Community Responses to COVID-19 Across the Globe

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Global Alumni Coordinator

As Coronavirus cases soar globally, and the pandemic too often hits the most vulnerable communities the hardest, Goldin’s Global Fellows around the world widen a cycle of compassion to provide support, food and feed their neighbors in need.

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Soup for the Soul: Chicago, USA

In North Lawndale, Annamaria Leon, in collaboration with local neighborhood groups, launched Soup for the Soul project to help West Side residents who struggle to access fresh food. The program fills a gap in availability of free food on Mondays in the neighborhood.

"It’s not a handout. We’re just feeding our neighbors. I eat the same soup myself. And if it wasn’t for COVID right now, we’d be having these meals together.” -- Annamaria Leon, Chicago Peace Fellow

The project provides about 200 portions of soup every Monday and they are fundraising money to cover the $700 weekly cost of the program. You can support their efforts by donating to the campaign or sharing with friends and families at the GoFundMe campaign page.

Read More about Soup for the Soul in this article by Block Club Chicago


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Twin Crisis in Cameroon: Bamenda, Cameroon

Alexander Gwanvalla, a Global Fellow in Cameroon provided masks for young people, orphans, and widows in two communities near Bamenda. With support from Goldin Institute, Alex fundraised through Facebook to secure foodstuffs and livestock for his neighbors in Bamenda. Additionally, Alex and his team at Community Green Engagement (CGE) have assisted a father who required medical assistance for his leg, and also provided direct cash assistance to 6 other families in crisis.

“It is a very difficult time for us here in Cameroon, but Community Green Engagement continues to offer resources, training and hope.” -- Alexander Gwanvalla, Goldin Global Fellow

Despite the pandemic, and the on-going anglophone crisis in Cameroon, CGE continues to build self-sustaining and ecologically sound support for communities to assist themselves.

Read More about Alex's Work in Cameroon


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Solidarity Through Struggle: Makindu, Kenya

Mariam Ali Famau, a Goldin Global Fellow and founder of Peaceful Innovation Organization headquartered in Nairobi, is currently collaborating with the Village Councillor to provide food to women in the village of Makindu in rural Kenya.

“You may lack clothes and a house to sleep in, but having food is a must, you can sleep anywhere!” -- Mariam Ali Famau, Goldin Global Fellow

Mariam is also mobilizing friends and relatives to donate clothes, food and sanitary pads. Unemployment in the region is staggering. Many villagers have lost jobs, particularly within the education, tourism, or entertainment sectors, as a result of national lockdowns, curfews, and lay-offs as employers increasingly fail to sustain their businesses.

Read More about Mariam's Work in Kenya.


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Critical Support for Families: Gulu, Uganda

In July of this year, our Global Fellows from Uganda, Geoffrey Omony and Diana Alaroker, reported that many families in Uganda were sleeping on empty stomachs due to an inability to access affordable food. In an effort to curb COVID-19, the Ugandan government instituted a national lockdown which significantly impacted individuals’ livelihoods and strained economic opportunities. Businesses and all modes of transportation were closed to limit the spread of coronavirus. Many of YOLRED’s beneficiaries rely on daily income-generating activities to sustain their households and feed their families; marginalised groups, such as persons with disabilities and single mothers, were most impacted as a result of these pandemic safety measures.

“Taking home these items will make me a man and father again. I would like to thank YOLRED and the people sponsoring it so much for caring out us.” -- Oyet, Gulu Resident

Geoffrey and Diana, through YOLRED, distributed emergency relief food, sanitary and educational materials worth over eight million Uganda shillings (approximately US$2,200) to at least one hundred of such starving families.

Read More about YOLRED's work in Uganda.


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Progress In Spite of COVID: Eastern Cape, South Africa

COVID-19 forced our Global Fellow in South Africa, Dieudonne Allo, to change direction and increase focus on digital marketing skills for small businesses. Allo, through his organization –Leading Light Initiative, provided training and businesses coaching to unemployed women, youth, and people with disabilities. This year, 6 participants passed the Cisco IT Essential exams, 3 new IT business were created, and one of the participants has found employment in the tech sector.

To further help small businesses, Allo is looking for financial partners to help scale up the initiative to reach more people in remote areas of South Africa. To help support this initiative, please visit https://globalleadinglight.org/

Read More about Dieudonne's work in South Africa.


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