In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is fully aware of the repercussions on lives across the continent. We are sending out this message of solidarity to all our partners whose lives have been disrupted as a result of lock-down or restrictions in freedom of movement, and those who may have been directly exposed to the virus.
At AWDF we are taking measures to ensure that our staff and grantee partners stay safe and are not exposed to undue risks. The Senior Management Team is in regular contact on this, is following official health advice, and is also responding to needs as they emerge and as the nature of the health emergency itself changes.
For a start, all AWDF events, capacity building trainings, and site visits have been suspended until the end of May when we will review the situation.
As a feminist organisation, we emphasise the need for flexibility and recognise that these disruptions can have an adverse impact on grantee activities that are currently running. We encourage grantees whose work is being affected by this crisis to get in touch with their grants officers at AWDF to discuss options.
As we witnessed through the work of our brave grantees in the Mano River region responding to the Ebola outbreak, we know that African women’s collective action is a crucial and often overlooked frontline of response to health emergencies at community level. We stand as always in solidarity with these efforts, and encourage us to retain this spirit of collective solidarity particularly as COVID-19 may require of us to self-isolate and practice social distancing.
We’re in this together.