American Women's Club of Zurich

A Message from FAWCO

Dear FAWCO members and friends,

I would like to take a short moment to share with you the impact of COVID-19 on Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania:

  • COVID-19’s impact is felt globally and more acutely so in the rural communities of the world where resources are extremely limited and the concept of social distancing an unknown entity. The impact of the pandemic will have a devastating impact on many, also on Hope for Girls and Women where school closures in the Mara district mean that the FGM cutting season has begun earlier than expected and will continue for an unknown period of time.
  • Rhobi Samwelly and her team are now busy all hours of the day and night, rescuing girls and taking care of them. To date, 35 girls were rescued before they could be cut; 6 girls were found after being cut. One of the girls lost a significant amount of blood and required hospitalization. Rhobi herself donated blood, and this girl is now recovering in the safe house (see attached photo). Rhobi’s team has been informed of an additional 147 girls who have been cut that will require psychosocial support.
  • Bringing girls into the safe house poses its own problems; all the new girls have to be in quarantine for 2 weeks before they can mix with the other girls. Added to this is an impending shortage of food due to hotel donations that have been stopped, with other donations that have been reduced. Income from selling handcrafts to tourists has also been interrupted.
  • In response to the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FAWCO Foundation board has agreed to send available funds of $20,000.00 to S.A.F.E. immediately rather than wait until July when we would normally make our first distribution of funds. We will be kept informed of how the funds are used and will share that information with our membership.

Please keep Rhobi and the girls in your thoughts and prayers as this is a very challenging time for them. If you wish to donate, please click on the Women Backing Women link below. Your support is greatly appreciated by Rhobi and the girls.

Target SAFE Project

Kind Regards, 
Tharien van Eck, AWC Antwerp
Target Program Chair 2019-2022
FAWCO Target Program for Health 2019-2022

"Promoting Well-Being and Healthy Lives for Women and Girls"

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