Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in 208 countries around the world in the past few months, we are all living challenging times. The World Health Organization reports that 1,056,159 people have been infected and 57,206 have lost their lives **. Here at home or abroad from Italy to the UK, Brazil to the US but also in countries where Crossroads operates: Burkina Faso, eSwatini, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and Togo and each day the number of lives impacted grows.
The team at Crossroads International, like all Canadians, has suspended overseas travel until further notice and continues to monitor the situation closely to inform our plans. We are pleased to report that all Crossroads overseas volunteers have now returned to Canada and are in good health. And at the time of writing no overseas staff or partners are reporting illness.
03.30.20 update: It is with a heavy heart that the Crossroads family announces the passing of Mrs Mariam SIRIMA (born FOFANA) on March 30, 2020 from COVID-19. She was a beloved CBDF coordinator (Coalition Burkinabé pour les Droits de la Femme) in Burkina Faso and contributed to increasing women’s rights at a national and regional level in her country. Our hearts are with her family and her colleagues.
And while we are not deploying volunteers overseas for the moment, our support to our partners continues. In this time of crisis, now more than ever your support can make a meaningful difference in the lives of women and girls facing great adversity.
Programming to support Girls’ Empowerment, helping Women Farmers adapt to a changing climate, and supporting communities to bring an end to female genital mutilation continues thanks to the dedicated work of local partners and generous Crossroads supporters. In Senegal, we are working with the most marginalized in Kedougou to increase their access to gender sensitive health services.
In times of crisis it is women and girls who often bear the greatest burden as caregivers and providers. Together we can ensure vital support to women and girls in some of the world’s poorest countries continues. Should you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we will continue to support our partners I encourage you to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an unprecedented opportunity to come together in support of our neighbours, near and far. On behalf of everyone at Crossroads International and the 37,000 people whose lives were touched by our work this year, thank you. Together we are building ONE WORLD where poverty is eliminated, equality prevails, and the rights of women and girls are fulfilled.
*“Even though we live in different places, we live under the same sky” – read the stanza on the sides of boxes filled with face masks and thermometers sent to China from the Japan Youth Development Association (JYDA) to help them in their fight against the coronavirus in February.
** Updated numbers from the World Health Organization – 04.01.2020