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Adapting to a new reality

Over the last months Covid-19 has created a global health and economic crisis that is testing everyone of us. For our 23 partners in 46 countries who are working to improve living conditions through projects within Education, Equality, Water and Planet this new reality has challenged the everyday work and the plans and goals that were set.

Mother with her two children, Peru

Covid-19 is a wake-up call to the world that pandemics show no respect for national boundaries. If we are going to beat this crisis and recover from its consequences, international cooperation is more important than ever. As a collaboration partner and donor, we acknowledge the importance of standing together as we all navigate these challenging and uncertain times.

We have an important role to play in listening in on the most urgent needs defined by our partners. This means being flexible with our joint projects, adapting current grants, payment schedules, timelines, reporting requirements, site visits as well as our own current and future plans. And to specifically support the work to prevent, detect and respond to the pandemic, we have made a donation of USD 500,000 to WHO through the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund .

Being a flexible donor is key

Some concrete examples of how our projects have been adapted;

Missing Children, Europe – Protecting migrant children on their move through Europe
The Miniila App, an important tool developed to support the children in their everyday challenges now includes a special section called Coronavirus providing them with accurate information on the effects of the virus, such as suspension of asylum application procedures, sanitary conditions in camps, the transit situation across Europe and their closest available support.

Save the Children, Romania – Providing marginalized children with education
During Covid-19 teachers have additional training with the children in the programs in their homes through WhatsApp. Instead of the daily meal in school, the children have received social tickets to buy their own food.

Practical Action, India – Innovative technology to provide clean water and sanitation
The project pilots innovative technology for faecal sludge management in the town Choudwar – from toilets to disposal of waste to bio-gas and compost to energy and clean water technology. During the pandemics the focus of the project is to limit the spread by providing handwashing facilities as well as awareness raising activities such as social distancing messaging and working with self-help groups to produce masks and soap. Also, supporting water, sanitation, waste and energy services to continue operating safely and working with longer term recovery with a focus on clean energy – improving incomes and community facilities and making cities cleaner, safer places to live.

Plan, Cambodia – Water and sanitation to vulnerable communities
Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene improves people’s health. During Covid-19 the additional focus is to support national prevention campaigns, adapting and intensifying hygiene promotion messages, providing handwashing stations in households, markets, health centers and schools etc.

War Child, Colombia – The Peace Circus, a peace building collaboration
The project invests in a peaceful future for children affected by armed conflicts, by changing attitudes through play, theatre, visual arts, music, games and more. During the Covid-19 lockdown, the children are supported in their peace education process through digital booklets with activities to do at home with their families, hygiene kits and video sessions focusing on psychosocial support. Also, an art challenge will be promoted through WhatsApp and local radio, encouraging children and adolescents to express their feelings about the situation caused by Covid-19 with drawings, paintings, comics and other forms of art. The teachers will be continuously supported through calls, digital meetings etc. to promote their self-care and strengthen their skills to provide education to their students through virtual channels. The schools will be supported to prepare for reopening, when it comes to their WASH facilities and how to prevent the transmission of the virus in their facilities. The project will also focus on awareness rising on Covid-19 through spots on local radio to prevent the spread of the virus as well as preventing domestic violence during lock down.

CARE, Global Program – Supporting female entrepreneurs
This program supports women entrepreneurs in low-income communities to develop and grow their businesses. In the light of Covid-19 women in Sierra Leone receive additional support through digital networks, training on business continuity, risk management and livelihood diversification as well as safe and efficient payment methods connected to microfinancing. In Sri Lanka the entrepreneurs hit by the economic crisis gain access to a 50/50 grant and interest free loan to for example restart their businesses, improve work-place safety and prevent the spread of Covid-19 and in Guatemala women who have been badly affected by food shortage due to the crisis are supported with food and nutrition.