• “Meeting this unprecedented challenge will take more than innovation. Collaboration and solidarity are key”

    Tomás Developing a vaccine against Covid-19 Spain, Santiago de Compostela

    Developing a vaccine would be a game changer in the fight against Covid-19. Tomas Pose, Natalia Barreiro, Rebeca Menaya, and José Manuel Martínez Costas are the team behind such a project in a lab at the CIQUS building, University of Santiago de Compostela. Their work consists of programming cells, of any origin, to produce microspheres that absorb the proteins of the virus. As in any other project aimed at developing a vaccine, the goal is to have our body generate an immune response that stops the virus. According to Tomas, developing a vaccine could take more than a year, as the process entails up to three clinical trials before the vaccine can be considered safe to be used on humans. However, the innovative system created exclusively in this lab shows great promise. Recently the Carlos III Health Institute, part of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, supported the team with 150 000 euros so that a crucial new phase of the project could begin.

  • “Caregivers, you're not alone. Our community psychologists, general practitioners, and psychiatrists are available 24/7”

    Eric Enables medical staff on the front lines to receive psychological support by tele-consultation, through the SPS hotline France, Paris

    Despite the encouraging figures in the fight against the pandemic, caregivers and other health professionals are facing increasing burnout. Increasing levels of anxiety and stress among social and medical workers have unfortunately become commonplace. In order to address this problem, the association SPS (Soins aux Professionnels en Santé) offers psychological support and assistance free of charge since November 2016. Their helpline, which is free, anonymous and confidential, has received more than 2,500 calls from all over France since March 23, and with nearly a third coming from the Île-de-France region. With a 100% response rate, the service provides 24/7 support for caregivers, nurses and doctors who are suffering from anxiety, exhaustion or work-related problems. After so many days and nights spent caring for patients, caregivers are now in need of our support. Our mission is to be there with them, to support and help them in the fight against COVID-19.

  • “The best solutions are the ones we create together”

    Todor Organised a hackathon to help tackle the consequences of the pandemic Bulgaria, Sofia

    Todor launched the Hack the Crisis Bulgaria hackathon in March to help find solutions to the many problems caused by the pandemic. 850 people participated in this initiative, resulting in 111 ideas to help alleviate the consequences of the crisis. There are three main objectives to the projects: saving lives, saving communities, and saving businesses. The second phase of the initiative began at the end of April, with 30 selected projects now soon to be launched and new ones to be selected. While Todor initiated the idea, the hackathon would not have been possible without the incredible support of a wide variety of Bulgarian entrepreneurs and staff who all contributed their time and effort free of charge in order to make the event a success.

  • “We can only win the battle against this invisible enemy through science, technology, entrepreneurial mindset and human bravery”

    Mouna Working on the first COVID-19 antibody test in Sweden Sweden, Stockholm

    After surviving a dramatic journey as a refugee, Dr. Mouna is recognized today as one of the most distinguished professionals in the medical technology industry in Sweden. She is a medical doctor, neuroscientist, entrepreneur and TV personality. Dr. Mouna has been a pioneer in the field of preventive and personalized medicine. In the fight against Covid, she has been one of the initiators of a private initiative introducing the first COVID-19 antibody test in Sweden. This test has been scientifically validated by the Akademiska University Hospital and Uppsala University in Sweden.

  • “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 keep working to feed my community”

    Maxi Runs a small family-owned countryside restaurant Germany, Hirten, Rhineland-Palatinate

    Maxi could have closed her restaurant and received support from the government. However, as she lives in a rural area with few food options, she decided to launch a takeaway and delivery service to support her local community. She and her family now deliver food to elderly and vulnerable people at no extra charge. The EU, too, has kept working to support local communities, with the European Solidarity Fund set up to financially support disaster-stricken European regions.

  • “Everybody has the right to access reliable and fact-based information about health”

    Anni Dedicates her time to answering questions about COVID-19 on Instagram Finland, Helsinki

    Anni is a doctor with a passion for sharing information on health and science on social media, in a way everyone can understand. She strongly believes that everybody has the right to access reliable and fact-based information. This is invaluable during health crises, where people are desperate for reassurance about their health fears. They take answers wherever they can find them, often leading to misunderstandings or misinformation. To avoid this, Anni has been very active in answering questions on her Instagram account @laakari.anni (Doctor Anni). Fighting misinformation is such a high priority that the Finnish government has even enlisted social media influencers to help them in spreading awareness about the situation.

    Fighting disinformation is also a top priority of the EU. It has worked with the main social media platforms to promote legitimate content and to hide or take down misleading, illegal and harmful content. In addition, Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová is meeting Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and others to discuss what they've done so far and what else they can do to help. Finally, the EU has exposed over 110 disinformation narratives on the coronavirus and shared the facts at https://euvsdisinfo.eu.

  • “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

  • “We are committed to doing our part to make a COVID-19 vaccine available and affordable as quickly as possible”

    Pan-European consortium for a fast-track development of a single-dose COVID19 vaccine Joined forces to develop and manufacture a novel adenovirus-based vaccine Belgium, Brussels

    To protect high-risk groups, contain the spread of the disease, and mitigate the burden on healthcare systems, a vaccine is urgently required. Besides developing a safe and protective vaccine, it is equally important to manufacture millions of affordable vaccine doses in record time. In support of these objectives, three European biotech companies have formed a pan-European consortium. Italian ReiThera Srl., German LEUKOCARE AG, and Belgian Univercells S.A., have announced a collaboration for the development and manufacture of a vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine candidate is expected to enter clinical trials during summer 2020 with large-scale vaccine production planned to start soon after. The partners will combine their unique expertise in vector-based vaccine development, vaccine formulation, and manufacturing, respectively. The EU has also organised an online fundraiser that aims to raise an initial €7.5 billion for vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics to fight the coronavirus worldwide.

  • “The most important thing in life is the value you create for other people”

    Rasmus Helps people affected by COVID-19 with everyday tasks Denmark, Aalborg

    The Danish Red Cross has set up a network of 17 000 volunteers, who are on stand-by to help people affected by COVID-19 with everyday tasks. The volunteers assist those in isolation with grocery shopping, walking the dog, and other practical errands. Rasmus Lundby is one such volunteer, and every day he and his daughter walk the dog of a woman who is part of a high risk group. "I’m a high school teacher, so I’m spending a lot of my time in front of my screen on virtual teaching. But occasionally, I have the chance to get out and enjoy the sunny spring, because I’m walking a dog", he says. Rasmus finds it very important to volunteer, and that is something, he would like to pass on to his daughter. "I find, that the most important to life, is the value, you create for people", he says.

  • “We are now working with additional food producers, whom we will partner with to distribute more meals, so we can support more people in need”

    Anna Donates surplus food to social welfare organisations Greece, Athens

    As it has been necessary to close the hospitality sector to protect public health, some countries have seen an increase in food surpluses. Certain charities have also suspended their operations, for example soup kitchens offering cooked meals, in order to avoid mass gatherings of people. Anna, who works for the Greek non-profit organization Boroume, has been helping to reduce food waste in Greece during the pandemic. Through the organisation's "Saving & Offering Food" programme, which connects food businesses with charitable organisations, more than 24 000 meals are distributed each day in Greece to people facing food insecurity. Municipalities – through their social care units – have also been entrusted to provide additional support to vulnerable groups (e.g. aid at home to persons in self-isolation). Therefore, Boroume has been directing much of the above mentioned quantities of donated food to municipal social pantries.

