Citizens for Citizens during COVID-19

Our YLAI Alumni, Moreno Jackson, who is also the founder of Act Now Foundation, has spent the past six weeks involved in donating food supplies to families that were among the most affected ones. The project, named Surinamers voor Surinamers, was actually initiated by one of the Co-Founders, Elaine Harridat, that wanted to donate food supplies to just five families and therefore posted a Facebook call to ask support from the community. This post was also shared through the Act Now Foundation page and since then has taken an immense positive turn in receiving of donations. Until the end of June, our team has donated over 350 families of food supplies. The support comes in various forms from community members in Suriname and overseas of all layers of society. We also have large companies donating bread, mouth and nose masks, vegetables and canned food.

The need is very high and because we know we cannot provide everyone with such a package, we ask people from the community to send us detailed descriptions of the families they want to request a donation for. Based on the screening by our team. Each day we select around 10–15 families to pay a visit. We choose different areas around Paramaribo, Commewijne, Wanica, Para and Saramacca in order to widespread the impact. The different situations we engage with on a daily basis, are really emotional to watch. Most of the times, the families are not aware that we will be visiting them and therefore react very astonished and emotional when hearing that someone provided their name to us. Based on the COVID-19 preventive measurements, we ask families to put down a chair in front so we can drop our package without any physical contact. Tears of thankfulness are frequently part of the process of dropping of our supplies. Each package contains fruits, vegetables, milk, chicken, canned food, bread, rice, eggs, flour, mouth and nose mask.

With this small act of kindness, we are ensuring that we take responsibility in being there for those in need. The effects of COVID-19 are challenging for many of us but we believe that we will definitely overcome this! One family at a time…

Through positive leadership we act as role models for others around us and give hope for a better, safer, healthier future. Change begins with you!