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Support for Vulnerable Nations during the Pandemic

I recently had the opportunity to chat with an amazing group of practitioners about how to lend support during the pandemic. It’s obviously a huge thing to tackle and many ways in which to volunteer and support. Helping people in my team and in my organisation at this time has felt really rewarding as it gives me some meaning and clear direction which, during the shift to remote working was sent into flux. 

We spoke about a workstream that looks at how different cultures and vulnerable communities may be experiencing life now, and how we can support in a communications capacity. This is another huge topic to explore! So needless to say, a lot more discussions are required. We have found a vast number of groups already doing great work that need support – not-for-profit organisations all over the world, and local coaching communities supporting government initiatives.

Some stories that I’ve heard from folks I know in the more rural areas of Africa (Rwanda and South Africa), and communities in India have suggested several real pains that populations over the world may be experiencing. These are:

  • Little access to food, water and facilities
  • No connections to or information about local support groups
  • A lack of connectivity – nowhere to get more data for phone calls or internet
  • Suspicions about what information is told to them, or how their governments and local authorities may be dealing with the pandemic
  • Varying faith and belief systems that mean less (or more) preventative measures are taken
  • A lack of opportunity to maintain work – particularly those who may have been selling newspapers or making arts and crafts for a living.

What we have available and what we can leverage to support people are:

  • Local networks and groups of people already supporting populations in hard-to-reach areas
  • Telecommunications – and by this I mean making data available so that people can communicate
  • Communication in many ways – through sign language, photos, drawings, local community or tribal leaders
  • Leveraging or making available learning opportunities – and this can look like new entrepreneurial and business knowledge and skills for those who have little knowledge or resources

These ideas need a vision. I suggest that is around building connections and communities that we would not necessarily have accessed previously in order to build a legacy and outcome that is useful and will uplift humanity – and that we are supporting at a very basic human needs and on a human-to-human level.

There are many volunteer groups available on the web for those that would like to pay-it-forward. I wish you all the best during these strange times!

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