  • “Put love and imagination into everything you do”

    Yolanda and Aitana Help older people and those with underlying medical problems during the quarantine Spain, Madrid

    In many countries, older people are facing the most threats and challenges at this time. Although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significant risk of developing severe illness if they contract the disease due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions. Yolanda and her daughter Aitana have made it their mission to help the older people in their lives during this difficult time. Aitana ensures her grandparents have enough to eat, helping put together a shopping list that her mother can buy and deliver outside their door. They stay in regular contact over video calls so her grandparents feel less socially isolated and more supported. Yolanda also assists the older adults in their building who have become more dependent on others. By taking their garbage out and collecting medicines they need from the pharmacy, she makes lives much easier for these people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

  • “Our hope and desire to help are what makes us keep breathing”

    PNEUMA Team Developed a low-cost and easy to assemble ventilator for hospitals Portugal, Porto

    Hospitals face massive demand for ventilators. That’s why a multidisciplinary team in Porto, led by INESC TEC, is developing PNEUMA, a low-cost and easy to assemble device. The main goal of this alternative ventilator is to free up conventional machines for critical cases. This technology acts as an alternative to invasive ventilation for patients with acute respiratory failure requiring respiratory rate control. It is also a solution in the event of a critical shortage of ventilators. European scientists are at the forefront of global research and innovation in medicine, working across borders to improve healthcare systems together. This includes EU support for startups and small and medium companies with new ideas to fight the virus. The European Innovation Council Accelerator's funding call offers €164 million to help them get their ideas off the ground.

  • “Protecting our health workers is the most important thing. We can't stop COVID-19 without them”

    Lucia and Simon Created a civic platform to help frontline health workers and vulnerable people Slovakia, Bratislava

    Lucia and Simon founded 'Kto Pomôže Slovensku' - 'Who Helps Slovakia' - to organise volunteers and collect donations for essential equipment for health workers. After only a month, they raised nearly 1 million euros from companies and individual donations. Medical staff and those working with vulnerable people (e.g. in assisted living facilities) received thousands of the items they needed thanks to the organisation - including face masks, ventilators, protective suits, and disinfectants. The initiative also supports psychological assistance centres for people of all ages. EU Member States, too, have been lending each other a helping hand. 26 have joined forces, with EU help, to make joint purchases of equipment, vaccines, and antivirals. While European citizens coordinate action in their countries, other European partners stand ready to support them in our common fight against coronavirus.

  • “Active learning is very important. Where better to practice this than in your own home?”

    Annieke Developed a home learning method for primary school children The Netherlands, Nijensleek

    Annieke Otten teaches at the De Bron primary school in Nijensleek and wanted to turn confinement into an opportunity to make learning at home more effective for parents and children. So she has developed her own online teaching method: "The learning challenge". This home learning method became a nationwide success. On the basis of games, puzzles and quests, the method helps children with languages and arithmetic. Children learn fractions with the help of orange segments, they learn to count by collecting coins and they develop language skills by looting all products with an 'S' from the pantry. The Facebook and Instagram pages "Learning Challenge" are available online and Annieke publishes a language and math assignment four times a week. The assignments are picked up nationally by different teachers.

  • “Great to be part of the wave of kindness rolling all over Lithuania and thus, contributing to the fight against Covid-19”

    Tadas Working in a library that is focusing on innovative solutions to battle Covid-19 Lithuania, Kaunas

    Kaunas Municipal Vincas Kudirka Public Library in Lithuania has swiftly refocused its efforts to fight against COVID19 by producing simple but efficient hands-free door handles. The library’s team ‘employed’ all available 3D printers to manufacture attachable door devices that allow people to open doors without gripping the handle. In addition to this innovation, the team of librarians and IT engineers printed hundreds of protective face shields for medical workers.

  • “To wear or not to wear masks? How to protect ourselves? I filled in the gap by sharing my expertise and I do hope that my message convinced at least some to stay at home”

    Mindaugas Doctor working in a Spanish hospital and sharing his advice for Lithuanians on YouTube Spain, Lleida

    Mindaugas Gudelis has been working as a doctor at FC Barcelona since before the Covid-19 outbreak. In the very first days of the epidemic, he offered to join the frontlines at Lleida hospital in Spain and, in addition, started sharing engaging, fact-based videos that spread quickly and widely on social media in Lithuania.

  • “By helping a single person, we can help everyone”

    Halin Volunteers to support COVID-19 testing Cyprus, Nicosia

    Laboratory diagnostics are key in the fight against COVID-19 as their tests obtain information that will aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this virus. Scientists like Halin are working towards these solutions. Halin is a Turkish Cypriot and works as a volunteer helping in diagnostic PCR testing. With so many experts working on finding a solution, the EU has committed to boosting their investigations with 47.5 million euros for 17 new COVID-19 related projects. 

  • “All students should have access to high quality education while staying at home”

    Maria EdTech entrepreneur working to ensure equal access to e-learning devices Estonia, Tallinn

    Solidarity and mutual help are more important than ever, to get through the COVID-19 pandemic together. With this in mind, María is connecting Estonian families so that they can help each other on a specific issue. While Estonian students are asked to attend e-learning classes from home, not all of them can do so, due to the lack of electronic devices such as laptops or tablets. Thanks to María’s project “A computer for every student”, families who have unused devices at home or in the office can give them to those who don’t, and ensure that every student has access to distance learning. 1200 computers have been traded between families in less than a month.

  • “Art is the mirror of humanity. It encourages us, offers hope and lifts our spirit”

    Ana Ventura Manages a platform where artists can perform and get paid by the audience Portugal, Torres Vedras

    Think Arts, Think Business, Make Culture! This is the motto of the platform RHI Stage, created by Arte Institute at RHI-Think.com, where artists can perform and get paid for it. The impact of COVID-19 on the European member states has affected many industries. The culture sector is no exception. The EU set up Creative Europe to provide loans to small and medium enterprises in the cultural and creative sectors. It also set up the ESI Funds, to provide support in the form of loans and guarantees. It is encouraging to see that communities all over the EU can support artists in their work, showing solidarity to artists through art itself.

  • “Helping people stay healthy is all that matters”

    Julia Works extra shifts in a pharmacy to help people stay healthy Germany, Altötting

    Julia has been working as a technical assistant in a pharmacy for three years, and her workload has never been so heavy as during the last few weeks. In the current situation, pharmacists are playing a crucial role in communities across Europe, providing information, counsel and medications to their clients. Slowing the spread of the virus could not be done without people like Julia, as pharmacies are often the first place where people seek information about safety measures, symptoms and how to treat them. They also alleviate the workload of health professionals, who are under tremendous pressure. There are many such European heroes working in pharmacy and health science . To help with this burden, the European Union is funding 18 research projects and 140 teams across Europe working around the clock to find a vaccine for the coronavirus.

  • “We shifted production from clothes to masks. It was the right thing to do”

    Anna Employs vulnerable women in the production of reusable masks Italy, Verona

    Anna is the founder and CEO of Quid Impresa Sociale, a project that provides opportunities to vulnerable women in the creation of items made from recycled materials. This April they started the production of masks made out of a special no-drip and antimicrobial fabric, washable up to 15 times. To switch production to this kind of mask they applied to the Italian National Health Institute and received the necessary certification to distribute them as Category I medical devices. Working with members of Legacoop, Italy's trade association of cooperatives, it is one of many joint efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

  • “Our mission: feeding frontline heroes”

    Saviour and Daniel Provided meals for hospital staff Malta, Balzan

    The Bottarga Gourmet Fish Shop in Malta is proud to take responsibility for making sure frontline hospital staff are well fed. They have volunteered their time to prepare meals for personnel at Mater Dei hospital. The chefs see this as their way of contributing to efforts against the pandemic and of showing their appreciation for those putting themselves at risk to help the sick. All over Europe, people are using their skills and resources to support our healthcare heroes.

