Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hopeful & Inspiring Stories Shared by Obama

All around the world, health professionals are at the front lines of this pandemic, giving all they have to selflessly care for their communities. One of our #ObamaLeaders wanted to make sure they were recognized for their bravery—and motivated to keep going. (@ObamaFoundation)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: March 21st, 2020

New York (TADIAS) – Here at Tadias as we continue covering news among the Ethiopian Diaspora community, amid the COVID-19 pandemic from our lockdown in New York City, we’re reassured of the indomitable human spirit through simple acts of kindness and people helping each other.

It was heartening to read this last week as Seattle Times highlighted the efforts of Ethiopian American Yadesa Bojia — an artist who has been actively involved in community work for a long time, and whom we first featured on our magazine 13 years ago. To improve health literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic Bojia launched a social media-based public service announcement campaign in Amharic to provide accurate and “scientifically grounded” information to the Ethiopian Community. More recently, People to People, Inc. (P2P), a U.S.-based network of Ethiopian healthcare professionals, also launched an online fundraising campaign for first responders in Ethiopia – a critical step to curb the pandemic in a nation that only had 10 physicians per 100,000 individuals (as reported by the World Bank in 2017).

It is likewise heartwarming to see the inspiring stories shared online by former President Barack Obama urging Americans to “stay hopeful” amid the viral outbreak. “Even in this uncertain time, we can still find reasons for hope,” Obama announced. “We’ve gathered stories of people from every corner of the globe carrying out selfless acts in this time of need.” He added: “Think of it as the virtual hug you (maybe) didn’t know you needed. Our team will continue to add to this steady stream of global hope, but we’d like your help. Tell us about the stories—big and small—that are lifting your spirits.

Among the stories shared by Obama include this Washington Post article featuring “neighborhood groups across the Washington area [that] are forming militias of caring and help.” President Obama also gave a shoutout to the NBA players who are donating money to cover salaries of hourly workers amid suspended season. In addition the former president spotlighted a tweet from the American musician Yo-Yo Ma, who had posted a video with the following note: “In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort. The first of my #SongsOfComfort: Dvořák – ‘Going Home.’” The encouraging stories are not limited to the U.S. as he also features people like the Singapore-based, Vivian Lim, who “organized a response for migrants in her community and coordinated volunteers to distribute masks, hand sanitizers, bar soaps, and personal hygiene awareness messages.”

As Obama noted: “We face a long road ahead – stay hopeful.”

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