Despite the importance of physical distance, which can mean health these days, volunteering has shown different, beautiful, and in many aspects, new colours of social connection and solidarity.
Since the first day of the covid19 pandemic crisis, citizens have responded and launched numerous volunteer initiatives demonstrating the importance of a vibrant and responsive civil society in reaffirming the spirit of a resilient and caring community. The greatest contribution that civil society and volunteers are giving to all of us is a reminder of the importance of our common good and widening the space of opportunities to revive awareness and engagement to appreciate it more.
Until now, much of volunteering has relied on live contact, which is actually one of the key benefits of civil society and volunteering, the value of real social networks and eyeto-eye relationships. In the times of health risks and social distancing civil society and volunteers, once again have found courage and methods to reach and help the most vulnerable among us. Despite the importance of physical distance, which can mean health these days, volunteering has shown different, beautiful, and in many aspects, new colours of social connection and solidarity.
This small virus reminded us of our fragility and interdependence, as well as how important it is, and I mean of life's importance in these situations, for everyone to have equal opportunities. The crisis has made our existing problems more visible. Poverty, limited access to health care, attitudes towards the marginalized, stigmatization of the sick, fragile democracies, populism and fake news are just some of the phenomena that can make life more difficult for some.
That is why it is important for civil society organizations to act and engage volunteers to promote the values of solidarity and social equality, , warn about inequality, marginalization and discrimination, seeking transparency and respect for human rights, sharing their expertise with others, helping them reach out and help people in need and share good and positive stories. This is, at the moment, the most valuable contribution to the health, vitality and resilience of society.
There seems to be an increased awareness in society that this situation affects all of us and that we should all act. Indeed, this situation has clearly shown us the importance of our common ground, personal responsibility, and the quality of interpersonal relationships.
This pandemic has created a completely unknown world that has stopped to protect and save the most vulnerable among us. We live in a moment where there is so much we do not know, but one thing is for sure, solidarity and people who care can literally mean life. I hope we will take that insight into the future.