  • “ We're good at coming together when times get tough”

    Patrick Keeps his distillery open to produce essential items Ireland, Drumshanbo

    Based in Leitrim, during normal times Patrick's business produces gin and whiskey. As needs have changed, so has his production. Today, his team provides hand sanitizer for pharmacies, medics, shops, and charities across the west of Ireland. All over Europe, people are adapting their professions to support their healthcare colleagues in the fight against the pandemic.

  • “Solidarity means that we are willing to put ourselves at risk to protect other people”

    Ignacio Provided masks to the Guardia Civil who were working without protection Spain, Madrid

    Ignacio was lucky enough to receive a stock of masks from friends living in Singapore. While on his way to work, he noticed that members of the Guardia Civil - who were making sure people were respecting the safety rules during confinement - were working without any protective gear. Ignacio offered to share his stock of masks with the police staff, who were deeply moved by his proposition.

  • “It is important for children to keep smiling”

    Vicky and Photis Help to bring more colour to children’s lives despite social distancing Cyprus, Nicosia

    The restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus have radically changed our daily routines, as we are required to stay home as much as possible. While this could have a difficult impact on anyone, it is particularly affecting children - talking to friends and connecting with family is very important for their growth and wellbeing. In these exceptional circumstances, Vicky and Photis had the idea that they could make young people’s lives at home happier. Together with a group of volunteers, they began streaming fairy tales through The Fairytale Museum Facebook page. There, well-known actors, presenters, and politicians read their favourite children's fairy tales live online, sharing smiles and reinforcing the lockdown messages. At the same time, dozens of volunteers are reading stories by phone, to bring joy to children that have to stay at home.

  • “The future is in our hands, let's not keep them in our pockets”

    Isinnova 3D prints, masks, respiratory valves, and medical supplies Italy, Brescia

    Responding to a shortage of respiratory valves at their local hospital, the Isinnova design lab developed a prototype and used 3D printers to produce new ones in just a few hours. The design was made open source, allowing anyone with a 3D printer to create and deliver valves to hospitals. Working with doctors, they have also transformed snorkelling masks into medical masks to help meet the huge demand from hospital staff for personal protective equipment.

  • “The great minds of tomorrow are stuck at home, so we gathered the great minds of today to help”

    Sophie Åström and Måns Nilsson Provide free support in science related subjects to middle and high school pupils Sweden, Stockholm

    As a parent, it is no easy task helping your children with math or physics during school closures. There does, however, exist a great deal of expertise in society among students, teachers, and other enthusiasts. Therefore, Sophie and Måns got the idea to form DoTheMath, a volunteering network consisting of all these kindhearted people wanting to help. They now have over 1700 volunteers, who have helped thousands of pupils already. If you're interested in starting a similar initiative in your own country, reach out to dothemathpress@gmail.com, and they will help you get started.

  • “The workers help us, and now we need help to protect them”

    Julie and Cathy Connect donors and seamstresses to those workers who are in need of protective gowns Belgium, Brussels

    Julie (founder) and Cathy launched the Facebook group 'Les Petites Mains Bruxelloises pour des Blouses'. Donors give bedsheets, duvet covers or tablecloths and volunteers, who usually sew as a hobby, turn them into gowns for healthcare workers. To date, the group has provided hospitals and residential homes with over fifty gowns. Julie and Cathy are currently searching for additional volunteers, in order to meet demand for 500 gowns.

  • “From single individuals to groups of volunteers, we are facing the COVID-19 challenges together”

    Moritz Improves volunteer groups coordination for effective and timely support Germany, Regensburg

    When facing unexpected and unprecedented crises, such as COVID-19, volunteers become even more invaluable. Inspired by solidarity and mutual assistance, many new groups are created and the existing ones step up their activity to support those most affected. Realising that people work better when they work together, German 24-year-old Moritz and his friend Christoph set up a Corona help hotline, “The Corona Help Center”. By channelling all offers and requests for neighbourhood help, the Center supports the many volunteer groups in providing targeted and timely assistance. Similarly, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is coordinating the delivery of assistance to countries affected by COVID-19, for example by managing the distribution of personal protective and medical equipment.

  • “Make it happen”

    Massimo Produces face masks with his new team of 450 people Italy, Bologna

    Massimo, through his firm GVS, has been playing a crucial role in the battle against COVID-19. The organisation has been constantly working to increase the production of necessary masks, expanding their production facilities to focus on PPE and medical filtration products specifically for the Italian market. GVS is also collaborating with the University of Bologna, testing face masks for medical staff, researching cleaning processes, and launching a digital education project. The European Union is working to support the production of such medical equipment. All Member States will now benefit from the first ever rescEU stockpile of medical equipment, including protective masks, as part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

  • “By allowing people to stay home, we are saving lives”

    Vizinho Amigo Buy and deliver goods to those unable to leave their houses Portugal, Lisbon

    “Vizinho Amigo”, which translates to “Friendly Neighbour”, is a group of young volunteers who are providing assistance to those who are more at risk of contracting the virus, such as the elderly and sick people. As these groups of people are hit harder when they get the virus, it is highly recommended that they avoid gatherings of people, including at supermarkets or pharmacies. This is where the “friendly neighbours” step in. They collect requests and go shopping for food, medicines and any other necessary items, and deliver them to people's doorsteps. They are also working on raising awareness of their services, by delivering leaflets in the local area and working with local authorities. This spirit of solidarity has also been shown between EU member states, especially towards those worst affected by the pandemic. For instance, Slovakia has sent masks and disinfectant to Italy, while Austria sent gloves and disinfectant to Croatia. German hospitals are treating critically ill patients from Italy and France, while Czechia offered protective suits to Italy and to Spain. Perfect examples of how we are making it through the crisis, together.

  • “Sleepless nights and numerous phone calls - How we managed to bring a friend back from Africa”

    Sara Reunited with a friend stuck in a foreign country Germany, Garching

    The COVID-19 outbreak has put enormous pressure on healthcare personnel and hospitals worldwide. Unfortunately, it is not difficult to imagine how this will be an even bigger issue in developing and low-income countries, adding to the challenges their health systems already face. This thought worried Sara from Garching (Germany). Her Italian friend was visiting relatives in Benin when a pandemic was declared and countries began closing borders. She launched a personal campaign to get her friend out of Benin. With the help of his employer and works council, his colleagues, his family, and a very kind travel agency saleswoman, they succeeded in bringing him back to Germany. National airlines are welcoming EU nationals from many different member states on their rescue flights. This was made possible through the EU's repatriation programme of EU Citizens to their home countries. As of 16 April, 41 760 EU citizens have been brought home on 193 flights.

  • “We want to make sure everyone gets the support they need”

    Patricia Provides psychological help to cope with COVID Spain, Madrid

    In addition to the economic issues that can affect those unable to work from home, this quarantine can have serious impacts on people’s mental health due to lack of social interaction and outdoor activities. To help others deal with the situation, a group of 10 professionals have prepared a guide on the psychological impacts of quarantine and how to deal with them. Everyone can benefit from “psiCOVIDa-10”, as the guide is known. They took special care to include support for older adults, families with children and/or children with disabilities, caregivers of sick people, teleworkers, health personnel and other affected professionals.

