“Our initiatives are destined to help and support the communities most affected by the new normal”

Anca Helps local businesses and hospital staff during the pandemic Romania, Bucharest

To help local businesses survive forced closure during the lockdown, Anca had an idea. She invited her Facebook community to purchase gift cards from these businesses, to be used as soon as they could reopen their doors. “In less than 24 hours the campaign was all over social media”, she says. "The online booking platform CardCadou decided to partner with us and the initiative now includes over 140 small businesses across Romania”. But Anca was still eager to find new ways of helping. She additionally developed a new platform called Coffee for Hospitals where people can buy coffee vouchers for hospital workers. “Thanks to #cafeapentruspitale, we have brought tons of quality coffee to hospitals in Bucharest and five other Romanian cities”, Anca told us. The reactions from doctors and nurses was so positive that coffee roaster The Barn Berlin decided to bring the initiative to Germany.

“My aim is to help sort and arrange homes and belongings in a more meaningful way”

Diana Shows how our living conditions influence our wellbeing Romania, Bucharest

As the pandemic has forced us to do our jobs from home, creating a conducive home environment has become especially urgent. Diana has created her own organizing method, #MareaOrganizare (#TheGreatOrganizingProject), to encourage sustainable living. It includes activities, ideas, and practical tips to make organizing our houses easy, fun, and flexible. People participating in the midst of the pandemic said it helped them to stay focused on something practical and positive, making their living space more suitable to the new reality. A system that entails decluttering may seem counter-intuitive during a time when most are stocking up their pantries. But Diana says cleaning and organizing can be a calming activity. Before rushing to buy more groceries, for instance, she says it’s imperative to take stock of what we already have at home, discarding expired goods and arranging items so you can clearly see them.

“We help those most at risk by delivering groceries to them. A simple idea, with lots of different people involved, who have one common definition of solidarity. What could be more European than that?”

Marian Protects those most vulnerable to infection Romania, Bucharest

If you are an older person, have underlying health conditions, or suffer from a disability, the idea of getting out to shop for essential groceries and medication can be frightening. With its GROCERIES AT YOUR DOOR initiative, Geeks for Democracy takes on that burden for you. The team delivers food kits created in partnership with a doctor and dietician, a kit comprising basic hygiene and cleaning products, and even medication. "We have a process in place that allows doctors and patients to email their prescriptions directly to pharmacies", says Marian. GROCERIES AT YOUR DOOR is fully operational in Bucharest and its surroundings, as well as nine other regions in Romania. Their national call centre takes orders from those in need, while over 450 volunteers ensure that everything is correctly processed and delivered. They also partner with other NGOs to help deliver basic food and hygiene products to vulnerable communities.

“There is a need for great social solidarity during this period when our country is being tested”

Adi Runs the humanitarian project Solidar Social Romania, Bucharest

“Solidar Social” is a humanitarian project created by chef Adi Hădean that, along with dozens of volunteer chefs, prepares daily warm meals for medical staff in Bucharest hospitals and older people living in isolation. The team prepares and delivers 1 200 warm meals per day, which is only possible due to the the support of volunteers, and donations from private companies and individuals. "Solidar Social started out of necessity, and we're helping with what we know how to do best: feeding people. We need everyone's contribution to make everything come together. Preparing 1 200 warm meals is not easy, so we need support in many areas, from food sourcing, to logistics, to the donation of protective equipment" said Chef Adi Hădean. So far, the "Solidar Social" team has delivered over 26 000 warm meals to those in need.  Long-term, the Adi Hădean Foundation aims to develop this humanitarian project throughout Romania, to provide the greatest possible relief to those in need.

“I'm always aiming to use social media for social good”

Alin Dedicates himself to exposing fake news Romania, Bucharest

When Alin started to spot misinformation about COVID-19 spreading in his social media feed, he knew this was exactly where he needed to focus the work of his NGO. The internet empowers all aspects of human nature, and that includes the unattractive ones: we are simultaneously giving people unprecedented access to knowledge while contending with a rapid increase in misinformation. This is why Alin created "Just" (which in Romanian means "according to the truth"), a series of Instagram stories that aims to correct misinformation about COVID-19 and improve critical thinking skills. Twice per week, thousands of viewers tune in, and hundreds of them are interacting with Just's stories and questions. Viewers can guess whether they just watched a real news story or a fake one, and are often surprised to find out the result. Always look out for reliable sources and avoid spreading fake news. Check our short guide on how to recognise COVID-19 myths at http://epfacebook.eu/Myths

“It's important to show we care, especially in these difficult times”

Ioana Provides support to elderly and at risk relatives Romania, Oradea

Promoting togetherness and European solidarity is key during this troubling and difficult time. Ioana is a great example of how you don't have to look far from home in order to find someone who might need help. That could be practical, like shopping for groceries or running errands, or social, like keeping each other company through phone and video calls. Due to social distancing, some people may feel more alone than usual, but there are many tools at our disposal to minimise these feelings. By showing others your interpretation of #EuropeansAgainstCovid19 you can be an inspiration to the community around you, helping to bolster positivity and resilience just like Ioana.