Pandemic has strengthened global identity among young people - study

A Christian Aid worker hands a bag of essential items to a Rohingya refugee in the Cox's Bazar camp, Bangladesh.(Photo: Christian Aid)

The pandemic has heightened many young people's sense of a global identity, a study by Christian Aid has found. 

Well over a third (39%) of 18- to 34-year-olds polled by Savanta ComRes for the charity said they felt more a part of the global community now than they did before coronavirus broke out. 

They were far more likely to feel this way than respondents over the age of 55 (21%). 

A similar proportion (39%) of 18- to 34-year-olds said they felt an increased sense of community spirit in their local neighbourhood, soaring to 49% of 55- to 64-year-olds and 53% of over-65s. 

Chine McDonald, Christian Aid's Head of Community Fundraising and Public Engagement, said the sense of global connectedness was driving many British people to want to help those beyond their own shores.

"Covid-19 may have forced us to physically separate, but connection and community have been huge themes this year," she said. 

"It's because our supporters feel connection with those trapped in poverty that they act to bring about change.

"Neighbours here in the UK are transforming people's lives when they come together, online or otherwise, and through our partner organisations our supporters reach out to their global neighbours too."

Christian Aid has just launched its autumn appeal with an emphasis on encouraging people to come together locally and globally, both online and in-person where possible. 

"We have been bowled over by people's understanding that Covid-19 is also devastating lives in parts of the world much less resilient than ours," Mrs McDonald added. 

"Although we are still dealing with the virus here, people can see how awful the impact of this disease is on people without safety nets and without access to good healthcare."