  • “I am interested in music's potential to bring people together”

    Sonja Unites people through music Germany, Mainz

    Music is a powerful tool to connect people, especially during these hard times where many of us feel lonely. That's why Sonja, a professional soprano singer, used her Facebook page to bring people together through duets. Professional and amateur musicians can join and take part in this musical project. On the 22nd of March, she brought many people together to sing the European national anthem from their windows at 6pm.

  • “This is everyone's cause”

    SOS.COVID19 Crowdfunds campaigns to purchase personal protective equipment Portugal, Lisbon

    The healthcare system faces high demand for equipment that allows professionals, such as nurses and doctors, to protect themselves when helping patients in hospitals. A good supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is therefore necessary to support our health professionals in the fight against COVID-19. SOS.COVID19.Portugal is a Portuguese social solidarity movement, founded by 8 women, committed to this issue. They are crowdfunding to buy more PPE for several hospitals. The movement also created a second crowdfunding campaign to buy PPE for care homes for the elderly. At an EU level, RescEU was created to stockpile and distribute medical equipment and PPE to ensure it goes where it is most needed in order to slow and stop this pandemic.

  • “Even in a time of crisis, every child has a basic right to education”

    Joseph Supports the right to education during the COVID-19 crisis Cyprus, Nicosia

    The COVID-19 outbreak makes it impossible for people to meet in person. School students and staff are no exception. Since schools are now closed, students have been following classes and interacting with teachers through online lessons on their personal computers and similar devices.

    “Hope For Children”, together with Cyprus's Ministry of Education, works to make sure that everyone in Cyprus has proper access to e-learning. They donate new electronic equipment to secondary education students in need across the country. By bridging gaps caused by social and economic differences, their goal is to ensure that every student has proper access to education even during these difficult times.

  • “The saying ´it takes a village to raise a child´, is absolutely true”

    Klinton Organises online physical activities to keep children active and engaged The Netherlands, Utrecht

    Our children are the future of our countries and of Europe. Therefore, it is essential that they receive proper education. Teachers in the Netherlands, like Klinton, are organising online activities that children and their parents can do together. Not only does this keep the children active, but it also unites the family. As education is a priority for so many, the EU has provided online material for anyone to access. Time at home can be an outstanding opportunity to connect with family members, as well as to try new things together. Teachers in Member States, like Klinton, are working hard to keep their students interested and challenged.

  • “Bringing people together is more important than ever”

    Zoe, Vegard, Keit and Niels Produced a lockdown festival allowing artists to perform and audiences to enjoy cultural activities from their homes Malta, Valletta

    The current crisis has caused many events to be postponed or entirely cancelled. Zoe, Vegard, Keit and Niels from Malta created a Lockdown Festival to let artists keep performing to an audience, even if online and at a distance. These events are a vital lifeline for our communities, when many people feel isolated in their homes. Cultural events can raise people's spirits and create a sense of belonging, so the Festival's team is now working to create a permanent space for online events.

    The cultural and creative sector is made up of many individual creators and SMEs, as well as charities. Their status often makes it harder for them to qualify for national or EU support schemes. To make sure EU funds reach the sector, MEPs are asking the Commission to consider increasing the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (Creative Europe programme) by topping it up from the 2021 budget, or transferring funds from the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

  • “Give us threads and needles so we can weave bonds of solidarity”

    Masque tissu - Solidarité Coronavirus Fosters a community for the distribution and creation of DIY masks Belgium, Brussels

    Masks are a useful tool to prevent us from spreading COVID-19, and to protect those around us. However, due to high demand, single-use masks can be hard to come by. 'Masque tissu - Solidarité Coronavirus - Belgique' wanted to solve this problem through the creation and distribution of reusable masks. The Facebook group permits those who need masks to get in direct contact with the people making them.

  • “Today we continue our legacy with a simple, but impactful, act to help the country in this moment of great need”

    Elisabeth Supplies alcohol to designated national COVID-19 treatment centres Greece, Athens

    Before the pandemic hit, Elisabeth's company was creating alcoholic drinks using wine from the Aegean islands. In order to boost Greek spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has redirected its resources to cover the needs of 13 designated hospitals treating affected patients. The first shipment of alcohol already arrived at Greece’s biggest hospital, the Evaggelismos in Athens, and more will arrive at hospitals all across Greece over the next three months.

  • “Together we can better combat coronavirus”

    Chef Dario Creates relationships with other businesses to support front line workers Malta, Kirkop

    The catering industry and restaurants are being heavily impacted by COVID-19. To counteract this issue, Chef Dario set up the NGO Feeding Heroes Malta, which runs solely on public donations and his own contacts. Through the organisation, he has worked to decrease food waste and support chefs who were left unemployed. He started collecting unwanted food from restaurants, raw material from suppliers, and sourced professional chefs from closed restaurants to cook meals. The operation has been a great asset to mobilise the community and create innovative, sustainable solutions in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • “When we found out that healthcare sector was suffering from a lack of hand sanitizer we simply decided to scale up, adapt our production, and help”

    Anna Donates ethanol to help make more hand sanitiser Sweden, Åhus

    You may know the Absolut Company best for its Swedish vodka. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, it is now diverting its resources to hand sanitiser production. Absolut has given ethanol to KiiltoClean Ab — a cleaning company operating across Eastern Europe — to help make sure Swedish medical staff get the hand sanitiser they need. All across Europe, we’ve seen companies changing the way they work to support the fight against coronavirus.

  • “I am proud of my colleagues working hard to help our local community”

    Joelle Works at a company offering healthful food choices to shoppers Belgium, Brussels

    It is important to stay healthy and ensure access to responsible and sustainable food choices during lockdown. Joelle works at a co-op grocery store for local, ethical, and organic products. She explained that the company works to promote nourishing diets, even in these exceptional times. In such difficult circumstances, solidarity is crucial between colleagues, customers, and all Europeans. We must recognize the great efforts local businesses are undertaking to support their communities and producers, especially in moments of crisis.

  • “In just one week, we designed a 3D printable mask to help tackle the current shortage”

    Alexandr Designed 3D-printable protective masks Czechia, Prague

    In response to the current shortage of protective equipment in the Czech Republic as well as abroad, Alexandr and his fellow CIIRC CTU researchers developed the prototype for a protective mask in just a week. The “CIIRC RP95-3D” protective mask, designed to be produced via 3D printers, has an exchangeable P3 filter that meets the highest level of protection. This mask has been certified and the project, supported by academics and benefitting from public and private sponsors, has received EU funding as well.

  • “Storytelling transports us beyond the four walls we're stuck in”

    Marija Brings joy and imagination to children Malta, Mtarfa

    Staying at home is challenging for all members of the family, including the youngest among us. To create some light relief, a group of five women came together to bring joy and imagination to children through storytelling. They set up a Facebook page called "My Storytime" to read a selection of stories and poetry in English and Maltese for audiences of different ages. While the readers record themselves, the founders take care of all the backstage work including editing, scheduling, answering queries, and recruiting more readers. The response has been phenomenal, with close to 4,300 people following the page since it launched on March 23. Share your creative ways to inspire others during the COVID-19 crisis using #EuropeansAgainstCovid19.

  • “To avoid wasting food, we decided to offer it to local hospitals. It quickly grew into a whole movement of solidarity”

    Odeta Offers free meals to medical teams and food banks thanks to donations from the public Lithuania, Vilnius

    As Odeta's restaurant chain "Jurgis ir drakonas" was faced with great amounts of food that was going to go to waste, she decided to cook and offer meals to the teams working at hospitals in Vilnius and Kaunas. After sharing the initiative on social media, citizens and businesses from all over the country offered to contribute: thanks to their donations, Odeta and her colleagues offer free meals to medical teams but also donate to local food banks and people in need.

