As our world faces the unprecedented challenge of fighting the novel coronavirus, we must acknowledge that we are living through a very unique time in modern human history. While some of us are facing challenges in making lifestyle adjustments to shelter in place, others are facing significant constraints, battling isolation, struggling with unemployment and financial uncertainty, or fulfilling a call of duty to protect communities and loved ones.

Accordingly, the Global Encounters Alumni Association and other youth from around the world have joined hands to initiate, encourage, and share acts of service and kindness that are appropriate in today’s new context of physical distancing. Specifically, we invite all youth to partner and collaborate with us through the #OneJamatServes social media campaign.

This is part of the broader Ismaili CIVIC initiative in which members of the Jamat around the world unite around a common mission to serve humanity, by rendering voluntary service. This service reflects the Ismaili community’s ethic of civic engagement and good citizenship, and puts into action our ethics of service, peace, compassion, and care.

Through online challenges that involve completing and posting acts of service from home and nominating friends and family to join and do the same, we hope to inspire hope and connection while supporting those who are most vulnerable and those improving our communities and our environment. The campaign is already underway on Instagram and Facebook, with service ideas being posted every week. 

This is a time of adversity for our global community. Mawlana Hazar Imam recently provided the following guidance in his message to global Jamat: “The world is facing a challenging time, and in these moments it is important that the Jamat remains united and focused on helping those who will need assistance and hand-holding.” We must, therefore, think about adapting to these circumstances to ensure that we continue to contribute, and are prepared to rebuild and thrive when this crisis passes. 

Our historic tradition of service and volunteerism is a key mechanism through which we can do this. All of us can make a difference. Our youth are uniquely positioned to support, serve, and meaningfully lead our community with innovative ideas, tireless energy, and a perspective that is forward-looking and especially talented at adapting to changing circumstances. To all youth and the global Jamat: let’s come together and be part of #OneJamatServes from the comfort of our homes, for all of humanity.