Dear Partners and Friends,
We want to reach out to express our solidarity during these unprecedented times.
As a pan-African philanthropic organization founded with a commitment to strengthening African agency in addressing the continent’s most pressing challenges, TrustAfrica empathises with all our partners affected directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we watch this crisis deepening every day, we are fully aware that our partners are constantly challenged to revise and innovate business continuity strategies—as we are doing within our own organization. We also acknowledge and understand that restrictions to physical interaction and travel and the ever-increasing lockdowns, inevitably mean necessary changes must be made to standing plans and to how we work.
To this effect, TrustAfrica signed the “Call to Action on Philanthropy’s Commitment During Covid-19”. By signing this Call to Action in combination with additional internal measures, we are making the following commitments to our grantees:
- To allow our grantees to utilize current grants to respond to Covid-19 related challenges
- To make new grants as unrestricted as possible, so funds can be targeted where they are most needed.
- To relax programming timeframes
- To contribute to community-based emergency responses
- And, very importantly, to create spaces for listening to, and sharing with our partners.
In a context of weak public health systems and poor infrastructure, most citizens are understandably anxious about the capacity of African governments to deal with a full-blown crisis. We have already seen how better resourced countries in the developed world have been stretched to the brink, so the impact on the continent could have dire consequences. We therefore call for full cooperation among all stakeholders, to intensify preventive measures and care for those impacted so we can, together, avoid the worst from happening in our countries.
While physical distancing and lockdowns have been prescribed as universal solutions, as TrustAfrica we urge that responses to this crisis must be inclusive and considerate to the plight of the poor and vulnerable in our societies, especially those who are at risk for being most affected. In particular, we ask that social protection provisions for daily wage earners are prioritized, including support for informal traders who cannot survive lockdown periods lasting several weeks without alternative sources of livelihood. At TrustAfrica instead of “social distancing” we talk of physical distancing and social solidarity.
TrustAfrica expresses its solidarity with all the health professionals, volunteers, first responders and all those on the front line in the fight against COVID-19, who are risking their own lives fighting this pandemic. We are inspired by the heroic stories we hear about the vital work they are doing right now.
This crisis is an opportunity for us to reach deep and bring out the best of our humanity. As a contribution to strengthening the capacity of our countries and communities to respond, TrustAfrica has set-up the COVID-19 Africa Solidarity Fund to help raise resources to support emergency responses and community efforts to combat the coronavirus. We set up the fund with an initial contribution earmarked to support emergency response in Senegal, where we have our headquarters. We are also supporting our partners in the informal sector in Zimbabwe to lead community efforts to respond to the crisis. We intend to build on these initial efforts and expand the support.
We thank our grantees, who are helping us understand the full extent of the impact of the current crisis on their programming and operations, and we stand ready to discuss ways to adjust plans accordingly and to be more supportive at this time. We equally thank our own philanthropic partners who have extended the same understanding and support to TrustAfrica.
Finally, we see this crisis as a time for global humanity to activate resourcefulness toward new ideas and new ways of thinking and being, and to have the courage to make fundamental shifts toward a more inclusive, a more caring and a more equitable world.
We look forward to staying connected. Together we can beat Covid-19. Together we will emerge stronger!
TrustAfrica Board, Management and Staff