The coronavirus pandemic has posed many challenges for societies globally and the true extent of its consequences are difficult to predict at the moment. However, issues apparent already range from deteriorated mental health (due to social isolation and limited access to health care institutions) to exposing many families to severe financial insecurity. The consequences of a societal and individual level are dire. With the increasing need, pressure has been put on charities and NGOs to pick up the pieces. However, how are they coping?
This article will take a further look at charities’ and NGO’s to understand their role in managing the impact of the coronavirus.
A Changing Context
On many levels, the coronavirus pandemic has held up a mirror to society and outlined and exacerbated already existing inequalities, with marginalized and vulnerable groups being amongst the ones hardest hit. Until there is a systematic change, aid organizations are left to provide the necessary support. This is problematic as their own operational power has been limited with increasing restrictions, yet the pandemic has put more people at risk of needing their assistance. Surveys indicate just how widespread homelessness and the problems of understanding its full reach. The Coronavirus has put a lot more people at risk of homelessness due to changes in living arrangements or jobs. How are aid organizations able to support the increasing demand for help within the context of heightened restrictions?
While many people are confronted with increased hardship, wanting to contribute to the community seems to have increased as well, with reports indicating more online donations being made. Whether this is due to people wanting to help others through a difficult time or other reasons – it has provided an essential lifeline to many charities and NGOs struggling to survive. The Calgary Dream Center, a charity focused on combatting homelessness and addiction, has been able to push through these difficult times thanks to donations from the community. Their inspirational story incorporates the sentiment of thankfulness, as well as the importance of public donations to operate as a charitable organization.
Without the financial support of the public, many aid organizations would have been unable to continue their work. However, times such as a global pandemic have further highlighted the importance of perseverance during a crisis. Without the dedication and the desire to have a positive impact on society, the work would have been impossible. While ideally, societal issues would not demand continuous efforts from aid organizations, their work has helped thousands of people through their worst times. The combination of communal effort and individual dedication from workers to their work to battle the ripple effect of this pandemic is truly admirable.
Lessons to learn
The efforts and contributions from the charity sector to society definitely deserve recognition. However, they also offer lessons for the future. Understanding the vulnerability of social and health care systems during this crisis can shed further insights into what steps should be taken to improve such. While there is a lot left to do to remove existing inequalities, charities have played a crucial role in holding the fort in the meantime. If you wish to contribute to their ability to proceed with their work, do consider if you can donate time or money.