  • “I fight for companionship for people in need”

    Marios Reunites loved ones and provides assistance to the elderly Cyprus, Larnaca

    Although retired, Marios was a doctor and is still doing his part to help his community during the crisis. Social distancing is not easy for anyone, but it is especially difficult for the ill and infirm. Mario therefore negotiates with hospital staff to allow companions to visit their loved ones in the hospital so that they do not have to die alone. He also takes care of elderly residents with pre-existing conditions, providing medical, psychological, and social support for quarantined older people, in order to prevent deaths from other causes.

  • “I asked my team to make the ordinary extraordinary - and they did!”

    Simona from The National Youth Forum Encourages young people to develop knowledge and skills in times of social exclusion Bulgaria, Sofia

    In the first days of the declared state of emergency in Bulgaria, the National Youth Forum launched a campaign called #TimeForYou. It promotes the idea that young people's time at home should be filled with opportunities to enhance their skills and competences. To achieve this, their trainers, alumni, executive board, and members came together to launch a series of free webinars addressing topics directly relevant to young people. These have included topics like "The mental health of young people during social exclusion" and future broadcasts will cover topics such as digital youth work, youth inclusion, and youth spaces.

  • “People still need medical assistance for problems that are not related to Covid-19”

    Mindaugas Set up a free online service providing basic medical counsel during confinement Lithuania, Vilnius

    As medical services have been diverted during the pandemic, some citizens have been deprived of their regular doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, and psychologists. Mindaugas, who is a doctor himself, has created a Facebook page where people can ask medical questions and receive advice rapidly (within 10 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the urgency of the request). This not only provides basic medical counsel to patients, but it also alleviates the workload of medical staff on the frontline and saves public funds from being directed to non-essential or non-urgent tasks.

  • “The Cognac professionnals support a collective effort, consistent with their values”

    Patrick Organizes Cognac producers to support hospitals, emergency services, pharmacists and laboratories France, Cognac

    Cognac is one of Europe’s most famous drinks, prized around the world for its quality. Producers of this eau de vie — water of life — have joined forces to help save lives in Cognac region. They work with laboratories and pharmacists, supplying them with alcohol and other vital hand sanitiser ingredients. What’s more, they have donated money and protective masks to hospitals, laboratories, and the emergency services. The European Union shares their values of compassion and support for those in need.

  • “We're showing solidarity through music”

    The children from Bon-Bon Urges people to stay at home Bulgaria, Sofia

    At the start of the lock down, the popular Bulgarian children's band BON-BON decided, from the safety of their homes, to recreate Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" and urge people to stay at home. Over 90 current and former members of the band, located all across Europe, took part in the performance, demonstrating that we can all be together despite the isolation measures. You can see the final result here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97WX-CMKu9E

  • “We'll work in finding new solutions to support the fight against this pandemic”

    Miguel Supports the Portuguese National Health Service through the creation of essential products Portugal, Porto

    New supplies of disinfecting gel, which is essential for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, have been distributed throughout 12 hospitals in the northern region of Portugal, thanks to collaboration between the Regional Health Administration, Super Bock Group, and Levira distillery. So far, approximately 18,000 litres of hand sanitising gel made from our non-alcohol beer production has been provided. This is an example of support and solidarity between private businesses and those at the frontlines, enabling the work of the professionals from the national health service.

  • “Together, we can make a difference”

    Gabija and Ieva Launched a crowdfunding campaign to provide protective equipment to hospitals Lithuania, Vilnius

    With their colleagues at Laisves TV ("Liberty TV"), an online media and NGO, Gabija and Ieva launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy protective equipment for hospitals, especially those in remote areas where the situation is more critical than in larger cities. In two weeks, they have already raised over €2 million. They have also been collaborating with the local fashion industry to help them shift production to protective gear.

  • “Buy a meal today, to make sure restaurants are here tomorrow”

    Global Shapers Supports restaurants and coffee shops Italy, Rome

    To fight the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have been required to close. It has led many restaurants and coffee shops to confront a difficult economic reality. In Italy, the Global Shapers Rome hub has launched the platform Save One Seat to allow people to purchase dining bonds today from their favourite restaurants and use them when this emergency is over. This permits businesses to receive immediate funds to cover their current costs, while users can look forward to planning their dinners with friends and family. The EU is also supporting business facing similar struggles. For example, the European Investment Fund, has mobilised €8 billion to help at least 100,000 companies affected by the outbreak.

  • “As a business with the means to contribute, it is our duty to help however we can”

    Arno Switched his distillery’s production to disinfectant to support the medical sector The Netherlands, Groningen

    Hooghoudt is a family distillery in Groningen, the Netherlands. Being part of the community since 1888, they saw it as their duty to help their city fight the pandemic. Their idea came from master distiller Frank Leystra: seeing how difficult it was for medical professionals to acquire disinfectant, he decided to produce it himself right in the distillery. The first orders are from Ambulance Care Groningen and TSN Home Care, and the family business has also been in contact with Groningen's University Medical Center. An unprecedented crisis calls for unprecedented responses just like these. An emergency €750 billion stimulus package will ease the impact of the virus, while €37 billion in European Union funding is already helping save lives, jobs and businesses.

  • “I do what I can today, in order to change our tomorrow”

    Carolin Works as a volunteer ambulance driver Germany, Burghausen

    Having just finished school, Carolin will start studying medicine next year: helping people in extreme situations is her calling. Her volunteer position as an ambulance driver has become much more difficult since the outbreak of the pandemic, but she proudly respects all the necessary measures to prevent spreading the virus. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is one of the main objectives of the EU - and of all Europeans. Together, we are ensuring the availability of essential services and vital medical equipment while achieving this goal.

  • “Alone, we could be going faster, but together, we will go further!”

    Jérémy, Jean-Christophe and Virgile Help businesses hit by the consequences of the pandemic crisis France, Strasbourg

    Jérémy, Jean-Christophe and Virgile are the founding partners of a company based in Strasbourg that created the 'Sauve Ton PRO !' (sauvetonpro.fr) platform, a free, non-profit website that helps merchants dealing with the closure of their businesses. Thanks to this initiative, consumers can support local organisations by purchasing vouchers that can be used at the end of confinement, providing cashflow to help them overcome the economic aspect of the crisis. In addition to initiatives like this one, Members of the European Parliament voted to make €37 billion available to support businesses and workers. To make sure we come out of this crisis stronger, the European Union is also already working on a robust, new budget for Europe.

  • “The applause we receive is truly heart-warming, and the support we get for doing our job is really amazing”

    Jan Reinforces the teams fighting the pandemic The Netherlands, Leiderdorp

    Jan is a general practitioner who has been working shifts in the Corona department at his hospital in Leiderdorp. Though it's currently quite calm for Jan and his colleagues, they expect their workload to increase dramatically in the coming weeks. The support demonstrated by the local population to the medical workers, clapping from their windows and balconies every night, really touches them and gives them the courage to face the hardships to come. While we might not all be medical professionals, showing European solidarity can be done by anyone and helps those working on the front lines to stay strong.

  • “Medical workers need care too”

    Marie Provides meals to hospital workers, bringing simple pleasures to people under terrible pressure France, Paris

    As the marketing director of a company that has chefs at the heart of its business, Marie wanted to give something back to the medical professionals who are on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic. With the operation 'Les chefs avec les soignants' ('Chefs supporting medical workers'), she encourages all restaurateurs who keep on working (via meal delivery services) to participate and offer meals to the medical personnel. A good dinner plays a very important role in the daily routine of health workers, who are going through a very difficult time: conviviality with colleagues to decompress can make a huge difference. Many organisations have also joined the movement to provide ingredients for the meals, and local authorities as well as journalists are doing their part to support the operation. Across Europe, countries, regions and cities are reaching out to help their neighbours, while the European Union’s solidarity fund is making up to €800 million available to help our countries fight the coronavirus.

