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COVID-19 Response

Responding to the COVID-19 crisis by helping the world's most vulnerable women survive

Illustration of women standing together for infographic

14,340 women have been served during the pandemic with cash assistance, radio awareness, phone calls, hygiene kits, WhatsApp groups and more.

Illustration for cash assistance during COVID-19 infographic

Cash & Sustenance Support

  • 6,190 program participants have received emergency cash assistance.
  • 2,250 fruiting trees were distributed in Afghanistan before COVID-19 related country shutdowns to ensure women have a future source of food and income.
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Science-based Information

  • 1,660,053 people in local communities in South Sudan, DRC, and Nigeria were reached by radio programs discussing COVID-19 information and women‚Äôs issues.
  • 5,443 program participants were reached via messaging platforms with information about Women for Women International‚Äôs COVID-19 response and prevention.
Illustration of a soap bar and face mask for infographic

Lifesaving Health Kits & Personal Protective Equipment

  • 5,900 hygiene kits containing hand sanitizer, toilet paper, gloves, masks, and soap were distributed in Afghanistan and Nigeria.
  • 81,518 masks were distributed to protect the communities we serve, 47,113 of those were made by women in our programs.
  • 18,213 bars of soap were distributed within communities we serve, 6,384 of those were made by women in our programs.

What We Are Doing to Help

As the COVID-19 crisis forces many people into isolation, our global community is steadfast in our mission to support women. 

Across our country programs, all of our in-person trainings were temporarily suspended to protect the health and safety of women we serve and our staff, and in compliance with government measures.

Your support has helped us provide women with the accurate information and health resources they need to prevent the spread of disease. From handwashing to hygiene kits, women across the world are better prepared to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from coronavirus, with many drawing on the power and leadership they learned during the program to educate others.   

We are constantly monitoring the local situation. As contexts around COVID-19 change in some locations and governments can ease restrictions, in-person trainings will carefully and gradually resume so women can continue their journey of transformation. In the face of this dynamic pandemic, we are taking every precaution to ensure everyone’s health and safety, which requires flexibility with training schedules and may mean rolling closures. But we remain committed to supporting women in the middle of crisis.

We‚Äôve¬†started this¬†process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Afghanistan, where we are gradually inviting women back into training sessions. For now, we are prioritizing women who¬†have already¬†been enrolled¬†to continue their¬†training. Sponsors¬†whose sister returns to continue her training¬†will be able to continue sponsoring the same¬†woman.¬†With¬†your help, we can continue to support women in staying safe and healthy during this crisis ‚ÄĒ and to stand by them as they rebuild their lives afterwards.¬†

Thank you for your support! A quick message from the frontlines:

 

About Sponsorship 

Along with impacting our country programs, the global pandemic has affected our sponsorship program. Sadly, restrictions due to COVID-19 mean that we can only safely resume training for women who had already begun the program. To start, we will invite women back in phases and into smaller classes, to help limit personal contact.

When women return to the program, sponsors who have already been matched will be able to continue supporting them.

Limiting contact for women’s safety and health means that we unfortunately cannot enroll more women into the program, due to currently suspending the larger recruitment events.  

Although we are not able to enroll new groups of women right now, please don’t let that stop you from signing up to sponsor a sister today. Your continued sponsorship support helps us develop the innovative solutions you see here, and continue to provide lifechanging wellness, economic and social empowerment training resources to our sisters. By signing-up to sponsor a sister now, you are helping us to ensure that we are able to continue our essential program and enroll even more women into our training as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Read Our COVID-19 Blogs & Updates

Distance Won’t Stop Our Support 

Across all our country programs, our teams have innovated solutions that help women protect against coronavirus while supporting them with the many other pressures that come alongside crisis. 

Mobilizing Women 

In countries such as Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, women in our program and graduates are using tailoring skills to sew masks. In many of these countries, they send masks to support local efforts, such as health workers and police officers, along with their own family and neighbors.  

Our DRC team has collaborated with women who produce soap by providing them materials, purchasing soap from them, and distributing them to other women in the program who need it.  

Graduates of our program have joined the local government response in Nigeria to educate people on COVID-19. 

Distributing Life Saving Resources 

We have distributed over 4,700 hygiene kits to women in Afghanistan, providing them with soap, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, toilet paper, and even leaflets to remind them of how to prevent spreading the disease. 

Where possible, our teams have also continued providing women with their cash stipend. In South Sudan, women also receive bars of soap when they pick up their cash stipend.  

In some countries, women receive their stipends remotely through banks and mobile money transfers.  

Technological Innovations 

Our team has been using technology to stay connected to women’s needs and provide women with trustworthy, accurate health and hygiene information.  

Through cellphone groups on social media and apps like Viber, women in our Iraq program have been able to stay in contact and be each other’s support system. These groups have been crucial to addressing rising violence against women.  

Where women have less access to cellphones, our teams have worked with groups to set up communication trees to stay informed.  

Radio programs are both a popular and trustworthy medium in communities where we work. We have collaborated with health experts from the local government and NGOs to educate women and their communities on the pandemic through these programs. 

In Kosovo, though, where many women have more access to technology, our trainings have transitioned digitally, so women can continue learning remotely.  

HOPE BEYOND THE HEADLINES

Hope Beyond the Headlines is a new series with CEO of Women for Women International, Laurie Adams to shine a light on inspiring stories of strength and resilience from our global Women for Women International family and on how we are using hope and innovation to respond to this crisis. Learn how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and global uncertainty it has caused is impacting the women we serve.

At times of uncertainty, hope is the guiding light towards a better future.

Women with her two daughters

Please consider directly supporting women facing violence and displacement as a result of this escalating pandemic by making a donation today.