Alight Supports Global Refugee-led Responses to COVID-19

International Non-Profit Organization Celebrates World Refugee Day

MINNEAPOLIS, June 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the world, refugee communities are coming together to proactively prepare and protect themselves against this global health crisis. By providing initial resources and co-creating solutions, Alight, formerly known as the American Refugee Committee, is supporting these refugee-led initiatives ranging from soap- and mask-making to communicating accurate health messaging and building hand washing stations throughout the 19 countries that they serve. Alight has also taken myths and false messaging related to COVID-19 and turned them into tools refugee communities around the world can deploy to fight the spread of the virus.

Alight Logo (PRNewsfoto/Alight)

“The coronavirus pandemic is overwhelming for many of us, but the refugees and migrants we work with are stepping up, rallying their communities and taking action to protect their most vulnerable,” says Daniel Wordsworth, CEO of Alight. “Alight exists to amplify the idealism and goodwill of every human being, so we’re working side-by-side to support and guide the ideas and initiatives of the displaced communities we serve. It has been truly inspiring, especially as we approach World Refugee Day this Saturday, to share their stories and get behind refugee communities coming together all over the world, taking things into their own hands during this extremely uncertain time.”

Alight, along with their partners TO.org and Umbrella, have collected hundreds of ideas from refugees over the last few weeks that are simple, doable and community-driven. In Uganda’s Nakivale Settlement, residents are leaning on established, community-based, refugee-owned small business enterprises to support and protect the community at large. To date, the community has produced 8,000 pieces of soap and 14,000 face masks. They are also pre-mixing soap with water for all handwashing stations to protect the community of more than 100,000 people. 

Migrant populations and refugee-led responses in different countries that Alight serves include:

  • The refugee-led Zaatari Youth Center in Jordan has moved their programs including English lessons, poetry, photography and more online while people are in lockdown; the center is expected to become a hub for youth-led activism and outreach around COVID-19 as lockdown restrictions ease
  • Displaced people living in Somalia and Thailand who have completed Alight’s livelihood tailoring program produced facemasks for their communities
  • Alight’s affiliate partner, ORAM, supported a group of LGBTIQ refugees in establishing their own soap-making business in a Kenyan refugee camp, which has become invaluable in improving hygiene and protecting the community

In conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNHCR, and other international groups, Alight relies on the support from communities and individuals to help fund their numerous relief efforts. To learn more about the work Alight is doing, please visit www.wearealight.org.

ABOUT ALIGHT
Established in 1978 by founder Neal Ball, Alight, formerly known as American Refugee Committee, provides health care, clean water, shelter, protection and economic opportunities to more than 3.5 million people in 17 countries each year. Alight believes in the incredible creativity, potential, and ingenuity of the displaced and works to shine a light on their humanity, the tremendous amount of good that’s already happening and the possibilities to do more. The organization exists to see and help every person make meaningful change in the world – from displaced and marginalized communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas to…anyone, anywhere. Learn more about Alight at www.wearealight.org.

ABOUT TO.ORG
To.org  is on a mission to accelerate earth’s most vital ventures. Founded by a team of young brothers, Nachson and Arieh Mimran, To.Org invests and structures investments in companies and causes that are good for the world. The areas that To.Org work in can be divided into three groups. Ventures, which involves projects that fuel earth’s most vital teams and help them to capture their unfair share of the future. Creative Activism, which involves working with high profile organisations to be brave in pursuit of a better path and change their behaviour for good. R&D, where they assemble creative activists to incubate vital ideas that fuck with the status quo. Recent examples of To.Org work includes Light to Learn, Togetherband, mPharma and Give Love. More information can be found at www.to.org/.

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