Cluster of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Bono East, Bono and Ahafo regions will launch a new $100,000 Covid-19 response project on 15 th June, 2020 aimed at addressing the challenges vulnerable communities in those regions are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project dubbed “COVID-19 VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES SUPPORT (CVCS) PROJECT” is to support CSOs collaborative efforts around COVID-19 and to stimulate creative interventions that promote resilience within and among vulnerable communities.
The CSOs Cluster to implement the project include; Global Media Foundation, World Evangelical Alliance Business Coalition Ghana, Citizens Watch Ghana, Indigenous Women Empowerment Network, West Africa AIDS Foundation, Indigenous Youth Alliance Ghana, Ahafo Network of NGOs, Sunyani Municipal CSOs Platform on SDGs and Global Coalition on Infectious Diseases.
The CSOs through this project, will provide seed grants to community-based organizations, women and youth networks who are able to propose programs aimed at enhancing awareness about precautionary measures, supporting vulnerable households, combating discrimination and stigmatization against covid-19 victims, and serving the needs of the most vulnerable individuals and communities.
The project is also targeting individuals and organizations deploying direct interventions and community-led mobilization to minimize the spread of the virus and build resilience in urban informal and mining affected settlements that otherwise can be difficult to reach.
The Founder/CEO of Global Media Foundation, Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu told the media in Accra there was the need for effective on-the-ground prevention and rehabilitation efforts targeted at vulnerable communities in urban informal and mining affected settlements characterized by a dense population and acute poverty.
According to Mr. Ahenu, urban slums and mining affected settlements are pigeonholed by a dense population and acute poverty, which makes social distancing and hygiene standards difficult to practice. Adding that, without disposable cash to hoard food and basic necessities, these vulnerable communities cannot afford to stop working.
Mr Ahenu, who is also the National Coordinator of WEA Business Coalition Ghana, said the consequences of an outbreak in these communities can be devastating with loss of jobs and income, malnutrition and deteriorating health, and will moreover leave entire populations vulnerable by allowing COVID-19 to spread more easily.
The project he said has four strategies:
1. Raising of awareness: focus on training of the media, community health workers and volunteers, combating misinformation through information campaigns, as well as providing age- and literacy-appropriate COVID-19 prevention information through relevant media platforms including social media.
2. Providing access to basic sanitary supplies: focus on provision of hand washing equipment, clean water containers and community toilets as well as production and distribution of critical supplies like water, soap, sanitizers and personal protective equipment
3. Mitigating educational disruption: focus on supporting parents and caregivers to encourage remote learning as well as distance learning practices including low-tech, peer-to-peer learning and gender-responsive approaches
4. Ensuring community resilience: focus on, supporting entrepreneurs with the development of low cost-to-serve solutions that target vulnerable communities, especially affordable access to basic services
With this, Mr Ahenu called on partners and donors to support the implementation of this vulnerable community-led initiative that can help deploy rapid responses and build community resilience amidst covid-19.
He further called on individuals, corporate organisations and institutions as well as Churches to donate to the fund to ensure that vulnerable communities are well catered for in the wake of COVID-19.