• tillyhumphreys

The Aid Workers - #HumanitarianDay

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

We know about the challenges for charities working within the UK, but what about those that are working abroad? This Humanitarian Day, we want to celebrate aid workers and highlight the challenging work of our small international charities who are working with some of the most vulnerable people in the world.


Although the sector as a whole has been hit hard by COVID-19, international charities and organisations have received some of the biggest blows. Few are eligible for the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, and many trusts and foundations have amended their criteria, and no longer include projects abroad.


What is certain however, is that this community of aid workers are still tirelessly working to try help transform the lives of their beneficiaries. We asked our members what the life of an aid worker is like at the moment, and here is what they had to say.


EdUkaid


Since 2003, EdUKaid has been helping the poorest children in Tanzania to get the education they so desperately need. Based in the remote Mtwara region of southern Tanzania, their work is in partnership with local communities to improve the quality of education so that children have the chance of a better life.


1. What does it mean to be an aid worker, working during the COVID-19 crisis?


As an aid worker I am used to having to respond to different challenges and working for a small charity means that I can adapt more easily than perhaps those working for large NGOs. This meant that my charity, EdUKaid, was able to react quickly to COVID-19 in Tanzania during the outbreak and respond appropriately as the situation changed. The biggest challenge has been the impact on our income at the time when our beneficiaries need us more than ever.


2. As an aid worker, what kind of world are you living in right now?


A world full of hope and opportunity. Our beneficiaries show us every day that, with a little help, you can still achieve so much even in most difficult circumstances.


3. What does the future look like for those you work with?


For the communities in which we work, life and death is an everyday occurrence and they are more fearful of malaria or hunger than COVID-19. These people live hand to mouth, day to day, so future is a difficult concept to consider. As an aid worker I am fearful that much of the incredible progress achieved by the small NGOs will be lost as funding disappears and charities risk closure and fearful that this ‘world full of hope and opportunity’ will disappear for the poorest communities.


https://www.edukaid.com/


RARE


In 2008, Rare Tea Company began working with Satemwa Tea Estate in Malawi, Africa. Founder Henrietta Lovell visited Satemwa and saw the possibility of creating social change by re-investing a percentage of the revenue from Rare Tea sales into the young people connected to the Estate. Rare Charity’s focus is to create educational opportunities within tea producing communities.


1. What does it mean to be an aid worker, working during the COVID-19 crisis?


It's subjective, but I would say that it means that you continue your commitment to support the most vulnerable and deliver programmes as safely as possible.


2. As an aid worker, what kind of world are you living in right now?

The same world as we are all living in - none of us are safe until all of us are safe. The world has got more dangerous now, but COVID is one of the many challenges Malawians face.


3. What does the future look like for those you work with?


We stay hopeful. It depends on the spread of COVID in Malawi.


https://www.rarecharity.com/


S.A.L.V.E