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May 27, 2020

Continued Recovery During A Global Pandemic

Photo from HeadKnowles Foundation
Photo from HeadKnowles Foundation

The planes full of tourists stopped arriving at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport in late March. With one of the most restrictive “shelter in place” policies globally, the Bahamas has been on an intense lockdown for nearly two months. President Minnis and his leadership made clear the seriousness of the restrictions: 

The order instructs every individual, excluding for essential workers, to remain to the confines of their residence, including their yard space, to avoid contact outside of the family, except for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or gas station to refuel.”  

While some aspects of life in this multi-island country are returning to “normal,” it’s important to remember that just months prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, the Bahamas suffered catastrophic casualties and destruction from Hurricane Dorian.  

It is estimated that more than 50% of GDP in the Bahamas is tourism-based. And while Nassau was seeing a return to more typical levels of activity in early 2020, Grand Bahama, Abaco, and many of the Out Islands were still struggling to repair, rebuild, and recover. Once COVID-19 became a serious concern, all work to rebuild housing, repair, and reopen schools, and to establish marine habitats came to a grinding halt. 

Many of our international partners were forced to pause or severely limit their work, as well as evacuate their teams from the islands. But this hasn’t changed local teams’ commitment to their nation’s recovery. Because of your generosity, we have been able to provide much-needed emergency funding to Lend a Hand Bahamas and Head-Knowles Foundation, two anchor nonprofits that have continued serving their communities and those impacted by the continued adversity experienced by the people of the Bahamas.  

Lend a Hand Bahamas works with at-risk youth and provides programming in the Grants Town community in Nassau. But all the usual programmingbasketball tournaments, computer classes, and sewing classeswas halted to abide by lockdown and movement restrictions. Leveraging relationships allowed the Lend a Hand team to provide healthy meals to 150 children and the elderly each week during the month of April. In addition, they have mobilized in new ways to support their core community:

We have rolled out a mobile connectivity plan for the youth and seniors in the community to include 100 participants. They are utilizing smartphones to connect via group video calls to stay in touch, to participate in an online literacy program, virtual art program, receive other critical updates/have access to online educational resources, to learn to sew masks, and even to participate in community virtual karaoke and exercise programs.” 

- Shelagh Pritchard, Director, Lend a Hand Bahamas

Beyond Grant’s Town, Lend a Hand is working in partnership with other local nonprofits to provide food and hygiene and household supplies to 120 families in the Gambier neighborhood.  

Much of the post-Dorian recovery has been focused in Nassau and on Abaco and Grand Bahama Island.  But the Bahamas is a country of more than 100 islands, several dozen of which are inhabited. While task forces have been formed to address food shortages in New Providence, the need is still acute on several of the Out Islands. Head-Knowles Foundation, a new GlobalGiving partner, is using your donations to the Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund to get food and supplies to families on Andros, Eleuthera, and Long Island, and more remote parts of Abaco. Since the storm, Head-Knowles has been a driving force in the provision of food and water, medical supplies, furniture, and more. They are now also working to establish storm bunkers, full of crucial resources, to promote preparedness for future storms.

Thank you again for your contributions to the Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund. Your generosity allows our nonprofit partners to stay nimble in the face of numerous hardships. And, of course, I hope you will continue to stay safe and well during these complicated times.

With gratitude,

Donna Callejon + the GlobalGiving Team

Lend a Hand Bahamas Making Deliveries in Gambier
Lend a Hand Bahamas Making Deliveries in Gambier
May 26, 2020

Standing Together in the Midst of COVID-19

Photo from Urban Harvest
Photo from Urban Harvest

At GlobalGiving, we are working around the clock during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to best serve our nonprofit community across 170 countries. We have launched a Coronavirus Relief Fund, piloted a Hardship Microgrant Initiative, and doubled down on trusting our partners to know what is best for their communities during this emergency.

The COVID-19 crisis is not only upending our own lives and the lives of our loved ones, but it is also disproportionately hurting the most vulnerable among us and in communities around the world. This reality is especially true for communities that have already been severely affected by recent disasters, like Hurricane Harvey, and now find themselves on an even more complex and daunting journey to recovery. Nearly three years since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, the communities in and around the Houston area continue to grapple with the lasting impacts of the storm and the slow support from local, state, and federal sources. 

