We Are Staying Active around the Med

A friend in need is a friend indeed – and boy, is it true. Solidarity and cooperation are on the rise in this state of emergency. We have collected a few stories on how Rotaract clubs from all over our MDIO are serving their communities in times of COVID-19.

May these projects inspire you and encourage you to share yours by filling out our Google form.

Morocco: From gift baskets to Coronathon

Following the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in Morocco, the country’s Rotaract clubs began to raise awareness of the spread of the disease with posters and videos. Having received alerts from blood donation centres on low blood stock levels, they encouraged Rotaractors and others to donate blood, as well as set up an online application system in order to avoid the gathering of donors on-site and reduce the risk of contagion.

Cafés, restaurants and other services were forced to shut down; families have stopped receiving housekeepers and many people have suddenly found themselves unemployed. Therefore, Rotaractors have been working on a database of uninsured people that lost their jobs as well as 430 families in order to offer them gift baskets for the month of April.

The Moroccan government established a national fund to manage the epidemic. Consequently, Rotary Morocco launched an initiative called Coronathon that Rotaract Morocco joined by transfering their district grant and annual membership fees.

Additionally, Rotaractors regularly organise live online sessions for spending quality time at home, personal development and entertainment.

Tunisia: Wide variety of online activities

Spreading love, positivity and entertainment, each evening with a different subject, is the main purpose of The Rotaract Gift, a project initiated by the National Coordination of Rotaract Clubs in Tunisia on March 20 on the Facebook page Rotaract Tunisie (Coordination Nationale).

The daily live session that takes place around 7 or 8 PM (GMT +1) offers a variety of subjects and performances to satisfy every taste. Its uniqueness lies in all speakers and performers being Rotaractors from different clubs, which gives them the opportunity to show their talents and skills. “We plan to continue until the world gets better,” they say.

So far, among others, they have already hosted:

  • -A DJ set (DJ JBOY, Jihed Othmen, Rotaract Club Tunis Didon Amilcar);
  • -A musical performance (Molka Yahyaoui, Rotaract Club el Mourouj);
  • -Laughter yoga (Ahmed Ben Rahal, Rotaract Club Tunis el Menzah);
  • -Team management training (Asma Selmi, Rotaract Club ISCAE Manouba);
  • -Miss Tunisia 2019 Success Story (Sabrine Khalifa Mansour, Rotaract Club Mahdia);
  • -A cardio fitness session (M’hamed Fourati, Rotaract Club Sfax Métropole);
  • -The Rotaract Mediterranean experience (Rotaract Mediterranean president Salva Amoros Dobón, Rotaract Club Valencia);
  • -Traditional music (Hezb Mahdia) performance (Ali Rjab, Rotaract Club Mahdia).

Slovenia: Donating treats to show gratitude

Rotaract club Kranj expressed their gratitude to those who work really hard in this difficult time. With their initiative Sendvičarna, they wrote a letter of encouragement to medical staff, firefighters, Civil Protection and Red Cross volunteers in Domžale; and donated them sandwiches.

The initiative goes on in cooperation with Caritas Kranj by donating sandwiches and salads to economically disadvantaged individuals and families, and doughnuts to the staff of the University Clinic of Golnik.

They believe that even with small acts of kindness, we can help those in need and thank those who are selflessly working 24/7 so that we can stay healthy and safe. They have also invited other Slovenian Rotaract clubs to follow their example.

Lebanon: Breaking myths and paying attention to mental health

The information that is out there is not necessarily all true. This is why Rotaract Lebanon has launched a social media campaign that draws attention to myths regarding the novel coronavirus, and explains them. They are also raising funds to provide equipment for public hospitals.

One of the very well visited online events was a hatha yoga session by Rotaract Club Sahel Metn that also hosts e-trivia nights. Their upcoming videoconference (April 6) will focus on mental health – how to fight anxiety during lockdown.

France: Knitting for babies and what you can do individually

The world is a weird place to be born into at the moment Rotaract Terr’Azur is not forgetting about premature babies. Since isolation gives space to creativity, their initiative #1pelotepour1prema is an invitation to knit clothes or blankets that hospitals will later offer to parents of premature babies.

And how can you help your community on your own?

Our Marketing Coordinator Hanh shares tips from her personal experience:

“Check websites of the Civil Protection and other organisations to see if they are looking for anything in particular – helping those in need without putting ourselves in danger. In France, where I live, we are only allowed to go out for grocery-shopping, and that takes time. I do that for my elderly neighbors. They are more sensitive and it is not advised for them to leave their homes. I also look after my other neighbor’s children  – she is a nurse and while she is at work, she is unable to leave them in the kindergarten. One can also call people who live alone.”

Got a personal story or a club project to share? Do not hesitate to tell us all about it.

Photo: Rotaract Club FTSM Marina; Rotaract Tunisie (Coordination Nationale); Rotaract klub Kranj; Rotaract Club of Sahel Metn

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