SERVE Statement on Covid-19

SERVE believes in volunteering that is responsible and responsive to the needs of our overseas partners. Our approach is grounded in the principal of solidarity and adheres to the value base of the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice. SERVE believes that the responsible action is to postpone unnecessary travel and international overseas volunteering placements until such a time that the impact of Covid-19 can be more clearly assessed. In the current circumstances, a decision has been made to not proceed with the SERVE 2020 Volunteer and Immersion Programmes.

We work with marginalised and vulnerable communities who live in basic conditions, often with limited access to healthcare and adequate sanitation. The risks posed by Covid-19 to these communities is significant. It is our view, that a balanced ethical consideration compels us not to put vulnerable people at risk by continuing to send volunteers who may be carriers of the virus.

It is better to take proactive steps now, rather than to later regret inaction. We will explore creative ways to continue to support our partners communities over the coming months.

Yours in Solidarity,

The SERVE Board and Team

Partners: Click image above for helpful links and resources including manuals, social media graphics and posters.

SERVE continue to liaise with our partners to determine their status during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will continue to update this page as information becomes available.

Tsholofelo Community Development, South Africa

The government of Mozambique requires travellers from all countries with active transmission to self-isolate on arrival for 14 days. The government has suspended the issuing of entry visas and banned gatherings of more than 50 people. The government has suspended the issuing of entry visas and banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

Young Africa Centres

For recent updates from SERVE’s partner Young Africa, read their newsletter here.

  • Zimbabwe – Closed
  • Mozambique – Centre closed, Staff still working – following best practice guidelines. Printing information to distribute safely to students to increase awareness about Covid-19
  • Young Africa Mozambique is joining forces with Cornelder de Moçambique, S.A in Beira. Cornelder donated sixteen sewing machines so the centre can produce face masks for students and the local community

  • Namibia – Closed
  • Zambia – Closed

Mavambo Trust, Zimbabwe

SERVE secured  €10,000 from Misean Cara for Mavambo Trust’s COVID-19 response.

Mavambo Trust provide access to education for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and provide holistic psycho-social support for OVC and their caregivers to help them remain in school

  • The funds secured will support preventative education actions to increase awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic in the communities of Mabvuku, Tafara and Goromonzi on the outskirts of Harare. Mavambo will liaise closely with the Ministry of Health if suspected cases arise.
  • The project will be delivered through a community based response, led by community volunteers. Mavambo can access households that the Ministry of Health and other NGOs cannot which allows for those who are most vulnerable to access information.
  • Mavambo can reach 1,200 children and caregivers who are part of their current programmes and can also reach new people in the communities
  • The intervention to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be achieved through the following activities which can be started immediately and are expected to run for 3 months:
  1. Awareness raising about COVID-19 in the target communities of Mabvuku, Tafara and Goromonzi;
  2. Advocacy work to challenge mis-truths, fake news and dangerous practices which increase the communities risk to COVID-19;
  3. Purchase and disbursement of basic Personal Protective Equipment support for Mavambo’s beneficiaries, community volunteers and staff. This includes buckets, facemasks, latex gloves, hand washing liquid, sanitisers, detergents, sanitiser dispensers and mutton cloth;
  4. Ongoing trainings (virtual) with community volunteers and staff so they can carry out their work safely and effectively;
  5. Development, adoption, adaption and dissemination of Information Education and Communication material to support awareness raising and advocacy work
  6. Liaising with Ministry of Health if suspected cases are found

On 24 March, Prime Minister Modi announced a three week lockdown across India that requires everyone to stay at home from midnight on 25 March for 21 days. Strict restrictions on movement are in now in place unless for an essential purpose.

Association of People with Disabilities (APD), India

  • Centre is closed and in lockdown

Badjao Nano Nagle Early Learning Centre

  • School closed
  • SERVE has allocated €7,500 towards the purchase and distribution of emergency food supplies for the Badjao tribe. Each household received 10 kilos of rice, 8 canned goods, 1 kilo sugar and 1 pack coffee.The Badjao youth leaders and cluster leaders helped to facilitate the distribution keeping the social distancing.

  • Each of the Badjao family has since received 5 kilos of rice and 2 canned goods from the government. There is a non government agency  in the area who is planning to distribute food supplies on April 25.
  • SERVE has been working closely with Badjao Teachers and Youth Council to translate ‘7 Steps of Prevention’ graphics into Sinama (Badjao Language). This can be widely shared across the Badjao community social media platforms.

Redemptorist Community Cebu

  • Parish committee and Redemptorist Youth Ministry delivering food packages and shopping to those who are vulnerable

The Vietnamese authorities have announced a nationwide lockdown to start from midnight on 31 March until 15 April. People are being advised to stay at home. Essential services will remain open. People will be allowed to leave home to buy food and medicine, but you should practice social distancing, wear facemasks in public areas, and not congregate with more than one person, with some exceptions (e.g. hospitals). You should follow the instructions of local authorities to avoid being fined or prosecuted

The Vietnamese authorities have introduced a large number of measures to limit the spread of the virus, including banning the entry of foreigners and the widespread quarantine of anyone who may have come in to contact with coronavirus. Vietnam has also closed tourist areas, non-essential shops and services (including bars and restaurants), particularly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS)

  • Closed