Erik Ackerman, Director VSO

Dear reader,

We hope in these uncertain times this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Like everyone else, we are attempting to adjust to the impact the coronavirus has had upon our daily lives. Our thoughts go out to all of those who have been affected by this crisis.

Safety first

I would like to thank you for your support and confidence in VSO. Despite the difficult circumstances, we, together with our experts, volunteers, colleagues and partners, remain committed to vulnerable communities in Africa and Asia.

At present, the coronavirus has spread to almost all countries served by VSO. We are in constant contact with our on-site specialists and colleagues discussing the latest updates and advice from both the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as national governments, to effectively respond to the situation on a country-by-country basis.

Sharing local knowledge

We are now preparing for the huge impact this pandemic can have on the people for whom we work. Our experience of using local volunteers to strengthen communities and health systems, as was done during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, will be invaluable. We are currently investigating how we can best apply this approach to the current crisis.

Thank you

Together we face a huge challenge. I would therefore again like to thank you all for all your support. COVID-19 may be particularly hard on those people who live in areas where healthcare is weak and the economy is fragile. Your support is more important than ever.

We wish you, your family and friends all the best during these difficult times.

Best regards,

Erik Ackerman

Director VSO