Covid-19 Young Leaders Fund supports five initiatives tackling the domestic violence “shadow pandemic”
One Young World launched a fund in May to support young people who are combatting the COVID-19 pandemic with innovative methods in the most challenging circumstances. The virus has generated a multitude of short and long-term issues, including the significant rise in domestic violence worldwide which has been dubbed the “shadow pandemic” by UN Women. As a result, One Young World has identified five exceptional young leaders working to protect survivors, women, and children at this time of heightened vulnerability.
Amanda Nguyen, USA – Survivor Safe Haven
Amanda Nguyen, CEO of Rise, established the Survivor Safe Haven initiative to provide the increased people at risk of sexual and domestic violence with access to resources and information during the government enforced lockdown.
Survivor Safe Haven partners with restaurants, grocery stores and other essential establishments to offer access to rapid response for survivors of domestic abuse. The initiative will use the grant to expand across the USA, and to not only provide rapid response during this time, but establish a long-term, strong and viable outlet for survivors in the foreseeable future.
Dickel Dia, Mauritania – Fight Co-Vi Initiative
As part of a collaborative of OYW Ambassadors and with support from her organisation AFPHY, Dickel Dia has established the Fight Co-Vi Initiative. Based on a survey the team conducted, they identified increased rates of domestic violence to women and girls in Mauritania and have since supported 140 victims with mentorship.
The project will use the grant to coach 10 victims in soap production, with the aim of producing and distributing over 5,000 bars of soap to vulnerable communities. They will also train a further 35 victims of violence to run their own water distribution cooperatives, reaching a further 5,000 people with handwashing facilities in 5 target localities.
Lebogang Bogopane, South Africa – Mothotlong Network Against Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
Lebogang Bogopane, as Founder of the Mothotlung Network Against Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, established the Sello Sa Mosadi project to protect victims of domestic violence and child abuse during lockdown. It provides trauma counselling, accommodation, food and transport to victims of abuse. It also operates a reporting service, and remote counselling services over the phone or online.
The organisation will use the funding to maintain this essential service for an increasing number of victims, while adhering to the WHO’s guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus.
Racheal Kalambula, Malawi – #AmWithHer
The #AmWithHer initiative, run by “Zenith for Young Women Achievers”, has established a one-stop-centre that receives and documents complaints of gender-based violence, refers victims for care and support, and reports violence with the social department, police station and judicial court.
It also collaborates with five Girls and Women Protection Committees in Blantyre’s townships, to orientate women in laws to ensure child protection and to protect victims of gender-based violence. The organisation will use the funding to operate the hotline, train volunteers to use the referral system, process the complaints and connect victims with psycho-social support.
Hauwa Ojeifo, Nigeria – She Writes Women Mental Health Initiative
She Writes Woman is a women-led movement tackling the stigma against mental health in Nigeria. The 297% rise in reported GBV cases during lockdown in the nation’s most populous cities brought increased urgency on their work. As a result, She Writes Woman is partnering with Women At Risk International to provide a 24/7 toll-free, crisis counselling helpline, serving as a first point of contact to ensure that survivors of GBV, as well as those living with mental health conditions, have access to confidential psychosocial support and counselling during the pandemic.
The partnership will use the grant to launch a virtual support group, open casefiles with mental health practitioners, and organise virtual counselling for survivors during the Covid-10 pandemic.