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Special Update: How you can help SLF partners respond to COVID-19

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Many of you have expressed concern for grandmothers and the communities supported by our partners in sub-Saharan Africa, and have asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community-based partners.

Today, we’re sharing this special update from SLF Executive Director, Meg French, with all of you. We hope it will answer some questions that may be on your mind.

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of you and your communities as well, and each grandmothers group is making sensitive decisions about how and when to communicate with supporters in the way that feels appropriate. We hope you’ll consider sharing this update.

May we continue to find hope and resilience in our unwavering commitment to social solidarity as we stay home to protect the most vulnerable members of our global community.

Take care and be safe,
Sarah, Winnie, Ruth-Anne and Megan


Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

I wanted to reach out to you again this week, to share what we’re learning from our partners. While the world’s attention has been focussed on the new coronavirus with major outbreaks in Asia, Europe and North America, COVID-19 has been taking root in Africa. It poses a major public health threat throughout the continent and people affected by HIV and AIDS are most at risk.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation needs your support to ensure that our grassroots partners have the resources they need to keep vulnerable communities healthy and safe during these challenging times.

With lockdowns in place, access to food and medicine limited, people cut off from support groups, and fragile healthcare systems under strain, community-based organizations provide a lifeline to people affected by HIV and AIDS. Our SLF partner organizations are local institutions who are known and trusted in their communities. They’re the critical support systems that vulnerable communities need during this time. They’re well positioned to be flexible and to focus on emerging challenges posed by COVID-19.

Already we’ve heard from our partners about the work they’ve done to address needs arising from the emergency response to the virus.

  • Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS in South Africa is providing food parcels, along with gloves and hand sanitizer to their members. They’re also providing a safe space and nutritious meals to support children’s wellbeing while schools are closed.
  • Health Development Initiative in Rwanda has launched a hotline to provide counselling services for their clients. Using local radio, Whats App, and social media they’re sharing accurate information about how to stay safe and protected from COVID-19.
  • Kiambu People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya has advised all clients to report to their clinic for a 3-month supply of HIV antiretroviral medication, so that they may remain on treatment while there are enforced restrictions on movement.

The SLF is committed to supporting our partners during these times. We’ve launched the COVID-19 Appeal to ensure that life-saving grassroots organizations have the resources required to be flexible and responsive as they meet the most pressing needs of their communities.

As a supporter of the Stephen Lewis Foundation we’re asking you to please consider making a donation today by clicking here, or by phone at 1-888-203-9990, ext. 0.

Your donation will make a difference for grandmothers, children and young people, people living with HIV and AIDS and LGBTQ communities across sub-Saharan Africa. Together, we can help safeguard the progress grassroots organizations have made in turning the tide of AIDS, and prevent COVID-19 from having disproportionate impact on their communities.

Thank you for your support.

In solidarity,

Meg French,
Executive Director,
Stephen Lewis Foundation

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