No matter where you are in the world right now, your neighbourhood has probably been affected by the coronavirus outbreak in one way or another. Asia, in particular, has been dealing with the pandemic for about four months. Local communities need help and they need it now.
For those who want to help frontliners, vulnerable individuals, and affected communities in the region, VICE has compiled a list of organisations and coronavirus aid initiatives you can contribute to.
Besides monetary donations, you can also volunteer your services, organise fundraising campaigns, or even provide emotional support. There are so many ways to help, and in the thick of a massive public health crisis like this, it will certainly make a difference.
Adopt a Healthcare Worker Western Australia
This initiative encourages people to “adopt” a healthcare worker by committing to supporting them as they fight the coronavirus at the frontlines. This could mean checking in with them regularly, doing them small favours, or simply providing a listening ear. Medical professionals request for support by posting on the Facebook page, and are promptly met with encouraging responses from warmhearted Australians.
Find Adopt a Healthcare Worker Western Australia on Facebook.
UNICEF Australia is transporting urgently needed supplies to affected areas in the East Asia and Pacific region, including protective suits, masks, goggles, and gloves for healthcare workers. Donations will support infection prevention and control, risk communication, and community engagement, as well as children protection and education.
Visit UNICEF Australia to find out more.
Helping women at risk of domestic violence
As the coronavirus forces people to stay indoors for extended periods of time, cases of domestic abuse could spike. Impact for Women, Djirra, and Safe Steps Family Violence Centre are non-profit organisations aimed at supporting women and children who are victims of domestic violence. They accept donations in the form of vouchers, gift cards, mobile phone cards, and public transport cards. If you have space to house someone at risk, you can also do so through Safe Haven Community’s online platform.
Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund)
Set up in March, the PM CARES Fund is a public charity fund dedicated to handling emergency situations, such as the coronavirus. The PM CARES Fund is chaired by the Prime Minister, and its trustees include the Ministers of Defence, Home Affairs, and Finance. In order to encourage more people to donate and harness collective efforts in fighting the coronavirus in India, there is no minimum amount for donation.
Visit PM CARES Fund to find out more.
GiveIndia is an online donation platform that aims to match donors with credible non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around India. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, GiveIndia has started several missions dedicated to helping those who have been affected by the pandemic. It is partnering with NGOs to provide food and hygiene kits to the underprivileged around India.
Visit GiveIndia to find out more.
The coronavirus outbreak has put many daily-wage workers out of jobs. Many of these workers had left their villages in search of work in the city, but are now unable to return to their hometowns due to lockdown measures. Organised by non-profit organisation Goonj, the Rahat COVID-19 project aims to support daily wage workers who are stuck in the city without resources. Proceeds will go to providing food and daily necessities to migrant workers across India.
Visit Rahat COVID-19 to find out more.
Amid anxieties and inconveniences caused by the coronavirus, Caremongers India is a Facebook group where people can request for help or offer assistance. Created in mid-March, the public group now has over 20,000 members. Services that people have volunteered for range from delivering groceries and checking in with elderly residents stuck in their homes during the lockdown.
Islamic non-profit organisation Dompet Dhuafa (wallet for the poor) is now raising funds to help patients in Indonesia. Through their campaign, you can help fund the construction of a container hospital for the underprivileged in the city of Bogor, where patients admitted will be treated free of charge. When the coronavirus outbreak ends, the hospital will be used for general patient treatment.
Support the project here.
As the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm Japan’s healthcare system, the Nippon Foundation is setting up facilities to house coronavirus patients in the Kanto area. According to the Nippon Foundation, it will provide 1,200 beds by the end of April and another 9,000 beds by the end of July. A special fund has been set up to support medical staff and residents at these facilities.
Japanese Red Cross Society
The Japanese Red Cross Society is calling for blood donations due to the falling number of blood donors amid the coronavirus outbreak. In nationwide efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, over 700 blood donation campaigns have been cancelled. As blood can only be stored for about three weeks after being donated, the Japanese Red Cross Society estimates that 13,000 donors are needed every day to maintain its blood supply. A shortage of blood supply could affect patients in need of blood transfusions.
