As the effects of COVID-19 continue to shape our every day lives, many have turned to YouTube or social media for respite. Recognizing the need for relief and instruction, 7th Grader Taryn O'Day decided to help bridge the gap with the creation of her website, Join Amani. The site follows the adventures of a blue leopard cub named Amani, who extolls the importance of proper hand washing techniques by way of a catchy musical number.
Taryn, working with her sister and a few of their friends, came with up the idea after witnessing schools such as Windward close in the aftermath of COVID-19's spread to the United States. "Our group saw the effects of the Coronavirus escalating all around us," said Taryn. "Schools, businesses, and many public places had been closed, and honestly we felt a little helpless. We wanted to be a part of the solution and make a difference instead of being scared. One of the easiest ways to fight the virus is to wash your hands and stay clean, but many were failing to do this task effectively. Two our our very good friends reached out to us about a potential plan of action that would help mainly young kids, but also adults stay safe and clean in this uncertain time."
The resulting idea became Join Amani, which encourages children and adults around the world to join Amani in practicing and sharing safe hand washing practices. The site also sells Amani themed merchandise such as magnets, stickers, and community packages, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Doctors Without Borders.
In regards to youth activism and its importance, Taryn noted "We students have a unique perspective on issues because we will be the ones solving them in the future. We need to learn the tools of activism today so we can solve other problems ahead of us."
To scrub with Amani, click here.