We are pleased that the data demonstrates a significant positive impact on the lives of project beneficiaries, many of whom are amongst those most affected by the pandemic. This article will highlight the results of Italy, Lebanon, and Ecuador, to illustrate the many succeses of our covid relief initiatives.
Despite the political achievement of women’s empowerment and a variety of prevention strategies, including efforts to prevent child sexual abuse, the number of adolescent pregnancies in Rwanda is still worryingly high and has been steadily increasing over the last fifteen years. Two years ago, when she was only 16 years old, Eugenie’s story became part of this sad statistic: she got pregnant after being sexually assaulted. When AVSI identified Eugene as a beneficiary of a project funded by the RASKOB Foundation to support young mothers in Rwanda, she was desperate, full of shame and guilt.
“I had no more hope for the future,” remembers Eugenie. “I felt ashamed of what had happened to me. Nobody could understand me anymore. Over and over, I was reminded of what had happened, and I felt pushed away from my family and those around me.”
At first, Margarita and Griselda thought the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge they were not ready to face.
“COVID changed our lives. At first, we lost our jobs; we had to lock ourselves up. My children couldn’t go to school, and I had to be a teacher for them, and check their homework,” says Margarita.
“I used to wash, cook and clean while children were at school, but once they were home all the time and I had to check their homework, the house was a chaos, and it was very stressful for them, and for me” echoes Griselda.
On Saturday, February 13, as part of the New York Encounter, AVSI-USA sponsored an important event on the economy and emerging lessons from the impact of COVID-19. On Friday, March 12, AVSI-USA hopes to take the discussion a step further and consider what the emerging lessons learned might contribute to the field of international development and humanitarian assistance, in other words, for the fight against extreme poverty and the expansion of human development and respect for the dignity and freedom of all people. In particular, we will ask what the role of civil society—and therefore the constituents, donors and philanthropists who support civil society organizations in developing countries—is in mitigating and responding to the impact of COVID in it’s many dimensions and forms. As an essential contribution to this discussion, we will hear about the real lived experiences of the poor and of a non-profit organization, AVSI, working tirelessly to accompany the poor throughout this period.
On Saturday, February 13, AVSI-USA and the New York Encounter presented “Not by Profit Alone,” an online conversation on rethinking work, business, and economy in a post-COVID world. This meaningful conversation was part of this year’s theme, When Reality Hits.