Highlighting Organizations Preventing Violence Amidst the Pandemic

PreventConnect, a project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, is spotlighting organizations doing work to stop violence during the pandemic. With more and more families experiencing unemployment, housing insecurity, and hunger, people may feel a loss of power and control. This loss of power and control contributes to violence at home. Organizations featured thus far provide support for rural and tribal communities, immigrants and indigenous communities, Black women, Texans seeking mental health services, preventing child sexual abuse, and strengthening communities.

Story from USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box

Mutual Support Between Frontline Workers and the Socially Isolated

As millions of courageous healthcare workers continue their work to combat the COVID-19 crisis, this new service allows you to send messages of love and support to a frontline hero—and get one in return. #TextForHumanity has people identify themselves as either a frontline worker or someone living in isolation. Senders choose which group of frontline worker to send a personalized message of thanks and support. Frontline workers include anyone from nurses and doctors to delivery drivers and grocery store staffers. After sending a message, people in isolation receive a supportive text back from their frontline worker. Text For Humanity is enabled by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and regular text messaging so it’s easy for anyone with even the most basic phone to join. This is particularly important for the elderly who are among the least likely to own a smartphone. To join the service, text JOIN to 37352 (U.S. only) or +1 833-421-4726. Additional international number options and links to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are available through the platform’s website: Text For Humanity

Story from the USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box

Neighbourhood Watches in England Provide Aid for their Residents and Communities

Neighbourhood Watch Associations all over England have been stepping up to help residents and their greater communities during the pandemic. Residents are organizing phone trees, socially distant street parties, music performances, and supply deliveries for their neighbors to provide entertainment and support. To support their communities, one Neighbourhood Watch Association purchased 3-D printers to make PPE visor shields while another has its residents sewing masks and scrubs for hospital staff. Read more about each Neighbourhood Watch’s efforts.

Story from the UK.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box

St. Louis Coronavirus Response Resources

Community volunteers and the St. Louis Regional Data Alliance (RDA) built STL Response, a dashboard that brings together resources to help St. Louis residents through the COVID-19 crisis. The dashboard features the number for a crisis hotline and resource directory, coronavirus information from the CDC, resources in multiple languages, and space for people to seek or share their own resources.

STL Metro Covid Stats Compiled by Chris Prener

Story from the USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box

What is a Mutual-Aid Network and how can They Help During the Pandemic?

A Mutual-Aid Network is a space for people to list their needs and also for people to list what skills or resources they can provide to help others. For example, one person may post on the forum that they are unable to leave their home, and they would be matched with another person who volunteered to shop for and deliver groceries. Learn more in The New York Times article: Feeling Powerless About Coronavirus? Join a Mutual-Aid Network.

Photo by Katherine Taylor for The New York Times

Story from the USA.

Read more about this story here or at the Community Tool Box

The human potential – uncertainty into action

Since our main festival got cancelled due to Covid19 Covid19 created an online series with Alex Grey, Marianne Williamson, Charles Eisenstein, Daniel Pinchbeck, Kaypacha Lescher, A.H. Almaas, Gay Hendricks, Jamie Catto, Liam Forde, Anjum Rahman, Karen Johnson. Part 1 of the Human Potential Series weaves together a multitude of viewpoints from artists, authors, activists, teachers, thought leaders, visionaries and entrepreneurs focused around how we can Transform Uncertainty into Action. This is the first of many initiatives to come around new ways of living, community support and involvement.

Picture retrieved from here

In our first live session with Alex Grey we had hundreds of people tuning in to draw inspiration and use tools to transform uncertainty into action. We now creating a forum to discuss how to action ideas and initiatives that will promote life, freedom, acceptance and accountability.

That we are diverse and different that currently we are in the most challenging times in human history due to growing divisions and separation. We realized that we fear death and not coming to acceptance with this as well as our differences. We feel it is time to reimagine our relationship with ourselves, our communities, our appointed governments. This time we need to see beyond our fears and differences to be able to truly reach our potential. This will be through hosting discussion panels, community activities and invite as many people as we can to take part.

Story shared by Issac Oron, New Zealand

More info here or at issac@earthbeatfestival.com

Covid nurses wear lapel pins with cartoon avatar

Patients were not able to recognize health professional wearing mask, and this had implications on caring, empathy, reducing the caring (not the curing) capacity of the health professionals. The provincial president of nurses report the problem during a newspaper interview, and an illustrator offered her ideas to solve the issue.

Now most nurses in different wards of the most important hospitals in Bologna wear the lapel pins and this help nurses doing their job.

Picture retrieved from La Repubblica

This was recognized as a good initiative by the ministry of health, nurses would like to formalize it as a good practice, providing a simple, funny way to handle a problem that may apply also in other contexts (i.e, schools, kindergartens etc.).

Story shared by Cinzia Albanesi, Italy.

More info here or contact cinzia.albanesi@gmail.com

COVID-19 Lockdown relief efforts in Makhanda/Grahamstown, South Africa (by LIV Lukhanyiso) – Food Parcels

LIV Lukhanyiso exists to provide a sustainable solution to South Africa’s growing number of orphan and vulnerable children, and building community is vital to our work. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of vulnerable families and children has grown significantly. In partnership with two local schools, LIV Lukhanyiso has run a successful project to provide food parcels weekly to 110 families in our city during lockdown. These are families with preschool children and most of these children would usually receive their main meal at school. Our aim is to continue to support these children until they can return to school.

Photo by Lara Kruiskamp, founder of LIV Lukhanyiso

Our motto is Together We Can – and it is in times like these that we can clearly see that we can do far greater things when we work together for a common purpose. We are seeing relationships being built and strengthened as sponsors, local businesses, schools and volunteers all work together and come alongside those in need. The project has also created wider exposure for our organisation’s work with vulnerable children. The food parcels provided will keep the children fed and nourished to avoid the child development challenges hunger and malnutrition cause.

We have been running fundraising initiatives for our organisation for a number of years, although successful, the response we have seen for this project has been unprecedented. We have learned that particularly individual donors prefer to give towards a cause that has immediate returns. We have also learned that beneficiaries are far more grateful than what is normally articulated. With more beneficiaries now with cell phones, this gratitude is easier to get across and it serves as a great connector between our beneficiaries and our donors.

Story shared by Nomonde Ndlangisa, South Africa

More info here or contact nomonde@liv-lukhanyiso.com

The Digital Book Garden

Public libraries are storehouses of books and educational materials, but also often community gathering places– usually a good thing. But in times of pandemic, those same libraries are places that need to be avoided. So how can libraries serve their public while their buildings are physically closed? Here’s one of many examples: The Norwood Public Library, in a suburb near Boston, established a “digital book garden.” Library visitors find signs outside the building with the name of a book and a QR code (a two-dimensional barcode). By pointing your smartphone at the code, you can download an eBook or audiobook.

The Norwood Public Library

This and other electronic innovations have proven popular. The Norwood library reports a doubling of its digital resources since the physical library was closed. And other area libraries have reported a doubling of electronic library card sign-ups in recent months.

When faced with adversity, libraries, as well as other institutions and organizations, must find new ways to serve the general public, regardless of economic status or other conditions. And especially in times of pandemic, when more people are confined to home and fewer stores are open, the dual desires to escape from daily life and to learn new things are both stronger than ever. We may therefore expect more such creative initiatives, largely focusing on electronic resources, in the future.

Story shared by Bill Berkowitz, United States of America.

More info here or at Bill_Berkowitz@uml.edu