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GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund

by the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund
Photo by PCI-Media Impact.
Photo by PCI-Media Impact.

In December, TIME magazine named Ebola Fighters — doctors, nurses, caregivers, scientists, and medical directors "who answered the call," often putting their own lives on the line — as its "Person of the Year." We couldn't agree more: local West Africans and long-time residents like Iris Martor are courageous, vital, and worthy of support.

While much of the emergency funding from private donors and companies has been channeled to U.S. government partnerships and programs, we've been focused on helping donors reach the "last mile" with their donations. Aaron Debah is familiar with that last mile. Aaron, a Liberian nurse, has rallied his neighbors to go house-to-house to combat rumors and misinformation in a culturally relevant way. He's also producing a local radio show about Ebola to spread the message more widely in the community. Through Internews, GlobalGiving donors like you are funding motorbikes for community activists, a scanner/copier/printer, and mobile phones, among other items. Through your generosity, people like Aaron are making an enormous difference in the fight against the virus at a hyper-local level.

$3 Million and Counting for Locally Driven Ebola Solutions
At the end of 2014, we announced that more than $3 million for Ebola relief had been donated from donors like you in 68 countries through the GlobalGiving community. Already, 29 community organizations that are preventing and fighting the spread of the virus in West Africa have received support through this fund. By giving to local nonprofits that are deeply rooted in the affected areas, you are supporting organizations that were creating change in their own communities long before this Ebola outbreak - and will be there to drive the recovery of the region over the long term.

More than 3,800 of you have supported the efforts of these organizations to fight Ebola. In November, a $200 donation to the fund came from a community of concerned people in Mozambique: "Though it may not seem like much, this is equivalent to two months minimum wage here. Thank you for connecting our hearts with fellow Africans who are suffering!" said Brian, the man whose family collected and sent the donations to GlobalGiving.

Private foundations have joined donors like you to support locally driven organizations combating Ebola in West Africa through GlobalGiving. In August, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation gave $100,000 to the GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund in the form of a matching grant, motivating more than 700 individual donors to give $100,000 over a span of just four days. In September, the Sall Family Foundation also gave $100,000 and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation contributed $400,000. And in November the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave $2.2 million to the fund.

Transparency around this funding is important to us. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving has been vetted and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work. We're also publishing donation data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) on a daily basis.

A Marketplace That Creates Local Resilience
As 2014 was coming to a close, Jennifer Lentfer, a leading blogger on aid effectiveness, made this comment: "Grassroots groups fighting Ebola have formidable challenge. They must continually seek out and compete for new resources in a funding environment that favors short-term grants to larger, higher-profile groups and that is often led by global trends rather than persistent, ongoing challenges."

Jennifer is right, and that's exactly the reason the GlobalGiving marketplace exists. We work not only to connect small groups to major funding, but to help those organizations build their own capacity and funding networks so that their communities will be stronger and more resilient in the face of ongoing challenges and future crises.

For us at GlobalGiving, it's about even more than just access to funding. We're also making sure that local organizations have access to the information and ideas they need to be as effective as possible with the money they do have. We're connecting organizations of all sizes to technology and information that would have otherwise only been available to major international NGOs.

More Than Just Funding: Access to Technology That Could Help Stop Ebola
In November, several of our nonprofit partners in West Africa highlighted a major challenge: they needed faster access to data from the field. We connected those nonprofits with Journey, a South African technology company with a history of success developing mobile health solutions in Africa. Journey is now working with GlobalGiving partners to create and distribute the Ebola Care app, helping health workers track individual patients, coordinate education events, follow up with at-risk children and orphans, and log data about survivors.

"In order to be effective during any crisis, being able to access real-time data is critical, as time is of the essence," Sam Herring, data manager for More Than Me, one of our partners that is using the app in the slum of West Point, Liberia, explains. "Thanks to the Ebola Care app, data that once took weeks to get to us is now rolling in by the minute. This allows us to identify hot zones, have our ambulance transport suspected Ebola patients to Ebola treatment units immediately, send in our social mobilization team to provide psychosocial support, food, and cleaning items to affected homes, and enable our nursing team to educate residents about prevention."

Together with Journey, we've mobilized smartphone donations for nonprofits that have the desire and capacity to use the app. And after developing it with input from some of our with local partners in Liberia, Journey is distributing the app on smartphones to other GlobalGiving partners who have expressed interest. Journey also continues to gather feedback and improve the app based on feedback from the field so that it will become even more effective in meeting the needs of health workers on the ground.

Our co-founder, Mari, gave a TEDx talk earlier this year in which she noted that "the power of crowdfunding isn't in the funding, it's in the crowd." We've seen that idea come to life over the past several months as we invest in organizations networking to support the fight against Ebola. Thank YOU for the important role you’ve played in making this happen.

Stay tuned for another update next week where we will share more details about the life-saving work each of these locally driven groups are doing on the ground in West Africa!

