Ottawa Against Corona


Ottawa Against Corona is part of a growing global movement called #StudentsAgainstCorona that has now reached 25 cities, 14 countries, mobilized over 2300 volunteers, and has been featured in the BBC and the Oxford Mail

In Ottawa, Global Shapers are leading the effort to support vulnerable members of the local community, including those in isolation, elderly and immuno-compromised people, and frontline health workers. Our youth-led initiative provides a centralized platform to match volunteers with organizations and individuals in need. This streamlines and complements existing ad-hoc volunteer initiatives and groups by identifying the biggest gaps to fill, while providing recommended hygiene guidelines to avoid spreading the virus. Depending on the needs of a specific community member, the role of the volunteers could include delivering food parcels, carrying out errands, or being available to chat to combat loneliness and social isolation. As a result of ongoing efforts to serve the local population, the Ottawa Hub was recently featured in national media.

Under Ottawa Against Corona, the Ottawa Hub has also launched Unsung Heroes of Ottawa: a storytelling initiative profiling the stories of those who are actively helping the local community. The Hub has hosted three Instagram livestream sessions and conducted four other interviews, including with the head of a women's shelter, humanitarian, doctor, and Consul General of Canada in Atlanta. Global Shapers from other Hubs around the world have tuned into livestream sessions and it is our hope to spread these weekly doses of positivity to even more Shapers. 

Project Leads: Cathy & Kamiliya (Ottawa Hub)


Problem Statement:How can we provide immediate assistance and relief and protect the most vulnerable in the local Ottawa community?


Solution:Partnered with local organizations and charities to identify and respond to current and emerging needs in our community. For example, we partnered with a local crisis relief team (Operation Ramzieh) and the Adoption Council of Canada (ACC) to deliver meals and masks to 20 youth who recently aged out of the foster care system.


Target Audience:Ottawa residents that need assistance or services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Local non-profit organizations that need volunteers to deliver services and assistance to vulnerable Ottawa residents affected by the Covid pandemic.


Start date:Mid-April 2020

End date:July 30, 2020


List of actions/activities taken:Showcased “unsung heroes” improving the community, including local businesses, community activists and leaders that have contributed in fostering community amid COVID-19; Launched a campaign to combat racism and discrimination towards people of Asian heritage, shedding light on COVID-19 impacts and Asian Heritage Month; Developed a guide of local COVID-19 resources to improve information sharing with our network; Featured in national media and local radio.

Facilitated strategic connections between community stakeholders to amplify social impact. Recruited and onboarded over 83 volunteers in our roster.


Short-Term Project Outcomes: To streamline and complement existing ad-hoc volunteer initiatives and groups by identifying the biggest gaps to fill, while providing recommended volunteer hygiene guidelines to avoid spreading the virus. 

  • Reached out to over 30 community organizations to identify specific needs of constituents and provided approximately 60 community services.

  • Launched the #UnsungHeroes multi-media storytelling series to interview frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.

  • Our content has reached over 10,000 people and counting.

  • So far, we have shared seven stories, ranging from representatives of local and national charities (such as Cornerstone Housing for Women), frontline workers, and senior diplomatic officials. 


Long-term Project Outcomes:

  • Leveraged network created through OAC (over 83 volunteers and over 10 community organizations) to stay involved in Ottawa Hub’s upcoming project volunteer and collaboration opportunities.

  • “Unsung heroes” communications strategy has future applications for community spotlights outside of COVID-19. The momentum created through this campaign has long term potential for digital civic engagement.

Avaliable Metrics:

  • Number of Shapers participated in Project:15

  • Number of people benefitted:60