In times of pandemic and quarantine, many young Argentines engage with the most vulnerable and use social media to spread good deeds. In the photo, Facundo Niizawa, creator of the #MarketChallenge. Credit: Kindness

Just like in the worst economic crises or during major floods,

the pandemic by COVID-19

stimulated among Argentines

solidarity in the emergency

and many are determined to help those who need it most. Facundo Niizawa, 22, created a challenge a few days ago on social networks to assist risk groups, and Guadalupe Roust, 21, along with her friends, put together a website for the same purpose. It is no coincidence: according to a 2019 study by the consulting firm Voices !, young people between 18 and 29 years old are the most committed and who, mainly, use networks to their advantage to encourage participation. For this reason, despite the quarantine in effect today, Facundo and Guadalupe plan to continue, since the rule allows the movement of people who must assist others with disabilities or the elderly, for example, bringing them medicine or food.

Good actions in the networks

“Hello, neighbors. I am Facu from 9 ° B. If you are over 60, you are sick or pregnant, you are alone and you need help to do the shopping; I can go for you! #QuedateEnCasa”.

So says the poster that Facundo Niizawa placed in the elevator of his building in Barrio Norte.

The idea of ​​writing it came to him through a friend who saw a similar action on social networks: “I have grandparents and thinking about them mobilizes me a lot. That is why I decided to do it,” says Facundo. However, a few days after the poster was pasted, he went out to the supermarket and found, once again, several adults over 65 doing their shopping alone. It was then, that

He decided to intensify his actions and set up the #MarketChallenge

to encourage more young people to serve vulnerable groups to tackle the coronavirus

.

“With simple gestures we can protect the lives of our grandparents and grandmothers,” wrote the young man in an Instagram post, which already has more than 400 “likes” and 30 comments. The challenge that he proposes consists of sticking a poster in the elevator or door of the buildings, to offer to make purchases of those people who are part of the risk groups and thus, avoid exposure to viral disease.


Facundo's publication on his Instagram account, where he invites all his followers to join the #MarketChallenge.
Facundo’s publication on his Instagram account, where he invites all his followers to join the #MarketChallenge. Credit: Kindness

Once the person places the note in their building, they must take a photo of it, share it on social networks with the

hashtag

“#MarketChallenge” and nominate five other people to do the same, to spark a chain of good deeds.

“Since we are all bored and with nothing to do during the quarantine, it seemed constructive to put ourselves at the service of the elderly, whose health is everyone’s responsibility,” says Facundo.

I found it constructive to put ourselves at the service of the elderly, whose health is everyone’s responsibility.

Facundo Niizawa, creator of the #MarketChallenge.

While you’re aware of the spread your challenge got, you don’t know exactly how many people are doing it. “At least 70 people shared it and congratulated me, but only about 11 sent me a photo of their pieces of paper and nominated others,” he says. Facundo hopes that this is the beginning and that many more collaborate to “take care of each other”:

“It never ceases to amaze me how in times of such selfishness, small actions sensitize and generate so much noise.

It is incredible how we Argentines become active, although our great challenge is to make this solidarity sustainable, “he concludes.

Initiatives that spread

When Guadalupe Roust talked to her friends earlier in the week about how they were living the suspension of classes due to the coronavirus, she couldn’t stop something from making a noise.

“We were talking about superficial things, like series or movies,” he says. However, she felt that it was time to take action and give a hand to others: she proposed to those present to create a group to help older adults, people with disabilities or who live alone and who needed supplies or medicine. “Everyone joined and even many more who were not there decided to participate; we ended up being 10”, he details.

That same night, friends wrote a message to spread on social networks and on WhatsApp:

“We offer ourselves to reach them with what they need for their subsistence … We are at your disposal to make your purchases and deliver them to you.”

At the end of the explanatory text, there were the telephone numbers of the referents of each neighborhood in the province of Buenos Aires.

The group of 10 friends spread a message via social networks and WhatsApp where they offered help to buy medicine or food for all those older adults, people with disabilities or who live alone and should be isolated.


The message of the group of friends on their website
The message of the group of friends on their website “Helping in Quarantine”. Credit: Screenshot

They sent the message without imagining the repercussion it would have.

A large part of the people who received it, forwarded it to acquaintances and many asked to participate in the initiative. “We were called by about 30 people who also wanted to help. We were receiving emails and a lot of calls,” says Guadalupe. So the group decided to expand and create the website

“Helping in quarantine”

, a kind of guide where all those willing to make purchases of those who have difficulties doing it on their own or are at risk are listed.

At the moment, they already have 17 volunteers, whose ages vary between 20 and 23 years old, in the areas of Belgrano, Caballito, Cardales, Martínez, Moreno, Núñez, Pilar, Saavedra, San Fernando and Urquiza.

Although Guadalupe recognizes that the task they carry out is not easy, since they must take extreme care of hygiene, both for their own good and that of the people they help, she ensures that they are prepared to do it without exposing themselves to the virus

: “My mom is a pharmacist and gave us all the supplies we need. We have chinstraps, rompers, gel alcohol and even special glasses,” he says. Also, if necessary, he says that they will ask for a permit to circulate on the street. “We must fight the coronavirus among all of us,” says the young woman.

We must fight the coronavirus together.

Guadalupe Roust, volunteer at

FURTHER

.


Publicado en el diario La Nación

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