Compassion In Crisis: Changemakers Support Vulnerable Groups During COVID-19

by | Apr 8, 2020 | Seeds: Our Blog

TPP changemakers have the ability to pivot and prioritize the immediate need of their communities, families, and the world. This week’s grantees have all stepped forward to ensure their neighbors are safe and have access to vital resources during the COVID-19 crisis. These grantees have either created a new outlet or used their existing capabilities to extend a helping hand to vulnerable groups who need it the most.

Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Is on the Rise with COVID-19. Here’s What One Woman Is Doing About It.

Even without a state of emergency, domestic violence and child abuse are a concern in American household. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, families are forced to face some of the detrimental relationships within their households–putting some people’s livelihood at the hands of their abuser’s mercy. Gwendolyn Barber in Minnesota recognized this fact, and through her Resource, Justice, and Management project and with her TPP grant, she and her team are releasing virtual outlets for understanding and resources in regards to COVID-19. In addition, they will offer webinars and live broadcasts on mental health, wealth, safety, conflict de-escalation, and prevention strategies. Additionally, emergency contact advocates will be available 24 hours a day for immediate intervention.

Ojuoko Ajibola Stella Helps Children In Government Orphanage with Personal Hygiene and Preventative Measures in the Wake of COVID-19

Help a Child Future Foundation will make free alcohol based hand sanitizers, raw food items, toiletries, medicated soaps, hand washing basins, disinfectants, and COVID-19 pandemic prevention charts available to children at the government owned orphanage home in Oba Ile Akure. The project which is championed by Ojuoko Ajibola will create awareness and provide caregivers as well as the children in the orphanage home with personal hygiene and preventive measures against COVID-19 and even beyond.

Seventeen & Saving Lives: Sam Suchin Combats COVID-19 with 3D Printing

Sam Suchin started Hope3D when he was a teenager as an online platform that asks the community of makers equipped with 3D printers to crowdsource parts for projects that solve medical, environmental, and socioeconomic issues worldwide. Since he was awarded his initial TPP grant in 2018, Hope3D has done projects ranging from submerging a massive artificial coral reef made from 400 unique 3D printed parts to producing tactile 3D printed devices for the visually impaired to providing 3D printed hair combs for homeless communities.
So when the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, Suchin knew he had to do something. Enter Project Shield: a project which aims to crowdsource 3D printed face shields for healthcare workers. In conjunction with a lower-grade surgical mask, the device provides a CDC-recommended level of protection for people working with suspected COVID-19 carriers.

In addition, Suchin and his team of young people plan to implement Project Breath, an ingenious project that will crowdsource a special 3D printed valve that, when attached to a full face scuba diving mask, will serve as an emergency ventilator mask for health care workers.
Suchin’s pioneering work is an example of creativity of individuals who have a heart of service, and TPP is so happy to have supported him on these life-saving projects.

Frontline nurse Rose Mary Nakame Harnesses the Power of Storytelling in Uganda to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

“Advocacy can never be sustained without grassroots advocates who can exemplify and champion the strengthening of the health system to deliver quality care to the poorest of the poor.”
This quote from Rose Mary Nakame, nurse and founder of the Rural Elites Mentorship Initiative (REMI) East Africa, who works on the frontlines of low-resource communities in the rural areas of Uganda, demonstrates the necessity of grassroots solutions to community problems. Through her work, she recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic will have its greatest effect on weaker health systems in low- and middle-Income countries, including Uganda. Therefore, REMI East Africa’s storytelling focus will shift to call for stories reflecting the best practices and challenges the rural health workers are facing in response to this pandemic and how they are adapting.

In addition to providing mental health support for health workers who get infected with COVID-19 and support for patients and caregivers in isolation and quarantine, REMI East Africa will support dissemination of prevention measures using local and online methods. As the whole world seeks to know what works and what doesn’t, there is going to be a need for health workers in those communities to learn from those who have experienced the crisis. Here REMI will harness the power of storytelling for advocacy as a preparedness measure.
Above all, this project is designed to reflect the importance of equitable health information in strengthening health systems. As the World Health Organization is calling on all stakeholders and governments to avail more information, it echoes the core mission of this project.

Francisco Mkanani Mwambila Curbs COVID-19 Through Local Soap Making & Distribution in Malawi

Pastor Francisco Mkanani Mwambila’s project, Oasis of Hope, is making a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing vulnerable households with access to hand washing soap and proper hygiene to reduce the transmission of the virus and keep communities safe through their TPP grant. Oasis of Hope has adjusted their work and taken a proactive approach to address this crisis that is destroying lives and economies worldwide.

Kate Stone Provides Science Curriculum to Teachers and Parents Confronted with Home Schooling Due to COVID-19

Kate Stone graduated from a low income high school in California’s Central Valley with severely limited resources. In college and graduate school, she had access to a wealth of research, data, information, and peer-reviewed journals. Afterward, those resources were completely inaccessible.
This lack of access is a problem because scientific literacy for all is vital in society, but underprivileged learners and low income adults are often excluded. Scientific journals are expensive and difficult to read. Science news in mainstream media is often reduced to misleading sound bites. Textbooks are increasingly expensive and often years out of date or missing.

That is why Science Connected is equipping the public with reliable information about the world and providing equal access to top quality STEM education resources to low-income schools. They are leveling the playing field for all learners, regardless of their economic resources; giving low-income students equal access to top-quality resources, enabling them to better compete and contribute.
With schools closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a huge increase in demand for this service. Therefore, Science Connected, through their TPP grant, is expanding their partnerships with teachers and schools to ensure they meet the needs of parents who are homeschooling their children during this difficult time, as well as teachers who are supporting distance learning efforts in their communities. Since K-12 schools closed the request for free science education resources has gone up and Science Connected is determined to not turn away anyone who needs their help.

Sandip S. Ghosh Mobilizes Marginalized Youth in Slums to Create Hand Sanitizer in India

Presently, India has entered stage 3 of the Coronavirus epidemic and the market is completely exhausted of hand sanitizer. TPP grantee Sandip S. Ghosh focuses on the need for marginalized communities to make their own WHO recommended hand sanitizer. Ghosh mobilizes 2-3 marginalized youth in each slum, providing them raw material for the hand sanitizer and creating a network in the slum by which the sanitizer can be distributed in each family. A pictorial recycled paper will be present with each sanitizer as a user manual.

Written by Milena