6/4/2020 EARTH COMPANY’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19: INNOVATING TO THRIVE, NOT ONLY SURVIVE
The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the foundations of the global economy, overwhelmed healthcare systems and fundamentally changed the way humans on the planet interact. It has also put the survival of many NGOs, and their life-changing work, at risk. Earth Company is no exception. With revenue streams drying up and a reduction in donations, it has been extremely difficult to continue our activities and operations. The situation has also forced us to cut back on the working hours of our team.
When there are challenges though, there are opportunities. This pandemic has caused us to rethink our existing work and to innovate so that we can adapt to the new global realities.
Our Response to the Pandemic
We are taking the following actions to continue to bring about meaningful change in the Asia-Pacific region in these challenging times.
1. Launching a New Monthly Supporter Campaign
The “100 Monthly Supporters” donor recruitment campaign is designed to provide a reliable revenue stream to sustain core Earth Company operations and activities, both now and in the future. Initiated at the end of April through various on-line engagements, it has generated a wonderful response. We are extremely grateful that, as of June 4th, 93 kind-hearted people have signed up to support the work of Earth Company and its Impact Heroes.
2. Moving Our Flagship Program Impact Bali On-line
In May, we launched “SOIL for Changemakers” in collaboration with Habataku Co. Ltd., a pioneer enterprise in co-creative learning from Japan. This is a 10-part online interactive program about social innovation that contains key elements of our Impact Bali study tour program. As part of the experience, our Impact Heroes shared their stories and insights with participants and then interacted with them in a question-answer session. The program was very well received and the spots filled up quickly. In response to continuing demand, we are planning to launch the second edition in July.
3. Hosting the “Stay at Home, Eco at Home” Webinar Series
With most of the world’s population under quarantine, we launched the “Stay at Home, Eco at Home” webinar series. As a result, inspiring eco-practitioners from all walks of life are sharing their stories and tips on home-based sustainable environmental practices with a wider audience. This webinar series is a part of Earth Company’s Operation Green program that facilitates the adoption of eco-practices by businesses, schools, and NGOs.
4. Supporting IMPACT HEROES at times of emergency
Despite our own challenges, we continue to stand with all our Impact Heroes – including alumni – to survive this global crisis together. Thanks to our supporters, Earth Company is helping them protect and serve their communities.
Our Support to Impact Heroes
IMPACT HERO 2015 Bella Galhos
Supporting families surviving the double impact of massive flooding & Covid-19 in Timor-Leste
Donation: US$ 12,770
Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste, was hit by a flood in March that displaced and seriously impacted the lives of over 10,000 people. Soon after that, the country announced its first Covid-19 case. This double hit has devastated many.
In response to the flood, Bella started feeding families that lost everything, including their homes, using her own personal funds. Earth Company supported this emergency relief work and raised US$6600 to provide building materials, mattresses, food, clothes and other essential supplies to 47 families in desperate need. In addition, we also secured a US$6070 donation to keep the operation of Leublora Green School going.
IMPACT HERO 2016 Robin Lim
Offering food relief to the most vulnerable hit by the pandemic
Donation: US$ 3,000
As a primary healthcare provider for marginalized communities, Robin’s organization, Bumi Sehat, is continuing to offer free medical care throughout this crisis. As more mothers are choosing to give birth at specialized birthing centers, rather than at hospitals that are treating Covid-19 patients, Bumi Sehat is doing a great job keeping their clinics COVID-free, while delivering babies into the world without spreading the virus.
Bumi Sehat is also providing food relief to those that have lost their jobs with the temporary suspension of the global tourism industry. 80% of Bali’s jobs are related to tourism, so the island’s economy has been hit disproportionately hard. Earth Company has raised US$3000 for Bumi Sehat to provide relief packages to 1000+ people.
IMPACT HERO 2017 Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner
Keeping the fight for climate change going through the pandemic
Donation: US$ 6,000
At the moment, the Marshall Islands is one of the few places in the world that has remained Covid-19 free, but Kathy’s organization, Jo-Jikum, has been running a campaign to prepare the country’s youth on how to respond should the virus arrive. In addition, Jo-Jikum is continuing its four regular climate change-related programs that are critical in the country’s fight against the sea-level rise and climate crisis.
The organization is able to sustain the program funding from grants but is facing a shortage on operational fees even after the downsizing. Therefore, Earth Company has helped raise US$6000 to support part of their operating expenses.
IMPACT HERO 2019 Wai Wai Nu
Building her NGO while providing Covid-19 relief for the refugees
Donation provided: US$ 4,200
Due to the pandemic, Wai Wai’s Youth Leadership Center has temporarily suspended in-person operations. Earth Company is currently supporting her to find new ways to carry out her peacebuilding work, such as providing online programs. We are also providing marketing support, like creating logos, for Wai Wai’s NGO, the Inclusive Future Foundation.
We are grateful for a US$10,000 donation from Touché Solutions. Based in Taiwan, Touché Solutions is a tactile sensor manufacturer that develops products supporting human-robot collaborative applications. It partners with the world’s leading robot manufacturers to provide comprehensive human-robot collaborative solutions for automation industries.
We would also like to thank Cypress River Advisors, LLC for donating US$3,000 to Jo-Jikum.