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Reflections on Programming Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Published 03/11/2022 by Lizzie Hickman
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact communities beyond what many thought would be a few weeks of quarantine. As we recognize the second anniversary of the pandemic, we reflect on Global Communities’ country teams that are hard at work to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on their communities. We were able to check in with a few regions to learn more about their program adaptations through the past two years.
Sri Lanka’s SCORE Program
In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) SCORE program, Global Communities is working with the governments of Sri Lanka and Maldives to strengthen Sri Lankan efforts to advance social cohesion and reconciliation.
At the start of the pandemic, SCORE quickly began working on stand-alone programming to address the impacts of COVID-19 on Sri Lankan communities. By May 2021, SCORE had shifted their approach in response to new variants to focus on integrating efforts into specific initiatives such as supporting frontline healthcare workers, mobilizing youth to ramp up COVID-19 vaccines and improving PRC testing capacity in in Jaffna. Additionally, SCORE partnered with the Sri Lankan Red Cross Society, with help from 180 volunteers, SCORE supported government-led awareness campaigns encouraging vaccinations and adherence to social distancing guidelines while visiting health facilities.
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Sowing Futures’ Argentina and Brazil Programming
Sowing Futures COVID-19 response impact in 2020:
- 129,728 food rations
- 3,836 food baskets
- 2,930 hygiene kits
- 3,146 families helped
The John Deere Sowing Futures program supports home communities in Argentina and Brazil, working in partnership with communities to develop capacities to lead their own development.
In 2020, the pandemic brought the world to a halt, including community participation and socialization in Argentina and Brazil. Circumstances caused by the pandemic could have caused program activity to pause or even end, but instead, they served as fuel to adapt, mobilize and coordinate an overwhelming response and show of solidarity for helping those with the greatest needs.
In Brazil, for example, Sowing Futures staff with support from the John Deere Foundation coordinated the delivery of donated food baskets to home communities. The team mobilized the program’s network of community leaders and partner organizations and coordinated with municipal governments to deliver 3,836 food baskets to 2,000 families. Sowing Futures and community volunteers logged over 1,300 hours (about 2 months) to support the organization of and delivery of food aid to those impacted most by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Global Communities Argentina developed a network of local partners that included John Deere Foundation, municipal governments, neighborhood groups and community-based organizations to repurpose their program activity budgets to purchase and deliver food supplies to families in need.
Community leaders and John Deere Foundation volunteers engaged and committed to their communities during the pandemic. From April through October 2020, Sowing Futures delivered 129,728 food rations and 2,930 hygiene kits to approximately 1,146 families across Granadero Baigorria and Las Rosas. The program provided medical equipment and supplies to the Las Rosas health clinic.
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