While our mandate is to advocate and provide support services for victims of gender based violence and lack of access to justice; COVID-19 arrived with challenges that was unforseen and unplanned which required us to diviate from our scheduled programs to provide basic food support to our clients:
Over the last 4 months we have had to:
Seek donations to procure basic food items and packed 1142 food packages and the same quantity of personal hygiene packs for our clients who had lost their jobs and in some instances their homes;
Set up remote counseling via IPAD to safe houses
Obtained a special pass from the NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NEMO) to distribute food and hygiene pack and also respond to GBV incidents during State of Emergency and Curfew;
Suspended group Counseling;
Suspended physical home visits and instead done face time just to reassure clients;
Suspended the completion of our office space and counseling room;
Received a Grant from GlobalGiving which allowed us to provide 320 food and hygiene packs to our clients.
COVID-19 has escalated the many challenges of GBV victims as the country shut down, GBV spiked and abusers used this time to escalate abuse, with school being closed and over 30K students at home so did sexual abuse.
The greatest challenge now is for food, rent and utilities with internet connection being key as most marginalized homes has no water, electricity, internet connection or digital devices for children to participate in E-Learning.
Disparties between the middle and upper class versus the poor and marginalized are more visible as the hospitality industry, small businesses, and self employed enterprise shut down and thereby shutting down paycheck to paycheck jobs leaving many unable to support basic needs.
“Safety planning is still our number one priority and we have integrated new applications on smartphones that alerts 6 people either via text, call or alert to signal the person needs help. We have created safe people and places to go for individuals who are still in the abusive home and as always, each situation is unique so all plans are tailored to the specific case
And above all else we continue to practice safety to avoid the spread of the corona virus.
We thank you for your support thus far and continue to ask for your donations to assist those who are unable to provide food and E-learning support for their children.
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