Hope this email meets you well and healthy in these difficult times.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, TSDI’s agship program was our aliate partnership with Strategy for Innovation and Development (SI4DEV), an NGO in Nigeria. TSDI worked with SI4DEV to design the SI4DEV Partners Training Program in 2017. The training program oers an informal certicate on community development to trainees who successful pass through WhatsApp classes and oine project-based learning.
Since 2018, alumni who have graduated from this 6-month program have led various projects, including educational handwashing outreach among other health campaigns, and now form the core of the 90-strong Collaborative Alunmi group.
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Nigeria, TSDI was one of the rst responders through a$5000 targeted donation to SI4DEV. While the government and larger private philanthropies were still mobilizing, SI4DEV launched their 5 million-naira ($14,000) COVID-19 community response fund two days after the president announced cross-country shutdowns on March 29.
The Fund has over the past 3 months supported awareness and prevention of COVID-19, with the following response and recovery activities for the most vulnerable populations:
Accurate Information for community influencers: This is necessary to directly combat initial myths that poor people or Africans were immune to the virus, or that the virus cannot survive the hot weather in Nigeria. People were erroneously taught by religious leaders that “COVID-19 cannot get to believers” who are protected by God.
Food and Hygiene Supplies:Most people at the grassroots level say they will only stay home as ordered by the government if they have a good stockpile of food. These are petty traders or self-employed artisans and farmers, who must go out to work daily and depend on their earned income for food and other needs. Most also cannot afford soap for handwashing.
Awareness on COVID-19 prevention strategies: In addition to knowing about the virus, people need to know suitable precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria. Sensitization so far has been through social media, TV, radio and newspapers, but the audience of these news sources are mostly educated and high-income people. The average market woman or farmer cannot afford to buy these devices or may not have time to listen to them. Most of their information comes directly from influencers within the community.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities: These are vital to limiting the spread of the COVID-19 infection but proper hygiene is not maintained in homes and communities with high poverty, because they cannot afford the extra expenses for soap and water.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): When the prices of PPEs, soaps and sanitizers surged due to global demand, it made it difficult for local healthcare workers to make budgeted purchases and left medical staff at increased risk because of their close contact with people who may be infected. Health education workers could also not get the essential gloves and masks that will allow them to remain safe as they take the message to the communities.
In times like these, we really appreciate your financial and morale support.
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