Building communities amid the crisis

Under the Weather

As Latin America emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic five months ago, FNE International had to be flexible and momentarily shift away from regular programs to urgent humanitarian assistance. While we strive to pave sustainable paths to help communities get out of poverty, we knew it was imperative to provide solutions to the current needs of the communities we work with. The main lessons we take five months into this global crisis are adaptation and teamwork; without these two, we wouldn’t have been able to reach as many people as we have.

The pandemic surged and the urgent needs ranged from basic food provisions and disinfecting supplies for households to personal protection equipment and hospital supplies for the front-line workers who are courageously fighting this pandemic and saving lives. The campaign to provide humanitarian and PPE support has raised over US$85,000 to date, all of which has been directed to the three countries where established programs alongside community members and partners are located: Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

The numbers of individuals, families, and front-line workers we have reached are impressive considering the little time we had to grapple with the humanitarian impacts of the Covid-19 crisis. Collaborative capacities to realign and allocate resources among the FNE Executive Director, staff and board members, and community partners in all three countries made it possible to weather this storm using a battery of interventions to help individuals and communities alike.

When passion meets purpose

Volunteers have been on the front-line of the crisis response and are a source of hope and pride for everyone. We have seen first-hand our community partners work with local volunteers who give away their time, energy, and love to those most affected by the crisis. And on many occasions, these local volunteers are not immune to the impacts they’re trying to help address, but they support us nonetheless. To them we show our utmost gratitude and admiration.

Looking ahead

After putting our best efforts to handle the urgent situation and act accordingly, we now need to start effective planning to continue to support the communities with urgent humanitarian needs since the pandemic is not over yet. At the same time, we will create adaptive long-term solutions to help them bridge the gaps to get out of poverty for good. This has always been our core work and will remain such in years to come.

Latin America is a very distinct region of the world, and we know that the impacts of this crisis on the already fragile economic, social, and political environments are harsh and will be long-lasting. The countries were ill-equipped to respond to the crisis. Therefore, as prevention and mitigation efforts entwine with day-to-day life in 2020, we’re trialing and developing innovative ways to help the communities recoup and thrive. All of this cannot be achieved without the support of donors and supporters who selflessly share with and contribute to these communities and trust our commitment to using those funds in the most effective and impactful way. Our work would be incomplete and curtailed without your participation. To you, we give our immense gratitude and respect while rising to the challenge of turning this pivotal moment into an opportunity for growth and new beginnings.