How UNESCO Youth and Sport Task Force cope with COVID-19 in Southeast Asia
07 April 2020
“We are united in our passion for sport and our belief in its power to keep people connected."
“We are united in our passion for sport and our belief in its power to keep people connected. We will be using the values of sport to help us get through this difficult time, together.”
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic affected us all. We are concerned that this global health emergency is already having negative impact on economies, on livelihoods and our wellbeing. Without much warning, we are finding ourselves engaged in the common fight against this new challenge.
While we are locking ourselves down and self-isolating to defeat the virus, we declare our resolve to use the spirit of sport: friendship, solidarity, empathy for others, cooperation, and the mutual respect to overcoming this challenge, together. We, the members of UNESCO’s Youth and Sport Task Force, are actively supporting each other, as well as our communities, in using the power of sport to heal, to come together, to promote mental health, and to maintain physical wellbeing.
The Youth and Sport Task Force represent creative, passionate and innovative young leaders across Asia and the Pacific who use sport as a tool for positive social change in their communities. These young leaders and activists are using sport to make a difference: to empower young women and girls, to promote tolerance, to counter extremism, to reach out to the vulnerable and marginalized, to educate about the environment, to promote the values of respect, empathy, and fairness.
To see how the members of the Youth and Sport Task Force are helping communities cope with the COVID 19 related challenges, check out the following story of Yik Wan Chee (Rico)
Rico (Yik Wai Chee) - Malaysia
Rico has stepped up and joined Oslo-based Young Sustainable Impact's (YSI) "Solution for COVID-19 innovation programme" remotely as a mentor to guide and strategize effective digital solutions by new non-profit startups to solve and mitigate some of the severe negative impacts caused by COVID-19 pandemic globally in the area of legal advice, logistics risk management, and strategic communications.
He aims to deploy some of the skills gained from supporting large scale sports events into supporting logistics/resources deployment in identifying potential mass quarantine venues that can be converted into temporary medical facilities not just for all confirmed cases but also front line workers who may have very high risks of getting infected themselves in different parts of the world through this YSI special program which works with multilevel stakeholders.
As sport is one of the worst-hit sectors due to this pandemic, Rico engages in it actively.
I want to be the change that I want to see to make direct and immediate efforts to help put this currently bad situation to an end to reduce the casualties and losses caused to the world community.
Rico, member of the Youth and Sport Task Force
It is a time to remember those who are most vulnerable, the elders and those with existing medical conditions, and the millions of voiceless people living among us – the homeless, the poor, the forcefully displaced people, and many other marginalized groups and individuals. We urge all our member and our friends and followers, in the spirit of sport, to:
Follow closely the instructions of experts and health authorities in national governments and the World Health Organization on how to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and everyone else.
Be vigilant against accepting and spreading disinformation and misinformation about the pandemic and related issues on social media.
Be very active on the available online platforms and use the available information technologies to continue communicating, planning, exchanging ideas, organizing online mutual activities, etc.
Use the time for meditation, introspection, critical thinking, and mental preparation for building a better world.
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization