By Joyce Mukucha
Across the world, everyone is grappling with an unprecedented large-scale crisis. The rapid spread of COVID-19 to over 100 countries all around the globe has left many struggling with uncertainty and upheaval from cancelled flights and postponed meetings to closed schools and the effects of distancing and quarantines and many more measures that severely impact transnational organizing and movement building.
Responding to the pandemic, the Young Feminist Fund (FRIDA), an organisation which partners with young and emerging feminist organizations to help them make the most impact on their communities possible is staying in solidarity with its staff, grantee partners, advisors, board and all members of the community during this difficult time.
The organisation is also urging different communities to practice deep compassion, empathy and generosity, wherever possible.
As donors, FRIDA is committed to ensuring that movements can adapt to vastly changing circumstances and use their funds flexibly towards the priorities they identify in their local contexts, and to do what is possible to fight prejudice, misinformation and stereotyping.
In a statement, FRIDA said there was a need to work collectively to improve the humanitarian response to COVID-19 and continue supporting young feminist movement building in these challenging times.
“If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our individual wellbeing is deeply intertwined with the wellbeing of everyone else. If we don’t take care of those who are most vulnerable in our society and those who care for others, no one wins. FRIDA stays in solidarity with its staff, grantee partners, advisors, board and all members of our community during this trying time.
“The FRIDA team recognises this as a moment where we can show up for those who most need us. Those who may be unable to secure food or might be alone in their homes; those who may be unable to stop going to work for any reason or stuck at borders with uncertain migratory rights. We urge our community to practice deep compassion, empathy, and generosity, wherever possible. Check your privilege, gain some perspective and consider those who have no choice but to interact with the public,” read the statement.
“During a crisis like this, ill-intentioned governments and fundamentalist groups may use this as an excuse to criminalise social movements, racially profile individuals and increase mass surveillance on activists.”
FRIDA is also taking significant steps such as cancellation of everything and all its staff, board and community members scheduled to participate in any international and regional conventions have postponed their travels until after the beginning of May when the situation is reviewed.
For flexible funding and in line with its principle of flexibility, grantee partners who had original plans to fly, travel and meet can reschedule and use their travel grants at another time in the year.
Digital resilience, FRIDA said, in the time of coronavirus is of paramount importance for folks that are new to working from home and in the digital space.
The Young Feminist Fund organising is springing up in all corners of the globe from Mexico to Morocco to Malaysia powered by brave women, girls, trans and intersex youth who are creating the change in their communities.