As the world faces the Covid-19 pandemic, activists, artists, survivors, youth around the world are rising to help impacted communities, frontline workers, and survivors.
We invite you support these two new efforts created in solidarity. Your donation will provide much needed assistance and hope for women in these uncertain times.
With thanks for your activism and support.
V, Susan, Christine, Monique, Roslyn, Purva, Tony, Carl, Kristina, Leila & Swetha
RISING IN THE TIME OF CORONA EMERGENCY FUND
The rapid spread of coronavirus across the globe has revealed what has always been a glaring truth for so many of the essential workers who are the backbone of our society: inequity. From the people who pick our food to the people who deliver our packages, it is the working class and poor who are most vulnerable to the virus and the economic disaster that Covid-19 has laid bare. So often these frontline workers are women. Many of them are activists, young leaders, and women who are part of our movement.
From Kenya to India, Guatemala to Thailand, we are hearing about great need from across our vast global network. While some are struggling with isolation and increased proximity to potentially violence situations within their homes, others are struggling with making rent, feeding their families and accessing masks and protective gear to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
Workers and health care professionals in every country are on the front lines of the crisis, risking their lives to take care of other people, to keep food on the shelves, to deliver necessary services, and to heal those who are sick. For so many survivors, home is not a safe place. Advocates worldwide are providing shelter as well as posting information and resources online.
At the City of Joy in Congo and the V-Day Safe House for the Girls in Kenya, there is increased need as leaders mobilize to support their graduates and the surrounding community. In Congo, young women are taking leadership, making masks, providing food to those in need. City of Joy leadership is mobilizing internationally for necessary personal protection equipment for nearby Panzi Hospital. In Kenya, V-Day Safe House girls studying at boarding school took unexpected but necessary refuge at the safe house due to the virus. Elders in the surrounding communities are supported with food relief and other means of help from the team at the Safe House.
In response to these increasing needs, V-Day is launching the RISING IN THE TIME OF CORONA EMERGENCY FUND to support grassroots activists leading their communities’ response to Covid-19. We will use funds to rapidly respond to needs on the ground.
Photo Credits: Régine Kamba, @ntomonok, @campesinasunite, @calnurses
V-DAY LAUNCHES THE MOTHER’S DAY FUND FOR INCARCERATED WOMEN
From Roslyn Smith, V-Day Beyond Incarceration Manager:
“Covid-19 is an unprecedented and unpredictable global crisis, a defining moment in our history. This virus has affected everyone, but not equally. The deep structural inequalities in economics, health care systems, prisons, race, class and gender around the world are being exposed with devastating results to the most vulnerable people, particularly women.
The general population at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility was informed about the death of a fellow resident Lulu, on 29 April 2020. There were 627 women housed there; now one is gone and we mourn for her with her family and friends.
This is a sad time for all of us, especially for me. I did my entire 39 year sentence at Bedford Hills. The women there are my family and dearest friends. I love and care deeply for them and have vowed to fight for their rights and dignity. Most of these women are past the age of 50 and many have poor health issues that are not being addressed properly. Visiting has been suspended indefinitely and phone calls are limited to within an hour time frame along with taking a shower, washing clothing, fixing a meal or going to the kiosk to send an email or download a book. The mess hall has limited food to dispense and the commissary is short on supplies. The women must be so lonely and frightened at this time my heart is broken, especially for the children who haven’t seen their mothers since this began and for the woman in federal prison who was serving a 26-month sentence and died of Covid-19 several weeks after giving birth to her child while on a ventilator.
We knew that this time would come and yet we diligently prayed for a different outcome. Unfortunately, 2 women have succumbed to Covid-19 while detained in prison. Despite the many efforts of Freedom Fighters/Advocacy groups for criminal justice reform and decarceration, who voiced their concerns by submitting letters, petitions, rallying, holding events and forums on Zoom, Facebook and other social media outlets about the safety and vulnerability of incarcerated people, many will die. Since April 26, 2020 there have been 21 positive cases of Covid-19 and 4 recoveries reported at Bedford Hills facility.
Are we so hell bent on punishment that we no longer see that all life is precious? Does being incarcerated now, because of Covid-19, denote a death sentence? We are supposed to be protecting the most vulnerable of society – our elders and those with underlying health issues that make them subsequently at risk of contracting Covid-19.”
V-Day is raising funds for our incarcerated sisters at Bedford Hills this Mother’s Day to provide them with care packages of food and essentials to help ease conditions and to let them know we care.
Please support the Mother’s Day Fund for Incarcerated Women.