Humanitarian organisation Plan International Australia has today launched #ActsofAwesome, a campaign designed for Australians cooped up at home to help them keep connected through the COVID-19 public health emergency.
We are all shocked by the speed and impact of the virus in Australia and the rest of the world, with so many facing job losses. The actions we all now need to take will have a profound effect on our families, friends, workplaces and the communities we live in.
The government has asked Australians to self-isolate and to take even greater steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. These measures may become even stricter. So, as we shift to a new way of working and living, it has never been more important for us all to come together and take care of one another.
The #ActsofAwesome campaign aims to do just that by helping people stay connected with one another and to look after their mental health. A recent poll in the UK found that 62% found it hard to stay optimistic about the future since the outbreak. This loss of optimism was more pronounced in younger generations and women.
But our physical isolation does not need to mean we are emotionally isolated, and belonging to a group can help us all feel safe and valued.
Each morning, Plan International Australia will announce on their Facebook page what the #ActsofAwesome challenge is for the day. Teams and individuals then take on the challenge from home to show kindness and stay connected while we physically distance, sharing these challenges with colleagues, friends and the community.
These daily challenges could include writing a letter to a co-worker or friend outlining what you most admire about them, or a letter to yourself for when all of this is over. Some challenges are more physical, or more creative, while others are just for fun.
The week one challenges – launching today - include:
- Monday – Kindness: Words of encouragement. Write a letter to a co-worker outlining what you most admire about them and post it them via good old-fashioned snail mail. They’ll thank you in 3-5 days. Can’t get to the post? Write a letter to your future self and seal it up to open when this is all over.
- Tuesday – Physical: Steps challenge See how many steps you can rack up just by wandering around the house and yard. Use your phone to track it and share the results come close of business. Who won? Who woefully lost?
- Wednesday – Creative: Ready, steady, cook! What new creation or most inventive meal can you create just from your panic-bought staples? Snap a pic and share with your team.
- Thursday – Kindness: Don’t forget your global community. It’s a tense time for all of us, but we know Australia is well positioned to respond to this crisis. We have excellent hospitals and support. But other communities aren’t so lucky. They may not have access to running water, soap or even the means to socially-distance. Learn more about how Plan International is preparing to support the world’s most vulnerable communities through this crisis. And if you can, consider donating to our appeal to help us to help them. It all helps!
- Friday – Just for fun: From where you'd rather be. Chances are we won’t be going abroad for a while, but we can dream. Plan your ultimate holiday... where would you go and who would you take?
COVID-19 has already changed our world, but it’s also made us realise we’re more connected than ever before. In so many ways, we are fortunate to live in a place such as Australia, where we have access to excellent medical care, good nutrition and, of course, soap and clean water.
So the secondary aim of the #ActsofAwesome campaign is to raise much-needed awareness and funds to help the global effort to fight COVID-19. Cases are continuing to rise in Africa, South Asia and the Pacific — regions with very fragile health care systems and little resources to fight the pandemic.
About Plan International Australia
Put simply, we’re the charity for girls’ equality. We tackle the root causes of poverty, support communities through crisis, campaign for gender equality, and help governments do what’s right for children and particularly for girls. We believe a better world is possible. An equal world; a world where all children can live happy and healthy lives, and where girls can take their rightful place as equals.