By Emiko Perea
The global pandemic has created many changes throughout the year, causing major economic and political upheaval around the world. The world was suddenly put in a situation where millions of people lost their jobs and couldn’t see loved ones face to face for a while. Many institutions from the third sector (nonprofits and voluntary organizations) had one major question on their minds during this difficult time: How are we going to survive until 2021?
Global Peace Foundation Brazil organized a video conference to highlight this major concern and to discuss how NGOs, Churches, Associations, Foundations, Academia, etc. would be affected by the virus and roles they will have in responding to it. Many of these organizations survived so far from private donations and public funding, however, they needed to address the challenges to keep being sustainable in the future.
The conference started in June with speakers from Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Nigeria, Kenya, Philippines, India, USA, and Ireland attending and nearly two thousand viewers on social media. From the conference, Abdul Ahmed commended the efforts GPF had done in Nigeria during the pandemic crisis. He said, “The impact of Civil Society Organisations like the GPF Nigeria in distributing palliatives was more transparent and impactful than that of the government. This is because billions of naira were said to be spent in palliating the suffering of the masses who suffered serious famine and disruptions of livelihood but Nigerians kept complaining that it was just a scam and have not seen such support."
The people who participated in the conference discussed the need for the organizations to work together to overcome the challenges from the COVID-19 lockdown. Flavio Mesquita Da Silva, another participant, said, “We are certainly unprepared to face the present challenges, but I do trust in people's capacity to re-learn, to awaken their deep memories about what conviviality is about, especially on a global level.”
"...I do trust in people's capacity to re-learn, to awaken their deep memories about what conviviality is about, especially on a global level."
Service and humanitarian organizations play a critical role in supporting local communities. This has become so apparent in the global crisis now facing our human family. However, the unique challenges have also allowed heroes from around the world to shine as frontline workers, humanitarians, neighbors, and friends who have pulled together to uplift the best in our humanity.