Aaron Debah (R) and colleague Roosevelt Dolo.
Aaron Debah (R) and colleague Roosevelt Dolo.
What questions do you have about Ebola Relief?
What questions do you have about Ebola Relief?

Dear Ebola Fund donors,

We regularly send these reports with written updates about how your donations are being put to work to fight Ebola. But today’s update accompanies an invitation: we’re inviting you to participate in a conversation with some of the important leaders who are responding to Ebola in West Africa.

Join our Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (or AMA) happening today, Thurs Oct 2, between 11am and 1pm ET. Our partners on the ground will be available to answer any of your questions about your donations and the conditions they’re seeing in West Africa. Here's who you’ll hear from:

  • Bisi Iderabdullah - IMANI HOUSE. Partially funded by your donations, Bisi's clinic in the Brewerville section of Monrovia, Liberia has been one of the only health care providers to 17,000 people in the area. After losing two of its staff to Ebola, Imani House is focusing its efforts on safeguarding staff and patients from the disease and educating the local community about how to stop transmission of the disease. Watch an interview with Bisi from last week.

  • Emily Bell -  MORE THAN ME. Before the outbreak, Emily's organization ran an academy for vulnerable girls in Monrovia. Since Ebola's arrival, they've shifted their focus toward coordinating community efforts, providing housing for children orphaned by the disease, and supporting local care and education efforts. Their work was featured in a TIME story published yesterday.
  • Carolyn Yi and Mat Jacobs - INTERNEWS. Persistent misinformation and rumors about Ebola have been hampering efforts of aid organizations since the beginning of the outbreak. With help from your funds, Internews is working to support local media outlets in West Africa, who can build trust and spread accurate information in ways international and government sources often can't. Their executive director wrote an oped this week in The Guardian about the value of local media in combating Ebola.

  • Britt Lake, Alison Carlman, and Will Frechette - GLOBALGIVING. We're coordinating the 18 organizations responding to Ebola in the GlobalGiving network. We're also actively working to raise awareness about the epidemic, and to regularly report to donors about how their funds are being used. Here are the Ebola projects on GlobalGiving.

If you can’t participate in the AMA live, please check the link here to see a record of the conversation that takes place.

As always, we’d love to answer any of your questions about your donation, either on Reddit, by phone, or email.  Thank you so much for your generosity.

Photo by Develop Africa
Photo by Develop Africa

Ebola continues to spread across West Africa, with the number of those affected continuing to rise dramatically.  The latest report from the World Health Organization counts 3,069 cases of Ebola in the region and 1,552 deaths from the disease so far.

The region’s entire health system is under strain. Clinics across West Africa are closing their doors, and the numbers of available trained workers is dwindling as health workers contract Ebola themselves or return to their home countries. Liberia recently enacted a curfew and a quarantine that affected tens of thousands of people.  Livelihoods are collapsing as people cannot go to work or collect food or water for their families.  Misinformation continues to be a major factor in the spread of Ebola, with many people still refusing to believe that Ebola even exists.

Our hard-working, locally-driven partners in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are engaging in a wide range of proven tactics to counteract this outbreak. Some are providing direct care to those already infected with Ebola, while others are providing personal protective equipment to keep aid workers safe. A number of our partners are executing public education campaigns and distributing sanitary products in order to stop the spread of the disease in their communities.

Your donation to our Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund is already hard at work fighting the outbreak. We made our first grants to partner organizations within one week of opening this fund and have continued to get money to the ground quickly so that it can be used by those most in need.  When deciding how to allocate these funds, we looked at the individual activities, budgets, and other donations received by our partner organizations.  Below is the full list of grants made to date:

As always, we will continue to update you on how your funds are being used, and invite you to see the full list of partner nonprofits currently seeking funds for Ebola relief work.  Thank you for being part of the effort to put a stop to this terrible epidemic.

Photo by Imani House
Photo by Imani House
Ebola Isolation Tent (by Greatest Goal Ministries)
Ebola Isolation Tent (by Greatest Goal Ministries)
Imani House clinic, Liberia (credit: Imani House)
Imani House clinic, Liberia (credit: Imani House)

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has worsened over the past week. More than 1,600 people are reported to be infected with the virus and 887 have died from the disease, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization.

The Associated Press is reporting the second confirmed case of Ebola in Nigeria. A doctor in Lagos, Africa's most populous city, contracted the virus after treating an Ebola victim who had traveled there from Liberia.

Britt Lake, our Director of Programs, joined Devin Thorpe from GoodCrowd.info and Sylvester Renner of Develop Africa in a Google Hangout last Thursday to discuss Ebola and crowdfunding efforts to support aid organizations fighting the outbreak.

GlobalGiving is currently partnering with a range of aid groups on the ground in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. They urgently need your support to fund medical supplies for Ebola patients, protective equipment for doctors and educational campaigns to dispel myths surrounding the outbreak that are making it difficult to deliver care and stop transmission of the virus.

You can learn more about our nonprofit partners being supported through this fund at http://www.globalgiving.org/ebola.

 

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