As the global coronavirus pandemic takes hold in Latin America, civil society organizations are stepping forward with speed and resourcefulness. In addition to taking steps to protect staff and adjust plans to meet this new reality, several Tinker grantees are putting their capabilities and community relationships to work. Below we highlight a few examples:
- Chequeado, a fact-checking and journalism organization based in Argentina, has launched a new site to inform the public and address misinformation about the novel coronavirus. Using the YoLoChequeo tool, social media users can fact-check rumors and potential misinformation. Chequeado has also launched a regional fact-checking effort with more than 20 organizations throughout Latin America.
- In Central America, Fundación Crisálida Internacional (Glasswing International) works with vulnerable urban, peri-urban, and rural populations living in areas with the highest rates of intrafamilial and community violence. Concerned about the potential for increased harm during mandatory isolation, Glasswing has partnered with mobile carriers to disseminate free messages that focus on healthy behaviors and coping mechanisms.
- Brazilian NGO Nossas helps citizens organize large-scale campaigns to achieve social and policy change. Nossas and its partners are leading a coalition to put the needs and rights of favela residents front and center, including large-scale advocacy work and a crowdfunding effort with local groups to buy and distribute basic hygiene products. It is also building a network of volunteer psychologists to support health professionals on the frontlines of COVID-19 in Brazil.
While none of these organizations typically focus on public health, their creative responses show the critical role that Latin America’s diverse NGO sector can play at a time of crisis.