With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, many NGOs have been severely impacted, especially their ability to provide key services to their beneficiaries. In the Caribbean region, many NGOs provide services to the most vulnerable populations. These include Elderly, Indigenous Populations (IPS), Persons with Disabilities (PWDS), At-risk children and Youth and Women, Individuals and households affected with HIV/AIDS, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Groups, Sex workers, Victims of sexual exploitation and/or abuse, Homeless.
Within this context, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), with funding from the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), offered COVID-19 relief assistance to strengthen the enabling environment for Caribbean NGOs. This support provided essential developmental services to vulnerable communities by improving NGO access to resources and increasing institutional strengthening activities.
One of the recipients of this grant was the Dominica National Council of Women (DNCW). The DNCW is an NGO located in the Windward Islands chain in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. The organisation’s major target group is specifically rural women and, by extension, their families. DNCW was founded to sensitise, empower, and unite women and their families with the knowledge relating to their rights to reach their full potential and find common solutions to problems affecting them.
With the grant support, DNCW offered agricultural and livestock supplies in the form of seeds and seedlings and provided twenty hampers that contained essential items to women farmers in Dominica and their families in need. It was envisioned that the farming inputs would be used to support their immediate and medium-term needs for sustainable livelihoods. In addition to this, DNCW was also able to procure a laptop and benefit from Digital Communication Training, which facilitated communication with their beneficiaries.