When we created GoPhilanthropic Foundation nearly 10 years ago, we had not really considered the role that unexpected events might play in our work. Over the past several years, however, we have found ourselves needing to think deeply about our level of responsibility as NGO partners around the world are confronted with crisis situations. Many of these events impacted large populations of people – from regional flooding in Southeast Asia to devastating earthquakes in Nepal and the fury of volcanic eruptions in Guatemala.
None of that work quite prepared us for what was to come when the 2020 global pandemic hit in March of this year. GoPhil partners, in effect, became their communities’ first responders for basic needs, but without the necessary training or resources. Rather than our common practice of helping communities thrive, we were thrust into the role of helping them to simply survive.
Under these most trying of circumstances which demanded urgent and well thought out plans, a series of valuable lessons emerged.