Visit the Japanese Red Cross Society to find out more.
Misi Bantu OA
Misi Bantu OA is a non-profit project that aims to support Orang Asli (Malaysia’s indigenous people) who are encountering difficulties due to the nationwide lockdown. These include Orang Asli who are no longer able to sell their crops and forest produce, can’t go to work due to the lockdown, or whose subsistence crops are being destroyed by wildlife. The project aims to provide food, medicine, and sanitary kits for Orang Asli in need.
Find out more about the project here.
In Arabic, Sadaqah refers to an act of charity. The term also has strong religious significance in Islam. GlobalSadaqah is an online Islamic charity crowdfunding platform that matches both corporate and public donations to campaigns. There are now fundraising campaigns for people who have been affected by the coronavirus.
Visit GlobalSadaqah to see the list of fundraising campaigns.
Aerosol Box Project
An aerosol box is an acrylic box that protects medical frontliners from infection when carrying out intubation and other medical procedures on patients. As of April 2, they have already supplied 142 boxes for 38 hospitals across Metro Manila. They aim to reach 200 boxes by April 15 with the help of monetary donations.
Let’s Mass Test PH
Amid the pandemic, mass testing is extremely important in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Co-headed by VICE APAC’s Editor-in-Chief Natashya Gutierrez, Let’s Mass Test PH is raising money to buy coronavirus testing kits and personal protective equipment suits for people in the Philippines. Their beneficiaries include the Lung Center of the Philippines, UP National Institutes of Health, and St. Luke’s Hospital.
The underprivileged endure higher risks of contracting the coronavirus due to their cramped living conditions. Collaborative Movement, a Philippine-based community organisation, is raising funds for families of children enrolled at Childreamers Daycare. The daycare is located in Tondo, which has one of the biggest slum areas in Manila, and currently cares for 55 children. The proceeds will go to providing care packages for the 55 families, including food, toiletries, rubbing alcohol, and face masks.
Helping the migrant community
To help migrant communities in Singapore, SG Climate Rally created a crowd-sourced list of the urgent needs of domestic workers, construction workers, and restaurant employees, among other groups. These include shelter, food, means of communication like WiFi access, mental health assistance, and financial aid. Those who would like to help out can add their names and contact details to a growing online sheet.
Learn more and volunteer here.
Giving.sg is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to non-profit organisations in Singapore. There are now various fundraising campaigns aimed at supporting those who have been affected by the coronavirus. Besides monetary donations, you can also become a volunteer or start your own fundraising campaign.
Visit Giving.sg to see the list of fundraising campaigns.
Care Corner Toa Payoh & Woodlands Volunteer Hub
Care Corner has organised a series of initiatives to support residents of Toa Payoh and Woodlands towns during the coronavirus outbreak, including distributing care packages, disinfecting senior homes, and assisting the food bank with packaging and delivery.
Wares Mutual Aid & Community Solidarity Project
Wares is a reading library that also hosts live events and online projects. It has stepped up during the coronavirus outbreak to organise community support, via a public coordination spreadsheet where Singaporeans can ask for help or offer assistance to one another. Besides monetary donations, people also offer services such as grocery runs and babysitting to ease the burden of individuals who are facing difficulties in their day-to-day life.
Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association
Established in 1961, Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association conducts professional relief responses in times of crisis. It has a long history of supporting victims of both natural and social disasters. To support individuals affected by the coronavirus, some Korean celebrities have made donations to the Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association, including Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, actor Lee Min-ho, and pro-football player Son Heung-min.
Visit Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association to find out more.
KakaoTogether is an online crowdfunding platform by South Korean internet company Kakao, where people can donate to campaigns of their choice. Right now, there are various coronavirus-related fundraising campaigns aimed at supporting South Koreans.
Visit KakaoTogether to see the list of fundraising campaigns.
Happybean is a crowdfunding website by South Korean technology company Naver. The platform now features individuals and families who are struggling amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Like KakaoTogether, donors can choose the causes that they want to support.
Visit Happybean to see the list of fundraising campaigns.