  • “Take care of each other and treat everyone with respect: we all need solidarity right now”

    Anna Works as a student nurse Germany, Starnberg

    Anna has started studying to become a nurse in October 2018, and she can be called on at any time to help. Her ward has been prepared to deal with COVID-19 emergencies and trained to use monitoring equipment that is usually not handled by nurses. In the case of students, the current period is particularly stressful and emotionally demanding. But with her fellow team members, she does everything she can to help in the fight against the virus, and tries to remind everyone to take care of each other, treat people with respect and apply safety measures at all times. Such solidarity can be seen across all our member states. France has donated 1 million masks to Italy and Germany has delivered 7 tons of medical equipment to Italy, including ventilators and anaesthetic masks, helping save lives.

  • “A community with innovators is more autonomous and resilient”

    Vivalab team Develops opensource projects to design protective equipment for the medical sector Portugal, Porto

    VIVALab focuses on education, innovation, and design. During the pandemic, they produce masks, visors and protective goggles for hospitals in Porto. They transformed their workspace into an assembly line and created a network of volunteers and seamstresses. So far, they have delivered 4.500 visors, 1.300 goggles and 500 masks. As the project is opensource and free to share, groups in Brazil, Italy and Spain are already adopting their solutions. Across the European Union, countries, regions and cities are stretching out a helping hand to neighbours, helping those most in need. This is European solidarity in action. For a full overview of the comprehensive EU action to tackle COVID-19, please visit: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response_en

  • “Solidarity is the only way out of this crisis”

    David Manages coordination of the emergency room France, Paris

    David is a trained laboratory technician but is currently in the process of becoming a health executive. Although he is not a medical doctor, he serves at the hospital where he's completing his training, helping to manage coordination at the emergency room. In the current situation, the need for non-medical personnel is critical: taking care of tasks like restocking, organisation, orientation of patients and other duties alleviates the workload of doctors and nurses, who can thus focus on their patients' health. David, like many others across Europe, embodies the solidarity that people and institutions need to manage this crisis.

  • “It has been amazing to see the dedication, effort, and positive energy of my colleagues and the hospital staff”

    Matilde Works as part of a team in Madrid to organise new hospital beds for patients seriously affected by coronavirus Spain, Madrid

    Matilde is a professor at the Complutense University and an anaesthesiologist at the Gregorio Marañón University Hospital (HGUGM) in Madrid. During the epidemic, she contributed to the organisation of new beds to treat critically ill patients at HGUGM. This enabled the hospital to move from simultaneously treating 40 critical patients at the beginning of the outbreak, to 115 critical cases at the worst moments of the crisis. This has allowed the treatment of the most severely ill patients, and the effort has saved many lives. Matilde has been amazed by the dedication and energy shown by all her colleagues during these trying times. To make sure such dedicated medical staff have the equipment they need to do their jobs effectively, the European Commission moved to protect the availability of supplies of personal protective equipment by restritcing the exports of such equipment outside the EU.

  • “Saying thank you to doctors and nurses isn’t enough. We all have to take action”

    Eurico 3D-prints equipment for medical professionals Portugal, Setúbal

    Eurico works at FAN3D, a consultancy business specialising in Additive Manufacturing (3D printing). At the moment they are 3D-printing medical protective equipment for medical workers. This is just one snapshot of European solidarity. France has so far donated 1 million masks to Italy and Germany has delivered 7 tons of medical equipment to Italy, including ventilators and anaesthetic masks, helping save lives.

  • “We couldn't stand by and watch Italy suffer from afar. Doing your part is what Europe is all about”

    Rete dei Giovani Italiani in Belgio Raises funds to support the Italian Red Cross in Europe's most critically hit country Belgium, Brussels

    For Italians living abroad, it is heart-breaking to see Italy being hit so terribly by the pandemic. The Young Italians Network in Belgium (REGIB) decided to contribute concretely via a fundraiser to support the Italian Red Cross (CRI). Proceeds from the fundraiser help CRI staff and volunteers on the front line to provide medical assistance, support the population, and organise assistance services. Such citizen solidarity actions are further enhanced at a European level. To facilitate collaboration between member states, the EU Cross-border Health Threat Decision ensures access to fairly priced and distributed medical supplies everywhere in Europe, enabling particularly hard hit countries like Italy to procure the equipment they need.

  • “We keep on working: our patients need us!”

    Edina Provides dental care throughout the crisis Germany, Korntal-Münchingen

    Dr Glaser runs a dental clinic with her six colleagues, which is terribly challenging during the current crisis. Disinfection fluid and protective equipment are often unavailable, and with the clinic being located in a particularly infected zone, treating patients is precarious. Still, Edina and her colleagues keep on working: the patients need them, especially those who are under a lot of pain. Providing care to people is our top priority. While millions of nurses, doctors, dentists and care workers lead the fight against coronavirus, the European Union is ensuring countries have speedy access to lifesaving medical equipment.

  • “Data guides our way to controlling this pandemic”

    Amparo Accelerates case detection and situation reporting through her research Spain, Madrid

    Based at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Amparo's activity is focused on obtaining the maximum information possible from the surveillance systems of COVID-19, and other secondary data sources, to guide local and national health authorities in the control of the pandemic. Her team also participates in the I-MOVE-COVID-19 project, funded by EU Horizon2020. In total €47.5 million in Horizon 2020 funding has been granted to 17 shortlisted research projects to advance the understanding of COVID-19 and improve clinical management. A further €45 million call for proposals is under way for therapeutics and diagnostics to tackle current and future coronavirus outbreaks, under the Innovative Medicines Initiative.

  • “Each day we are exploring new ways to encourage teachers and support students”

    Mario Published How to Talk to Students About Coronavirus Croatia, Zagreb

    Education must be one of the first responses to any emergency. It is key that all people, whatever their age, can contribute to preventing the spread of the virus. In conjunction with educators and pupils, Mario helped to encourage regular information sharing on the current situation from credible, verified and relevant sources. Such conversations emphasized the importance of respect for human dignity in all circumstances to prevent the spread of hate speech, xenophobia, and prejudice. The fight against disinformation is a joint effort involving all European institutions. The European Union is also helping fight disinformation through a close cooperation with online platforms. We are encouraging them to promote authoritative sources, demote content that is fact-checked as false or misleading, and take down illegal content or content that could cause physical harm.

  • “We're committed to supporting kids with their education during school closures”

    Bernhard Keeps kids learning during the coronavirus outbreak Austria, Vienna

    Parents are struggling to make sure their kids maintain their school routine and keep learning. Committed to tackling this new problem, Busuu (a global education technology company) has launched #KeepKidsLearning. They’re providing children all over Europe with access to free live language lessons, taught by qualified language teachers. So far they’ve published over 120 video lessons, teaching English, Spanish and Chinese and to date have provided over 3,100 hours of lessons. Online solidarity can be seen across a range of digital companies, with Netflix, Youtube and Facebook having agreed to reduce video streaming quality in Europe at the request of the EU to avoid straining the internet while more people are forced to stay at home. If you’d like to find out more, lessons can be accessed via the timetable published on the #KeepKidsLearning site, which is updated on a weekly basis.

