Covid-19: Letter to the communities we work with, partners, alliances and supporters

By Natural Justice 19 March 2020

Like all organisations and businesses the world over, Natural Justice has, from 17 March, implemented measures to provide for the immediate safety of our staff to ensure that they can avoid contracting or spreading Covid-19.

Over the short term, considering the type of work we do involving communities, we will also be implementing measures to ensure their safety and will be in contact with the communities and partners we work with to discuss the way forward. The work must continue, even in circumstances of severe restrictions, as our commitments to the communities we stand with remain a priority. Community partners are invited to contact Hub directors to discuss this further.

In terms of Hub-level safety measures, as per the restrictions coming from the respective governments of the countries we are situated in, all Hubs have met to discuss the way forward. Together with staff, the management team has decided on these respective measures to ensure staff safety:

  • All travel outside of our respective countries is prohibited for the near future.
  • In-country travel is discouraged, and requests for travel must be submitted to management.
  • All staff will be working from home and measures taken to ensure that they can do so in an effective and uninterrupted way. Allowances will be made for staff that request to work in the offices but restrictions will be imposed on the number of staff allowed at the same time.
  • Specific measures will be implemented for staff based in or working closely with communities.
  • Meetings online will be encouraged and in-person meetings discouraged.
  • Each up-coming planned event or meeting will be assessed and a decision made whether to continue online, postpone or cancel.

These measures will continually be reviewed by the management team and weekly communications sent out to staff and partners.

We are living in an unprecedented time. However, we acknowledge that the future has always been uncertain in the face of the planetary crisis. We will be tested on a continual basis and the only way forward is to foster solidarity amongst us. We are committed to showing leadership and to continuing our work with courage. We know that Natural Justice has a part to play in strengthening communities’ responses to adversity and we need to settle into this new space and centre ourselves again as we prepare to stand behind communities in the years ahead.

In this regard, we call on those we work with, our friends and supporters, to listen to the calls for implementing immediate safety measures, including washing hands and restricting unnecessary travel. In this regard, we are aware there are many communities who might not have proper access to water and are not able to self-isolate. We hope that they may do their best under the difficult circumstances.

We need to use this opportunity for deep reflection and thinking through how we move forward as humanity, given the climate emergency and planetary crisis. It is also a time to shine a spotlight on injustices, including access to healthcare, and the understanding that we need to stand together in order to deal with crisis moments in the future.

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