The situation of COVID-19 remains grim as we start 2021 with restrictions and increasing infected cases in many countries across the globe. In Southeast Asia, the spread of COVID-19 has been relatively slow when compared to other regions. However, the people have been worst hit by its socio-economic impacts. What last longer than the pandemic itself is its varied and uneven impacts caused to the marginalized and grassroots communities. With the inadequate, inefficient and unequal responses and social protection from the national governments, there have been many responses from the ground as the collective movement of healthy, safe and vibrant communities.
In view of the great need to support these community-based efforts, since June 2020, we have launched a grant-making program namely “Staying Resilient Amid the Pandemic in Southeast Asia” with support of the China Medical Board (CMB) and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). The 3-year program has provided strategic support to grassroots and civil society groups to strengthen community resilience, enhance their capacity to cope with the current situation, and address equity concerns related to the pandemic.
Besides providing financing, the program has shared relevant COVID-19 and health equity information and knowledge, fostered cross-fertilization of ideas and interventions, helped build networks and conducted joint advocacy activities. In the first batch of call for proposals, we have selected and provided grants to the 13 activities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and The Philippines. The full list of grantees is available at http://seajunction.org/first-batch-grantees-small-grant-program-staying-resilient-amid-the-pandemic-in-southeast-asia-by-sea-junction-in-collaboration-with-cmb-and-wiego/. Additional activities are expected this year in the listed countries and also in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and hopefully Timor-Leste.
This three-year program has been made possible thanks to support from CMB Foundation and we are also grateful for WIEGO’s contribution. As the need is great and response to the first call has been enthusiastic, we are looking for ways to increase the budget available for the next batch of applications planned for this February. Any additional contribution, no matter the amount, from interested institutional and individual donors will go a long way toward mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and strengthening the community-based response to the pandemic. We can assure you that all the funds are going directly to the beneficiary organizations as management costs are covered by the program. Donations can be easily made via PayPal at http://seajunction.org/how-to-engage/donation/. If you prefer to transfer via bank, our dedicated account for our Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies is TMB #043 -7-18114-2. For those in the US, we can provide tax-benefits through our institutional partner, so just write to us.
If you are interested to support the community groups to more effectively address the current pandemic and its socio-economic impacts in Southeast Asia or need more information, please contact us at [email protected].