At this time of great worry and uncertainty for us all, I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and positive.
Irise has always been, first and foremost, a community of diverse people around the world coming together in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. We have already committed to come together in this spirit to fight the Coronavirus Pandemic. If you haven’t already, read our full statement here: www.irise.org.uk/blog/irise-is-a-global-community-were-here-for-you
As a charity that exists to support vulnerable young people and their communities, we are enormously concerned about the impact the coronavirus is having and will continue to have on our community in East Africa. We are worried about our staff. The majority of our team are women and face a disproportionate burden as primary caregivers to their children and wider families. We are worried about the communities they serve who are struggling to access accurate health information and adequate healthcare.
There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.” Never before has global community been more important. That is why I am determined we must continue to be there for our staff, their families and the communities we work with in East Africa over the weeks and months to come, when they may need us more than ever.
To keep our staff and their families safe, we will set aside a special fund to enable them to access healthcare and other support over the coming weeks. I want every Irise member of staff to know that their income is secure and that they will get help to access healthcare if they need it, so that they can focus their energy on supporting their families and communities during this difficult time.
To keep the community safe, we will galvanise our extensive network of local leaders and champions to help people access accurate information and support uptake of public health and sanitation messages. I want the community to know that Irise is with them- we will not abandon them when things get tough.
These new measures will place a considerable strain on our resources which is why I am turning to you, today. I know that at the moment your greatest concern will be for your loved ones, but if you are in a position to help, please do donate to our emergency appeal.
If you can, please help today.