#stayhome is probably the most popular call for action nowadays across the globe – the challenge to each and every one of us to take care of ourselves and the communities we live in, as staying indoors has proven to be the most effective remedy so far in tackling the propagation of Coronavirus.
But spending multiple hours and days in lockdown may and do have negative consequences as well – sense of isolation, boredom and excessive hours attached to various digital devices frequently result in depression and anxiety. Young people are especially vulnerable in this regard, as they face drastic change of normal lifestyle and social habits.
Since its start in 2007, Roots adopted a proactive approach to the emerging challenges and needs of its beneficiaries. With the majority of the project target group being young people and the spread of COVID-19 affecting the normal course of implementation for planned Roots activities, the project team promptly devised the action plan according to the current circumstances.
The online Reunion of Roots Peace Work Institute Alumni was the first ad hoc activity in this regard, – 14 participants from 8 countries got together in online space via Zoom Call on April 3rd, 2020 to reconnect, check on each other and elaborate ideas and plans for joint actions in the future.
Facilitated by the Roots Team, the Online Reunion turned out to be quite successful endeavor with all the participants actively engaged and contributing with various suggestions and ideas:
- To create “the marketplace” of tools and know-how for effectively dealing with current global situation (in the fields of Education, Fundraising, Mental Health, etc);
- To use existing group capacity for joint sustainable actions for the future;
- To step up engagement and presence of young people in online outlets towards influencing ongoing processes and subsequent decision-making;
- There must be other actions apart from Online Space – prolonged and exclusive use of digital resources as only means of interaction with the outside world are already proving to be counter-effective;
- To come up with specific initiatives for providing the assistance to the most vulnerable and affected segments of respective communities;
- To create the “working groups” each focusing on specific fields of engagement – feeding into the overall Roots project;
- To stay connected & make such online encounters regular – for sustaining relationships, exchanging ideas and complementing each other.
The reunion was recorded to be viewed by other PWI Alumni that were unable to tune in due to various objective reasons. As unanimously agreed and if the current extraordinary situation persists, online PWI Alumni reunions will become regular and will have a more subject-focused approach for the future – Until…. We shall overcome and emerge stronger as individuals and the Roots, – making the difference when and where it’s needed!