Thousands of citizens in Bahrain have responded to the national volunteering campaign for confronting coronavirus, and positive reactions have spread among citizens and activists who stressed on the importance of participating in the volunteering campaign on the broadest level, including in the “medical and humanitarian fields”. Activists also stressed that voluntary work should enjoy “its humanitarian and national values continuously, and [should not] be limited to the time of confronting coronavirus”.  

According to the national team for confronting coronavirus, the first hours following the [announcement] of accepting volunteers witnessed “more than 12,700 citizens of men and women who filed in volunteering applications for taking part in the national volunteer campaign for confronting coronavirus”; and yesterday a website was launched for receiving applications for the campaign (www.volunteer.gov.bh).  

Activist Jawad Fayrouz encouraged the participation in this national campaign, and said: “If I were in Bahrain, I would have taken part in the national campaigns for confronting coronavirus”. Legal and political activists also announced their participation in the volunteer work with the national team, such as political activist Faadel Abbas, who assured his readiness for providing all that can be provided “for the sake of the Bahraini people”.

Volunteers among citizens and activists posted videos from centers specialized for medical quarantine, and invited in them for a participation in volunteering for “serving the nation and the community”.

The volunteering’s organization and comprehensiveness

An activist within a Bahraini civil society clarified that “volunteering in these circumstances reflects the highest levels of true citizenship, since the current situation is an actual war in which a deadly virus that is threatening to all, with no exceptions, is being confronted”.

The activist stressed that the civil society should contact the national team of the campaign to organize the volunteering procedure and collaborate with it on this matter. He said: “There are large numbers of citizens interested in volunteering, but there should be a mechanism that organizes the volunteering in accordance with the specialties of the volunteers and the needs required”. He emphasized that “volunteering should not be limited to the medical aspect, in quarantine centers and such, but should vary among different humanitarian aspects, including living requirements, social needs, and other requirements related to the effects of the public medical crisis and the procedures adopted before it”.

Medical Dignity… and National Rapprochement

On the other hand, one activist specialized in legal affairs commented on the volunteering campaign by saying that it is“among the important and necessary issues”, but he called on for having “a humanitarian vision and a national goal behind the volunteering, and behind all forms of social and collective solidarity in confronting coronavirus”. He considered that “the volunteering of members and sectors within the civil society, and the participation of citizens in general in volunteer work is a reflection of the noble values that exist in society, and the effects of these values should sustain even after being done with coronavirus, as it is incorrect for us to posses such values only during times of crisis and emergencies, our collective values should rather extend further”.  

According to the activist, a number of citizens and activists quickly realized what volunteer work could accomplish in terms of humanitarian and national roles alike, and this requires “the adherence of society and the state to the principle of medical dignity on the one hand, and to a strategic national rapprochement on the other”. He clarified that:“Citizens and authorities must commit to the principle of medical dignity, by respecting the value of the infected individual or the individuals that are suspected of getting infected, and sparing them of all sorts of psychological and materialistic mistreatment or offenses, providing public medical care, and respecting their choices and decisions in terms of the medical situation”.

Moreover, the activist adds that volunteer work during wars and public emergencies should be “the most appropriate space for achieving the highest levels of national rapprochement, and with the absence of this strategy in the thinking and the policies of the civil society and the state, this volunteer work loses its most significant role in the contemporary time and in the future, which is enhancing the values of equal citizenship, spreading tolerance, cooperation, and compassion, and putting an end to all reasons of stress and division through settling a full national rapprochement”.