  • “I'm helping other Europeans while doing what I love most”

    Elena Launched a series of free online yoga classes Belgium, Brussels

    As the world started organizing itself online, Elena decided to offer online yoga classes for free to those stuck at home due to the lockdown. The response has been overwhelming, with participants offering donations totalling over 1500 Euros for Italian hospitals in the first two weeks. Promoting the value of togetherness and European solidarity can be done in all sorts of ways. Elena's practice is an inspiring example of how we can bring people together from all over Europe while still following the relevant health and civic recommendations. Online solidarity can be also seen across a range of digital companies, with Netflix, Youtube and Facebook having agreed to reduce video streaming quality in Europe at the request of the EU. This helps to avoid straining the internet while more people are forced to stay at home.

  • “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.

  • “Why do I do it? To inform, inspire, and put this world crisis into context”

    Eduardo Captures photographs from the frontline of the COVID-19 outbreak Spain, Madrid

    As a member of Europa Press, photojournalists like Eduardo are our eyes to the world, taking on a tremendous responsibility. Silent witnesses to historic events, they are committed to the truth, eschewing suggestion, compromise, or intervention. Why is photography important to them and, by extension, to all of us? Photographs are the universal language of our era. Photojournalists sort the chaos of the world into images that bring clarity to the mayhem that surrounds us. They call our attention to the things we miss, to events and people a great distance away from our own corner of Europe. The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to disinformation spreading, which hampers efforts to contain the pandemic. The European Union is committed to raising awareness of the dangers of disinformation, not only for citizens’ health, but also for democracy. Just as we respect social distancing and wash our hands, we have the duty to stop the spread of fake advice and manipulative stories.

  • “I help hospitals access the most advanced tools to detect COVID-19”

    Claudio Trains healthcare professionals in the application of molecular diagnostics techniques Italy, Rome

    In this serious and rapidly evolving situation, we need Europeans to come together, in order to defeat the spread of COVID-19. Claudio is using his innovative skills in molecular biology and scientific consulting to play his part. As a member of Servizi Diagnostici, he specialises in the distribution of diagnostic products for laboratories, helping to provide solutions for healthcare providers all over Europe. To help facilitate collaboration between member states, the EU Cross-border Health Threat Decision allows joint procurement of medical countermeasures to ensure access to fairly priced and distributed medical supplies, no matter where in Europe you live.

  • “You don't have to be a hero to help, just be a human being”

    Sara Makes face masks for healthcare workers Spain, Madrid

    We might have to stay at home to help stop the spread of the virus, but that doesn't mean we can't be of great help to the people on the front lines of this outbreak. Sara decided to help in the production of masks for healthcare workers, making them from her home in Madrid. Usually a teacher by trade, Sara has taken this time away from the classrom as an opportunity to show solidarity and compassion for the communities around her. All across the EU, we've seen how action by just one person can help many, many others. Promoting the value of togetherness is key in our fight against the virus. Say thank you today to someone you know who is promoting European solidarity in their own way.

  • “I'm seeking a solution for me, my friends, and all of Europe”

    Giuseppe Creating life saving medical treatments through innovative research Italy, Ancona

    Originally from Fragagnano, Giuseppe Bungaro has been named as one of 100 Eccellenze Italiane after winning the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. By taking advantage of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Giuseppe has found a way to avoid excessive respiratory scarring and to treat the symptoms of pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. The EU is committed to boosting such research, and to helping researchers to find a vaccine quickly through existing research funding. For example, A proposed €47.5 million in Horizon 2020 programme funding for 17 shortlisted research projects could help to advance the understanding of COVID-19 and therefore improve clinical management.

  • “Music has become a link, a message of encouragement, of strength”

    Ana María Performs lunchtime concerts from her balcony Spain, Albacete

    One act of kindness can start a chain reaction that grows and grows. This was the case for Ana María and her husband, both violinists, who decided to give an impromptu concert to their neighbours from their balcony one afternoon. The next day, from another balcony, they were joined by a viola player, and the following day another neighbor on saxophone. Every day, their community now awaits their noon concert, buoyed by the music and the knowledge that they are not alone in these exceptional times. All across Europe, we see citizens contributing their own unique talents as #EuropeansAgainstCovid19. Perhaps there is something you love that you can bring to brighten the day of those around you. In Europe, we all play a role. We will make it through this crisis together.

  • “Doctors facing this crisis need devices that are easy to use, fully automated and equipped with artificial intelligence”

    Filippo and Marco Developing new technology that helps COVID-19 patients to breathe Italy, Parma

    COVID-19 can cause shortness of breath for some and severe breathing difficulties for others, which can be very scary. To cope with the shortage of automatic ventilators available for such patients, Marco and Filippo, through their startup Omnidermal, have created the Artificial Breathing Unit (ABU). Their combined experience in the development of medical devices and pharmaceutical automation is hoped to help COVID-19 patients, and those in rehabilitation, to breathe stronger. The Innovative Medicines Initiative, Europe's partnership for health, is additionally accelerating the medicines development process, generating new scientific insights, and developing resources for open use by the research community. Furthermore, some of these projects are already delivering direct benefits to patients.

  • “Now more than ever, tech support can make a real difference for hospitals in their fight against the pandemic”

    André Helps hospitals manage the maintenance and rehabilitation of medical equipment Portugal, Vale de Cambra

    André works on a web platform that helps hospitals communicate more efficiently with other medical facilities, with a focus on medical equipment maintenance and rehabilitation. Ensuring the provision of adequate medical equipment has been one of the key efforts of the EU during this crisis. By assisting specialised technicians with the maintenance and rehabilitation of the tools that medical workers desperately need in order to provide adequate care to patients, André is helping to tackle the logistical challenge the health sector is currently facing.

  • “Music uniting people across borders highlights our common European spirit and heritage”

    Roch Set up a remote flute orchestra with his students to spread solidarity and friendship across Europe Belgium, Houyet

    As soon as music schools closed, Roch began looking for solutions to stay in contact with and keep teaching his pupils. At first, he asked them to send recordings of their work so he could provide them with feedback. The students showed so much motivation that Roch came up with the idea to set up a remote flute orchestra that would play Beethoven's Ode to Joy, just like the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra first did. With this project, Roch not only kept the education of his students going, but he also offered them a very human adventure. Seeking to spread friendship and solidarity across borders, this project shows the role of music - and of the arts in general - in uniting the people of Europe during difficult times. Boosting solidarity by reminding Europeans of their common culture shows citizens of all EU countries how much they all have in common. United by heritage, and united in the fight against COVID-19.

  • “We know how much people need us, and we're not going to let them down”

    Cecilia Dairy farmer. Keeps working to ensure essential goods remain available throughout the crisis Spain, Villaquejida, León

    Cecilia and her husband run a family dairy farm: they're the only people working at the farm to keep the production going. They proudly keep on working through the crisis to make sure basic products such as milk remain available to the many families that rely on it. Like many local family farms, they are supported by the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. More than ever, they are proud of what they do: they know people rely on them to keep on providing essential goods we usually take for granted. And they will be keeping on working tirelessly in these difficult times, however difficult it may be.

  • “Together, we are creating opportunities for civic action and solidarity”

    Les Badass Solidaires Strengthen affected communities by facilitating the exchange of crucial services. Belgium, Brussels

    Nine young women from Brussels created the Facebook group 'Solidarité Solidariteit Brussels Bruxelles Coronavirus' to encourage solidarity between everyday citizens and organisations or medical professionals in need. The group acts as a relay between good will and demand: most people want to help, but they don't always know how to do it. Collaboration between members of the group resulted in efficient strategies to help people in need and support professionals on the frontline. Solidarity is not just a good intention anymore thanks to this initiative: volunteers can now easily find where they can be most helpful.

