Irise is a Global Community- we’re here for you.
Today is a difficult day. Over the coming weeks many of us will feel afraid, isolated and alone. Irise has always been, first and foremost, a community of diverse people around the world coming together in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
This spirit will shape our response to the unprecedented challenge of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I want to let you know that you are not alone. Our network has always been spread across countries and we can stand together even as we must live increasing separate lives over the coming days.
Irise will not shut down and go quiet. Instead we plan to offer our community and wider network something positive in a dark time, a space where they can connect to find support and flexible, remote opportunities to invest in something of collective value.
Our Empower Period project will offer an online space for volunteers to work together on advocacy and campaign work- creating fun, meaningful ways for students and young professionals to continue to develop their skills. We plan to offer a schedule of online training, mentoring and support activities for the whole network focusing on leadership and resilience- qualities we all need to nurture over the weeks ahead. For research students working with us- we aim to continue to provide as much support as you need to continue to develop your projects. We will also be looking across our portfolio of work to find creative and innovative ways to adapt to the new challenges facing us.
We have a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion and as a result have experience of working flexibly and supporting care givers. We are committed to enabling our staff in the UK and East Africa to stay safe and support their families and communities during the days ahead.
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. Remember when you feel alone that you are part of one.