody living down the street, it would be awesome if you could give them a few tips on staying safe but most importantly be sure to inspire hope that this too shall pass!
Remember, humanity has seen worse. If we hold together, stay united, have hope and take all precautions, this too shall soon be a chapter in history.
Keeping you all in my prayers,
Richelieu M. Allison, MA
Rotary Peace Scholar
President, Rotary E-club of Social Innovators (D 7090) 2019-2020
Foundation Director Rotary E-club of Social Innovators 2018-2019
Youth Chair, Rotary E-club of Social Innovators 2017-2018
Founder, West African Youth Network, Center for Security Studies and Development