Apr 27, 2020

Our continued response to COVID-19

Action Femme Enfants, Senegal.
Action Femme Enfants, Senegal.

Since mid-March, Global Fund for Children has been working with our community-led partners, who are uniquely positioned to protect children and youth during the coronavirus pandemic. Support through our Emergency Response Fund is helping provide grassroots organizations with the immediate resources they need to keep young people safe and healthy during COVID-19 and beyond.

Since our last update:

  • Seventy-six partners in 22 countries have requested our support
  • We’ve already approved $153,000 in emergency grants to 54 partners
  • We expect partners to need more than $500,000 in the coming months alone

The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating vulnerabilities for children and youth worldwide, and GFC’s partners are at the heart of community responses. These local organizations have pivoted to providing emergency hygiene kits, critical food supplies, and accurate information to children and families. They're also struggling to support young people affected by economic fallout, spikes in violence, and unsafe situations caused by pandemic lockdowns, while searching for new ways to continue delivering key programming with limited resources.

Organizations GFC has helped support include:

Ashanti Peru, a group that works with Afro-Peruvian youth to combat racism and support the Afro-Peruvian community. The Afro-Peruvian community in Lima only has access to running water a few hours a day, and Ashanti Peru is distributing free hygiene kits with hand sanitizer and soap to hundreds of poor and vulnerable families there.

Samburu Girls Foundation, based in Kenya, which operates a rescue center for over 300 girls who have escaped from abusive homes, child marriage, and/or female genital mutilation. Because of the pandemic, Samburu was forced to shut down the center and find safe, temporary housing for the girls. Samburu is working with families, village leaders, and broadcast media to continue to protect these girls, as well as provide accurate information about COVID-19 to the community.

Institute for Rural Initiatives, based in Moldova, which builds civic culture and increases economic opportunities for children and families in Moldova’s poorest communities. Now, the biggest challenge these rural families are facing is hunger. Since the pandemic began, IRI has mobilized local groups in 19 villages all over Moldova, assisting 73 families and 249 children with food and essential supplies.

Your support is critical to helping more grassroots organizations like these meet urgent needs for children and communities.

GFC partner delivering masks and hand sanitizers.
GFC partner delivering masks and hand sanitizers.
A GFC partner in Honduras providing medical care.
A GFC partner in Honduras providing medical care.
Apr 1, 2020

What have we done so far?

The needs from around the world are pouring in, and while many of our community-based partners have been forced to suspend their normal work, they are pivoting to assist with hygiene and education to keep children and communities safe. We’ve been able to assist many of these local organizations, but needs exceed our resources. To help raise additional funds for our partners, we have launched this GlobalGiving project, as well as an Emergency Response Fund

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, over the past two weeks GFC has:

  • Heard from more than 40 community-based partners
  • Received requests for about $100,000 in support, with more expected every day
  • Approved $47,000 in emergency grants to partners, and we know that the needs will grow

Below are a few examples of the types of grassroots responses GFC is supporting: 

  • Hygiene supplies and personal protection equipment for children and families
  • Supplemental food and nutrition for families facing loss of income
  • Community education and door-to-door campaigns for disease prevention and to dispel myths
  • Radio programs and social media campaigns to raise awareness and share accurate information
  • Online and telephonic counseling services

GFC’s global grantmaking mechanism is well placed to quickly distribute funds to vetted organizations. Your support is critical to helping provide the immediate, on-the-ground resources they need.

Feb 10, 2020

Welcoming New Members to the YLC!

Saro, Owena and Sunga (permission received)
Saro, Owena and Sunga (permission received)

This is a very important time for the Youth Leadership Council, as with the engagement of three new young leaders Saro Imran from Pakistan, Owena Ardra from Indonesia and Sunga Kufeyani from Malawi, the team of nine young leaders is complete now. While we welcome them on board, we celebrate the diversity, commitment and passion of all the members to create more sustainable internal structures for the Council, as well as to establish their annual goals for 2020. Please get to know our new members and stay tuned for more exciting developments about the Council.

Saro Imran

Saro is a Young Transgender Activist and Entrepreneur for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of young people, especially from marginalized communities. She has been working in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & Gender Equality working with various international organizations. She has taken part in the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process by contributing to reports submission on SRHR issues faced by young people in Pakistan as well as the Transgender issues in Pakistan. She has also worked on different research projects aimed at understanding and highlighting the issues of marginalized communities, e.g. Antecedents of joining the transgender community and reciprocal perceptions; Feminist representation in Pakistani cinema; Understanding eunuchs through Pakistani television. Apart from that, she has also worked with UK AID & UNICEF for advocacy-based research like Choice & Voice; People's perspective about Health Services in Pakistan and Adolescents Development in South Asia respectively. She has developed a community-based organization in her region - Activists Alliance Foundation (AAGAHE), which envisions a society where all Transgender persons can live with dignity, self-respect, enjoying equal social justice and wellbeing.

Owena Ardra

Owena Ardra is a project coordinator at Yayasan Plan International Indonesia, a national NGO that works towards the fulfillment of children’s rights and equality of girls in Indonesia. The project she has been working on for two years now focuses on preventing child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and female genital mutilation in various districts of Indonesia. She is an active member of JARINGAN AKSI and represents her organization in Girls Not Brides, both are networks of organizations committed to ending child marriage by fulfilling the potential of girls. Since 16 years old, her fondness for children and high concerns for tolerance and inclusivity brought her to work closely with diverse groups of children and youths through volunteer activities, mostly those living in extreme poverty and children with disabilities. During her professional years, she has contributed to the development of various learning materials with non-profit organizations and government, such as modules to develop the village children protection group – a community-based child protection mechanism – and modules of comprehensive sexual education for adolescents with intellectual disability. This experience allowed her to initiate a global discussion group regarding MHM and disability amongst academicians, NGO workers, and MHM experts. Owena is an avid reader, writer, and independent bookshop enthusiast.

Sunga Kufeyani

Sunga Kufeyani is a Program and Project Management Professional. Very passionate about Human Rights, Education Empowerment for girls in Marginalized Communities as well as young women's participation in policy-making positions. She is a Co-Founder and COO of Loving Arms Malawi a local non-profit which works with young people in areas of abuse and education, Loving is committed to victim support and raising awareness on issues of sexual violence to encourage conversations with the hope of encouraging survivors to speak up as well as encouraging girls from marginalized communities both financially and emotionally in staying in school and pursuing their dreams. Sunga enjoys writing, creating and designing projects and campaigns. She is currently an Atlas Corps Fellow working with Philanthropy University supporting a group of community leaders in the global south. She also sits as a Board Member for Ufulu Groups a non-profit that empowers single parents with vulnerable and under-resourced backgrounds through skills training and dignified work. Previously, Sunga worked as a National Director for 2ndMilk a US organization that works with vulnerable families in Malawi providing formula and nutrition.

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