TACOMA, Washington — COVID-19 has exploded into a pandemic of such a scale not seen for generations. As of early November, the World Health Organization reported almost 49 million cases worldwide. Of this number, almost 10 million cases have been within the U.S. There is no doubt just how intense and devastating this pandemic has been and will continue to be, with the World Bank predicting that it may push more than 100 million people worldwide into extreme poverty. As a result, there are a number of organizations responding to COVID-19 around the world.
In spite of the hardship accompanying this challenging time, countless non-governmental organizations, have worked to aid those most in need. There are countless, incredible initiatives from the International Rescue Committee to UNICEF working to make a difference. However large-scale organizations are not the only ones making a difference. There are three incredible, grassroots organizations responding to COVID-19 both within their communities and across the globe.
Sphoorti Foundation’s Coronavirus Relief Project
Sphoorti is a non-profit foundation based in India that works to provide underprivileged children with long-term care and support including education, healthcare and basic skill training. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this foundation has broadened its focus. It has distributed more than 8,000 grocery kits and 30,000 bread packets among its local communities. The pandemic has resulted in a nationwide lockdown in India, causing many families to lose their livelihood.
Sphoorti’s Coronavirus Relief Project is working to prevent starvation among marginalized families in the local districts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh by providing them with food packets consisting of Rice, Dal, Oil, Turmeric, Salt and Mirchi. Having raised nearly a third of their overall goal, this foundation hopes to help families that have no other recourse. Should they not receive any support, these families would quickly fall victim to poverty.
Jake’s Diapers Inc. Coronavirus Preparedness for High-Risk Families
Native to Wisconsin, Jake’s Diapers is a non-profit that has long worked to provide necessary hygiene products such as diapers for infants, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities or special needs. Since 2018, this organization has empowered people by alleviating the financial burden of hygiene products.
Given that the COVID-19 virus is especially dangerous to the elderly and medically fragile, Jake’s Diapers has begun working to provide stockpiles of hygiene necessities to high-risk populations. It provides supplies to people living in or at risk of poverty at no cost to the recipients. Thus, enabling them to self-isolate and minimize their exposure to the novel coronavirus. By providing hygiene items, this organization is working to alleviate the financial burden of basic hygiene supplies. Thus, allowing people to afford more basic needs and make strides to end poverty.
Thanda U.K.’s Covid-19 Learning at Home and Food Relief RSA
Based in South Africa, Thanda U.K. is an organization that works to build up its communities by providing educational and skill-building opportunities. However, the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa has resulted in a significant loss of income across local communities. Many families are struggling to put meals on the table, let alone provide children with dynamic learning experiences.
Given these new circumstances, Thanda has shifted its focus to provide more than 800 children with 14 storybooks to keep. Additionally, it is also developing and delivering a complete curriculum for children to learn from home, at no cost to individual families. This organization is also working to purchase and deliver food packages for low-income families to ensure good nutrition and allow children to focus on empty notebooks rather than empty stomachs.
To learn more about these wonderful initiatives and discover countless other organizations that are in need of support, check out the resources available at Global Giving and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. These organizations responding to COVID-19 are working hard to help those most in need. For more information about the COVID-19 pandemic, look into the daily update from the World Health Organization and the data made available by John Hopkins University.
– Angie Bittar