GlobalGiving remains committed to serving our nonprofit partners on the frontline of continued Hurricane Harvey recovery work. At the beginning of May, GlobalGiving made a round of rapid response donations from the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to provide immediate flexibility to our nonprofit partners in Texas as they now also respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in Hurricane Harvey-impacted communities. 

I want to share how three of our partners are doubling down on their critical work during the pandemic, thanks to your donation.

  • Urban Harvest launched its “Grow Resilience” program to ensure all Houstonians, especially those severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey, stay healthy, active, and fed during the COVID-19 crisis. The organization is committed to three core activities:
    • Sustaining the largest farmers market in the region, which supports 110 hard-hit local farms and small businesses, while offering a safe way for community members to access food.
    • Reaching 19,500 Houstonians with organic garden education via online webinars, classes, and resources.
    • Matching SNAP benefits dollar-for-dollar on fresh produce at farmers' markets across the city.

  • Coalition for the Homeless is the lead agency of the Houston region’s homelessness response system. Reports suggest that those experiencing homelessness face a higher risk of becoming infected by, and dying from, the virus. The organization is working quickly to promote and provide equitable and rapid access to information, supplies, and services for individuals experiencing homelessness. It is also playing a key role in advocating for access to testing, care, and treatment related to COVID-19including safe spaces for people experiencing homelessness to self-isolate.

  • Target Hunger is on the frontlines of meeting the food security needs of so many in the Houston area who are not sure where their next meal will be found. The organization has seen a growing number of people seeking help during this tumultuous time, reporting that 45% of its current clients are new individuals seeking food assistance. Target Hunger is responding by delivering food to senior households, increasing the distributions of its food pantries, and activating its mobile food distribution network. 

From our nonprofit partners and everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for your incredible generosity. Joining together with 30,000 other people, your choice to support community-led recovery efforts in Texas makes all the difference during this difficult time.

Stay safe and well.

With gratitude,

Chase + the GlobalGiving team

 

Photo from IsraAID
Photo from IsraAID
May 26, 2020

Emergency Grants For Refugees During COVID-19

Photo from Near East Foundation (NEF)
Photo from Near East Foundation (NEF)

COVID-19 has now been reported in more than 200 countries and territories, and there are more than 5.5 million confirmed cases of the virus around the world. More than 80% of the world’s refugees are hosted in low-to-middle-income countries, where many healthcare systems lack the capabilities to combat the virus on such a large scale. Additionally, typical accommodations in refugee camps make it nearly impossible for individuals to practice social distancing or quarantining. In the words of one nonprofit leader from Jafra Foundation for Relief and Youth Development

“For refugees, the virus has not only exacerbated existing vulnerabilities, but it has also created new ones.”

Disaster specialists at GlobalGiving recognize that this incredibly challenging time for refugees warrants a special response—so, with help from your generous donation, we made a round of emergency grants to 10 organizations in the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund. 

Here’s a highlight of how organizations are using emergency COVID-19 grants to keep refugee families safe and healthy during the crisis:

  • Movement on The Ground: As one of the few organizations with permission to operate in Lesvos as well as Samos, Greece, Movement on The Ground is promoting proper hygiene and providing refugees with critical information on how to avoid infection of COVID-19.
  • Jafra Foundation for Relief and Youth Development: Jafra has focused its response on disinfecting camps and gatherings in Syria and Lebanon, raising awareness on COVID-19 prevention and precaution methods, and distributing sewn face masks and much-needed food items.
  • Near East Foundation (NEF): Members at NEF are on the ground in Syria coordinating with local health committees to provide COVID-19 education to local residents at two community livelihood centers. In Jordan and Lebanon, NEF staff is continuing to provide entrepreneurs with support for their small businesses and income-generating activities, despite many refugees already losing their jobs.
  • Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM): Nonprofit leaders at ASAM are providing critical counseling services and awareness-raising activities to ensure that refugees can cope with the added stress of the virus as well as take the necessary protective measures to prevent further outbreaks.

We are incredibly grateful for your support—it is your generosity that is enabling us to partner with local organizations serving the most vulnerable in their communities. To learn more about GlobalGiving’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see this letter from GlobalGiving CEO, Alix Guerrier.

Stay safe and take care,

Claire + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from ASAM
Photo from ASAM
 
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