[Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series highlighting how NGOs are using funds they receive from Ford Fund’s COVID-19 Donation Match program.]
Three nongovernmental organizations in Europe are using donations from Ford employees to provide remote companionship to the elderly, invest in medical research and prevent the coronavirus from spreading among the homeless.
The European NGOs are among 40 worldwide as beneficiaries of Ford Fund’s COVID-19 Donation Match program. To date, nearly $220,000 has been raised. And the money will be matched by Ford Fund and Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford up to $500,000, raising a potential $1 million in total support for projects focused on hunger, shelter and medical needs.
The donation match is administered by GlobalGiving, Ford’s global disaster relief and grantmaking partner.
Below are stories of three NGO partners and how they are using funds received through the donation match. To donate or view a complete list of NGO partners, click here.
Germany: Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross): Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (German Red Cross)
These donations are enabling the Red Cross to deliver food and medical supplies, provide shopping services and help healthcare workers set up mobile medical practices.
The German Red Cross has been actively supporting the government since the beginning of the pandemic, including taking test samples and caring for the infected to relieve overwhelmed medical clinics.
Its 435,000 volunteers and nearly 177,000 full-time staff have also delivered meals and food packages.
Ford Fund has supported the German Red Cross for the last three years, completing renovations of two refugee homes in Cologne and helping fund a children’s program called Power Pänz or Young Heroes. Here, elementary students are taught to manage an emergency including how to apply the basic first aid.
Spain: Asociación Apadrina La Ciencia (Association of Sponsor Science)
In, Spain, Asociacion Apadrina La Ciencia scientists and medical doctors are investigating life-saving treatments for COVID-19 and a vaccine to prevent future infections.
Ford employee dollars will be used to purchase laboratory equipment including computers to analyze big data.
Ford Fund has financed science scholarships through Apadrina La Ciencia. And last year, Ford College Community Challenge – Ford Fund’s global grant competition that supports college students working to resolve local environmental and economic problems – was launched in Spain in conjunction with the NGO.
United Kingdom: St Mungo’s
Homeless people are among the most vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.
That is why the United Kingdom charity, St Mungo’s, founded an emergency project to help the homeless self-isolate in hotel rooms to avoid the life-threatening risk they face on the streets. By doing so, the NGO is not only providing a clean and safe environment for self-quarantine, but giving those without homes a sense of dignity and wellbeing.
Ford employee donations are going toward this emergency project for the homeless.
More than 1,600 people have been given shelter during the pandemic. The municipal government of London and other charitable agencies are working with St Mungo’s to reserve blocks of hotel rooms in London, Bristol, Brighton, Reading, Oxford and Bournemouth.
One St Mungo’s client said: “I came out of hospital with no fixed abode, so a friend took me in. But then he had to go into hospital, so I had to leave. I contacted the council and a St Mungo worker got me in here. I don’t want to be sleeping on the streets. The room is fine. The food is great, and my medication is all sorted. Hopefully, I’ll be rehoused and be able to live my life. I want to work. I can do stuff. I hope it will involve helping other people.”
Photos are courtesy of the German Red Cross, Asociación Apadrina La Ciencia and St Mungo’s.