International Non-Profit Organization Leverages Long-Standing Presence to Ease Community Pressures
MINNEAPOLIS, June 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Alight, formerly known as the American Refugee Committee, is working closely with pillars in Pakistani communities and other humanitarian agencies to support the needs of vulnerable populations as the country experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases. As the global pandemic continues to spread, Alight has worked alongside communities throughout Pakistan to better understand the populations most pressing needs to mitigate as many interruptions to their daily lives as possible.
In an effort to reach even the most remote locations, Alight has taken to the airwaves to help bridge the gap between knowledge and accessibility. Alight-led responses in Pakistan to support and protect the community at large include:
- Working with local educators to produce youth-led radio and online education programs aimed at bringing lessons to students that may have traditionally been left out of the system due to lockdown restrictions.
- Development and dissemination of public health messaging through Alight’s #InOurHands campaign was promoted on radio broadcasts to expand reach from the provinces of Gilgit and Baltistan to now include the province of Balochistan.
- Providing diversified programs throughout the region ranging from life-saving health services by increasing hospital capacity and enhancing patient intake capability to protection provisions and PPEs.
- Partnering with food distribution sources to strengthen the local supply chain in order to reach hubs in rural areas opening up greater opportunities for access to food.
“Prior to COVID-19, our work in the country was focused on traditional and non-traditional education initiatives,” says Alight CEO, Daniels Wordsworth. “As the pandemic initially unfolded and is surging once again, we are doubling-down on our work around education, and utilizing our teams on the ground and the relationships that have long been established to extend our services beyond education into health and food services to support needs in the community.”
The increase in COVID-19 throughout Pakistan is adding a layer of uncertainty, as the increase in cases has mostly gone unreported. If not addressed, and properly supported, the fear is particularly greatest for families that will put their own health at risk at all costs because they need more help making ends meet.
“An emergency like COVID-19 plays out quite differently in the developed and developing worlds. Distance learning through TV or internet may sound very exciting but this approach does not allow us to reach millions of kids who may not have access to these advanced technologies or are living in very rural areas of the country,” noted Dr. Tariq Cheema, Alight Pakistan Program Director. “A low-cost technology such as radio has proven very impactful to prevent the learning gap while schools are closed.”
To learn more about the work Alight is doing, and how you can help please visit www.wearealight.org.
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.