  • “Our work aims to find local solutions to go global with the sole purpose of serving humanity in the fight against COVID19 by rehabilitating old medical equipment like ventilators”

    João Puts their technological skills to the service of medical institutions Portugal, Cascais

    The “Open Air Project” that João founded gathers a community of tech-savvy volunteers working on projects like open source ventilators, and the rehabilitation of old ventilators to support medical institutions. Other projects revolve around prevention, containment, remote assistance, logistical support, mobile apps, and other technological solutions to the current emergency. The project aims to provide local solutions that can be helpful globally, paralleling the EU's efforts to support people in the field while offering solutions on a continental scale.

  • “We work every single day to understand this virus - and learn how to fight it”

    Philippe Leads research to better understand - and fight - COVID-19 Belgium, Leuven

    Like so many scientists across Europe, Philippe and his colleagues at KU Leuven work to better understand epidemics like COVID-19. Supported by EU funds, epidemiologists like Philippe embody the EU's scientific response to the threat of viruses. In order to fight epidemics like the one we're currently going through, scientific research is and always will be our best answer: understanding is the first step to finding solutions to public health issues. This is what Philippe and his peers are focusing all of their efforts right now.

  • “We help people stay safe by helping them stay sane”

    Marie Provides mental health support to schools and businesses Czechia, Prague

    In the midst of the current COVID-19 outbreak, physical health is naturally the main focus of all Europeans' effort, time and energy. But mental health is also becoming a major concern, as citizens across the EU are dealing with unprecedented levels of anxiety and isolation, which can lead to depressive thoughts and behaviours. Marie and her colleagues from NGO 'Nevypusť duši' (which can be translated as 'Mind your mind') organise campaigns, public events and workshops about mental health for schools and businesses. Focusing on education and prevention, they provide information about what to do and where to seek help when necessary. The NGO organises live streams and webinars about mental health during these difficult times & offers materials and infographics to help people cope with stress, anxiety, depressive thoughts and other mental health issues.

  • “Never let a good crisis go to waste - use it to unite people”

    Robertas Produces protective equipment for medical professionals Lithuania, Vilnius

    With the help of volunteers, Robertas launched the large-scale production of hundreds of thousands of pieces of protective equipment for medical professionals in Lithuania. Within six weeks they have produced over 100,000 surgical masks, more than 240,000 antibacterial disposable masks and HEPA 10 masks and over 20,000 disposable jumpsuits and gowns. Thanks to Robertas and his volunteers, the protective gear shortage has been partly addressed: such initiatives are what allow medical professionals to work safely and prevent them from joining the ranks of their patients mechanism.

  • “We're stronger together”

    Anpas Emilia Romagna Volunteers prepare for another day with the Emergency Medical Service Italy, Parma

    All across Europe, community organisations are coming together to show solidarity during these difficult times. Anpas Emilia Romagna is one such group, providing emergency medical services to some of Italy's most affected regions. To help them in their mission, RescEU - part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism - ensures countries can quickly obtain the medical equipment they need. This means all Member States now have access to the first ever rescEU stockpile of medical equipment, such as ventilators and protective masks, under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

  • “It's my duty to keep educating the adults of tomorrow”

    Mihaela Works in a coding school for kids, providing lessons online Belgium, Brussels

    Mihaela works at Logiscool Montgomery, an institution in Brussels that offers coding lessons to children and teenagers. When the confinement was imposed, the school quickly set up video tutorials and online classes to keep teaching its pupils: digital technologies, robotics and Artificial Intelligence are fields of research of utter importance, as the current crisis has demonstrated. Mihaela and her colleagues see it as their duty to keep educating the adults of tomorrow in these areas that give Europeans the tools to tackle challenges like this pandemic and its consequences. Across Europe, countries, regions and cities are reaching out to help their communities, while the European Union’s solidarity fund is making up to €800 million available to help our countries fight the coronavirus.

  • “It was the fastest and most unifying project we’ve ever made”

    Eimantas and Tomas Help Lithuanian hospitals buy medical supplies Lithuania, Vilnius

    Together with the Lithuanian tech community, Eimantas, Tomas and their colleagues at Tesonet managed to raise €440K to buy medical supplies for Lithuanian hospitals. The whole project, started from scratch, was done within 72 hours, and helped provide Lithuania's largest hospital with much-needed respirators and other equipment such as protective suits or cotton masks for elderly homes. Such initiatives complement the EU's RescEU program, which gathers medical equipment so that the necessary supplies can quickly reach member states facing shortages.

  • “Right now, we all need stories with happy endings”

    Zuzana Works with Czech authors and celebrities to provide bedtime stories for children via YouTube Czechia, Prague

    To help parents who are taking care of their children at home, Zuzana and her colleagues at online bookstore Martinus.cz decided to ask Czech authors and celebrities to record themselves reading their favourite fairy tales. Every other day, a new fairy tale is added to the bookstore's YouTube channel, helping parents make sure that their kids sleep well and have sweet dreams. While we may feel further apart than usual, we must work closer together than ever. Across Europe, countries, regions, and citizens like Zuzana are reaching out to help their communities, while the European Union’s solidarity fund is making up to €800 million available to help our countries fight the coronavirus.

  • “Yes, I'm afraid. We all are. But it's the kind of fear that pushes us to stay and fight”

    Claudia Works as a doctor at the COVID Emergency department of a Milanese hospital Italy, Milan

    Claudia is a gastroenterologist who is currently on duty at the COVID Emergency department of Milanese hospital Fatebenefratelli Sacco. Among the four COVID departments the hospital has created, hers is the one dedicated to the most compromised and least stable. The majority of her 40 patients are on respirators, with a high percentage eventually transferred to intensive care units. Like many doctors across Europe, Claudia adapted her job to the current needs. To enable medical staff to do this challenging work, the EU has dedicated extra funds to hospitals across Europe and ramped up production of medical devices by issuing calls for production of equipment and negotiating new supplies.

  • “We work to take the burden off our critically needed doctors”

    Claudia Helps patients in great pain while doctors focus on COVID-19 Germany, Herrsching am Ammersee

    As medical professionals are under immense pressure to tackle the current crisis, osteopaths like Claudia help alleviate the doctors' workload by taking care of patients who suffer from other ailments not related to COVID-19. Thanks to osteopaths like Claudia, these patients keep receiving treatments to alleviate their pain during this crisis, that keeps most medical professionals busy fighting the pandemic. Such support makes a huge difference for patients and lightens the heavy workload doctors and nurses are currently facing.

  • “I've never been more ready”

    Francesco Registered to volunteer with the Anpas Emilia Romagna Italy, Parma

    Francesco is based in Parma, one of Italy's regions most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. As a volunteer ambulance driver for the Emergency Medical Service (Anpas Emilia Romagna), his services are in high demand to support the local population as they face the crisis. To support volunteers and medical staff across our borders, The EU is ensuring the provision of medical equipment by ramping up production of medical devices and equipment, and negotiating new supplies for those regions hardest hit.

  • “You can save the world by learning how to prevent the virus from spreading.”

    Virus Fight Club Launched an educative smartphone game to teach WHO best practices Portugal, Braga

    This team of 9 people developed the Virus Fight Club app in which players travel around the globe to fight COVID-19. The game is designed to be accessible to all age groups, mixing information from the World Health Organisation with entertainment to provide an engaging activity during this difficult time. Frequent handwashing is a core feature of the game, along with the distribution of masks to infected characters. Such initiatives creatively complement the existing actions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, which provides rapid risk assessments and epidemiological updates on the outbreak.