Covid-19 Young Leaders Fund supports four initiatives addressing the inequality of support for isolated communities such as indigenous populations and refugees.
As the world slowly adjusts to the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, isolated communities are struggling without adequate support from their respective governments. Indigenous communities tend to be at a significantly higher risk from emerging, infectious diseases, and there are fears that Covid-19 could destroy entire nations and communities. Refugee communities also lack resilience to the pandemic resulting from misinformation, a lack of government services, and frequent cases of over-crowding in dedicated settlements. The following four recipients of One Young World’s Covid-19 Young Leaders Fund are supporting these demographics to ensure no one is left behind by the global effort to tackle the crisis.
Taban Shoresh, Kurdistan – Lotus Flower Emergency Covid-19 Response
Lotus Flower’s initiative is aimed at supporting Kurdish conflict survivors living in refugee camps in Iraq's Duhok region. The initiative comprises three main aspects: increasing community awareness of Covid-19, increasing community awareness and education on domestic violence which has increased during lockdown, and raising psychological support for those impacted by Covid-19, through one-to-one counselling or remote sessions via telephone. As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, NGOs were forced to leave the camps, meaning many people have been without essential support and services for two months.
Between March and May 2020, the project has directly impacted on 1,947 beneficiaries. It aims to reach an additional 2,000 individuals over the next three months, continuing the measures outlined above.
Laura Fatio, Brazil – Refugio 343
Refugio 343 is currently running two emergency initiatives in Boa Vista, Roraima, where there is a high concentration of Venezuelan refugees. The goal is to provide emergency assistance to 804 families in 14 occupancies, lacking infrastructure, electricity or drinking water, and health access.
The refugee population is in an exceptionally precarious position, and in need of immediate support to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Inside refugee camps, there is not enough space for social distancing or hygiene practices. Refugio 343 is working to guarantee basic health conditions of survival during this difficult period, through the distribution of cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and food baskets. The organisation is also supporting a temporary emergency hospital with hospital equipment and IPE.
Tania Rosas, Colombia – Fundación El Origen
Fundación El Origen works to reduce school dropouts in indigenous communities across LATAM designing education programs and working hands on with teachers and students in rural schools. Due to COVID-19, they have developed the first offline learning app adapted for indigenous students who have the lowest education levels worldwide.
Fundación El Origen has partnered with the La Guajira government to distribute the learning app for 2,900 indigenous children and youth, in the first round, which will be available on tablets that the government will distribute in July. With this grant the organisation will improve its capacity for distribution and make the platform even more accessible for communities across LATAM.
Melissa Diamond, USA – A Global Voice for Autism
The Include2020 project operates in Jordan, Turkey, and Palestine to comprehensively address the needs of refugee and conflict-affected families of children with autism and the refugee teachers that support them. Through this initiative, the organisation is tackling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on these families by developing and launching an inclusive education application for 5-13 year-old Arabic speaking learners with special needs, running an emergency fund to support families in dire situations, and providing families of children with special needs with access to specialised trainings to address challenges that have escalated during the pandemic.
In the next three months the team aim to directly impact 1800 caregivers and their children with special needs, 32 teachers of refugees, 250 conflict-affected, members of families with children with special needs.
Interested in applying for a grant from the Covid-19 Young Leaders Fund?
Applications close on 31st August 5pm BST