A SCOTTISH student-led charity campaign is spreading across the UK and beyond to support the Disaster Emergency Committee’s coronavirus appeal.
It began as a regular class at Stirling university when the DEC’s Huw Owen gave a guest lecture to media students. He explained the DEC’s work: how they raise millions for the world’s least fortunate people, how they help rebuild after natural disasters destroy homes, how they protect children from disease. We created a dummy social media campaign to encourage young people to become involved in humanitarian aid.
A few months later, as coronavirus consumed the world and universities closed their doors, the campaign became real.
Students 4 Global Covid Aid launched on Instagram on July 14, supporting the DEC in their efforts to protect countries like Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan from the devastating effects of the coronavirus.
READ MORE: Coronavirus: How the DEC international appeal can help
In Scotland today, the biggest concerns include when we can revisit the pub and shop without a mask, but people in struggling countries – children in these countries – worry about survival on a daily basis.
Around half of the Yemeni people don’t have access to soap and water to wash their hands. Three million people live in the Syrian city of Idlib, over a third of them in tents and makeshift accommodation. In South Sudan last year, five million people lacked access to safe water; nearly seven million didn’t have enough food. We want to help these people.
Students are often shown in a bad light. We only care about drinking and complaining and we don’t know how lucky we are. We’re called snowflakes for caring and are laughed at for speaking out.
But here we stand. We’re working all day and studying at night and still find time to help those less fortunate. We don’t have much money but donate it anyway.
As we worked on the campaign it began to grow, adding students from other Scottish universities and even across the border to York, Leeds, and Nottingham.
READ MORE: Alison Phipps: There is a politics of death in asylum system
The campaign gained traction with support from Lord Jack McConnell, one of Scotland’s leading figures in international aid, and it’s even spread beyond the UK. Harlem Globetrotter Saul White Jr got behind the campaign, as well as LA-based comedian and writer Ginny Hogan.
It proves that every little helps. The efforts of a few students can spread across the world. A small donation can save lives.
Think about how easily we spend money: have you bought a coffee this week? A beer? A takeaway?
The cost of these little luxuries can mean survival for those in impoverished countries.
If you are or aren’t a snowflake, please join our campaign now on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/stories/students4globalcovidaid and feel free to start with the price of two fancy beers – £10