Suas International Covid 19
Dear Volunteers and Supporters,
Our number one priority at all times is the health, safety and security of everyone associated with the programme; volunteers, staff, partners and the communities we serve. Following a comprehensive risk assessment in conjunction with our partners in India and Zambia, external travel and medical advisors, the department of foreign affairs, the board of directors, and the CEO, we have taken the decision to cancel the deployment of volunteers for 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
We believe that were we to deploy this summer, the risk to the health, safety and security of our volunteers, staff, partners and their communities would be too great for us to stand over such a decision. In addition, we must also consider the significant risk that volunteers travelling to live and work in vulnerable communities may unknowingly bring the virus with them and spread it among the population. By cancelling our programme, we hope to stand true to the principles of ‘do no harm’ and ‘avoid any negative effects’ reflected in the Core Humanitarian Standards, and to the values of solidarity and integrity that we subscribe to in the Comhlamh Code of Good Practice.
The funds that have already been raised by volunteers will now be used as close as possible to the original intended purpose. They will cover costs incurred to date and go towards the continuation of programme delivery through the direct support of our partner organisations in India and Zambia and to provide global citizenship inputs to volunteers in Ireland.
To do this, we intend to:
- Offer current participants of the 2020 programme the opportunity to volunteer with our partners from a distance in order to have an impact. This will be dictated on whether our partners can facilitate such an offering and what needs they have that are relevant to the skills that our volunteers can provide.
- Revise the delivery of Global Perspectives element of the programme to be delivered in Ireland.
- Allocate staff time that would have gone towards the management of the deployment phase to work on supporting our partners in capacity building initiatives during the summer months.
We are in uncharted waters as an organisation, as a nation and as a global community and although Ireland, India and Zambia are taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus, we do not know how long the current measures will be in place. Suas is now facing an unprecedented challenge to our income in 2020 as fundraising plans will be severely impacted for us and our partners that we fund. We will be sharing plans for online appeals in the coming weeks and if you can support them with donations and by sharing them with those friends and contacts who would have supported your fundraising efforts this year we would be very grateful.
We appreciate the contribution and hard work made by volunteers, your families and friends in fundraising and participating in the programme to date – particularly in these challenging times. Suas would like to thank you all for your continued support and we wish you and your loved one’s health and happiness over the coming weeks and months.
Robin O Byrne
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If your find that your question is not answered in our FAQ section, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected]
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