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May 13, 2019

Stories of challenges and progress from Bangladesh

Photo by World Concern
Photo by World Concern

Monsoon season is quickly approaching in Bangladesh—lasting from June to October, it is expected to account for roughly 80% of the country’s yearly rainfall. The monsoon season will include powerful winds, torrential rainfall, and the potential for cyclones. Taken together, these risks will serve only to exacerbate the extreme challenges and poor living conditions facing the more than 900,000 Rohingya that continue to live in refugee camps and informal settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Slow progress has been made in stabilizing the basic needs of the Rohingya living in the camps and settlements, but, even beyond the threats of the upcoming monsoon season, Rohingya refugees still find themselves in a very precarious environment and situation. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs explains that the “root causes of their plight in Myanmar have not been addressed and their future is yet uncertain.” For a more detailed overview of the enormous obstacles that continue to face Rohingya communities, you can read the latest situation report released in April by the Inter Sector Coordination Group, the overarching body that is responsible for organizing the international response to the Rohingya refugee crisis.

GlobalGiving’s partner organizations continue to work day in and day out to deliver lifesaving services and support to the Rohingya. Here are recent updates from several of our partners:

  • JAAGO Foundation is expanding its Safe Haven Project that provides trauma counseling services to Rohingya children through the use, for example, of color therapy. To date, the organization has worked with 500 children.

  • Friendship remains committed to providing a wide variety of services to Rohingya living within the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. As of May 2019, the organization has, among other accomplishments, installed more than 40 solar panels, built two maternity centers, distributed more than 12,000 hygiene kits, and installed nearly 200 hand-washing stations.

  • World Concern is continuing to provide relief and safe spaces for Rohingya families in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. You can read more about the recent story of Sajeda, a woman supported by the organization.

  • BRAC USA is working around the clock to prepare and protect Rohingya families from the impacts of the upcoming monsoon season. The organization has trained and deployed a team of 1,000 Rohingya community mobilization volunteers to conduct nearly 10,000 awareness meetings to prepare their community for the monsoon.

You and thousands of other GlobalGivers have raised more than $350,000 for our Rohingya Refugee Relief Fund and have helped make these stories of progress possible. Thank you for your generosity, and for choosing to support community-led organizations responding to this ongoing crisis.

Photo by BRAC USA
Photo by BRAC USA
May 10, 2019

Restoring ecosystems to withstand future storms

A family picks up trees to plant at their farm
A family picks up trees to plant at their farm

Thanks to your generous support, the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands are able to invest in the sustainability of their natural environment. Island Spirit Fund partner Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has been busy funding environmental restoration with two local organizations, the University of the Virgin Islands and St. Croix Environmental Association. Your donations are improving coastal ecosystems with the introduction of can and bottle recycling and the planting of native trees.

The University of the Virgin Islands was able to secure additional funding to expand their recycling pilot project, allowing the initiative to be rolled out to both the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses. Before the recycling bins and materials are placed around the campuses, the project leaders have been hosting awareness events. When the bins are installed, the work won’t quite be over, as the leaders of the project see a significant need for education around recycling—both on the importance of recycling and about the proper way to recycle various items.

St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) is planting native trees on their home island. The trees play an important role in hurricane recovery and in restoring an ecosystem that can better withstand future storms:

  • Native trees are adapted to withstand the impacts of and recover from hurricanes.
  • The root systems of native trees are adapted to holding soil in place, keeping it on land rather than washing into the ocean and hurting coastal ecosystems.
  • These trees also host native pollinators, such as bees, hummingbirds, and bats—all of which are essential to forest recovery and the production of fruits, an important food source for the island’s humans and wildlife alike.

Thanks to generous discounts provided by the sellers, 310 trees were able to be purchased, exceeding the initial goal of 250. Of these trees, about half were given away at community events and the other half were planted by volunteers. Nearly 50 volunteers of all ages helped the relief effort by planting trees at a coastal reserve near an old tower that is home to several hundred cave bats.

Learn more about both these programs in the Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands’ project reports.

We love being able to share these stories from the field. Check your inbox in the coming months for updates on the progress of Island Spirit Fund partner organizations!

Tree planting at the coastal reserve
Tree planting at the coastal reserve
May 1, 2019

Project of the Month Club Update: May 2019

Vaga Lume Association
Vaga Lume Association

Dear Project of the Month Club,

I hope you had a great month of April—ours was particularly busy. We celebrated the power of the crowd with our Little By Little Campaign, where small donations made some big change! We are also very excited to share that we launched our very first Climate Fund Campaign this month because we believe in funding climate solutions led by the people most affected by our climate crisis. These organizations are competing for one of six year-long spots our new Climate Action Fund

On top of all that, you and the other 593 Project of the Month Club members raised $24,251—a new record—in support of Conservation Volunteers Australia, a GlobalGiving partner working in Victoria, Australia, and their Help Protect Endangered Bandicootsproject, which is working to protect the grasslands habitat of 400 endangered bandicoots. Way to go!

This month, your Project of the Month Club donation will support Vaga Lume Association's  Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children project in Brazil. The Brazilian Amazon covers 61% of the country’s territory and is home to 24 million people, yet is home to only 8.2% of the country’s public libraries. Vaga Lume promotes access to books and literacy in 99 rural communities in the Amazon by creating community libraries and training volunteers as reading mediators. By carefully selecting collections of books and encouraging adults to read to children, Vaga Lume is making reading both educational and fun for children in the Amazon!

Project leader Lia Jamra wanted to pass along this message to you and the rest of the Project of the Month Club supporters:


“Thank you for selecting us as your Project of the Month! By contributing to our cause you’re enabling Vaga Lume to keep providing quality education through literature to 15,000 children in the Brazilian Amazon. It’s very encouraging to see how much our project inspires the world and the belief that investing in children is the best way to create transformative change in the society. Through literacy, children can expand their perspectives and opportunities to achieve their full potentials and become protagonists of their lives.”

“This financial resource is very important to us because besides making access new quality books possible for children in remote communities of the Brazilian Amazon, it will allow the strengthening of libraries in the communities we already have established partnership with. We have already trained more than 4,500 read-aloud mediators and we will be able to spread even more “fireflies” (what we call our reading mediators) in the region.”


Their latest literary adventure took them from Sao Paulo to the heart of the Amazon on a recrei, a type of boat common to the region—you can read all about it in their latest project report. And if you want to see the ongoing impact of your donation this month, you can subscribe to their updates by visiting their GlobalGiving project page.

Thanks again for your ongoing support of the Project of the Month Club. Your donations have traveled from Mexico to Kenya to Australia and now to Brazil so far this year, and we’re excited to share where your donation is headed next month.


Warm wishes,

Alix Guerrier

GlobalGiving CEO

Conservation Volunteers Australia
Conservation Volunteers Australia
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