Discovery SVS has been awarded two grants from Welsh Government for its work in alleviating the impact of COVID-19 in Wales and communities in Africa.
The first grant of £14,400 will aid the supported volunteering scheme which is run by Discovery and usually pairs student volunteers with disabled adults from the local community. With the current restrictions due to coronavirus, students are staying in touch by phone with the people they support at a time when many people are isolated.
By keeping in touch virtually, both students and the disabled adults they support have an opportunity to take part in activities like virtual volunteering or playing online games.
Carys Jones, a recent graduate who has being supporting adults with additional needs through the pandemic said: “Volunteering with Discovery through this very uncertain, difficult time has only left my mental state in a positive, productive way.
“Being able to make someone else smile, and laugh, and them returning the favour has helped me get through the toughest challenges these past few months.”
Discovery has also been awarded funding to help lessen the impact of coronavirus in Zambia. The charity has a long-term partnership with Siavonga Nutrition Group and the funding of £7,300 will go towards the creation of a Covid-secure food distribution scheme working with local growers who have been hugely challenged by the restrictions in movement that COVID-19 has made necessary.
This scheme will ensure that growers are able to sell their produce and that some of the most vulnerable families and individuals whose income and employment have been affected are given access to nutritious food. The partnership will also distribute infection control information, masks, soap and sanitiser to vulnerable communities and produce sellers.
Eleanor Norton, Managing Director of Discovery said: “We are so pleased and grateful to be able to access this funding from Welsh Government. Covid-19 has hit charities and vulnerable people incredibly hard in both Wales and Zambia, and it is very important to us that we can continue making a difference to people at this difficult time.
“As ever, our student volunteers have been amazing and stepped up to the challenge of delivering their volunteering support in a whole new way.”
Musuka Mutondo, Director of the Siavonga Nutrition Group added: “The funding will help the vulnerable households who were already struggling after the dry spells and floods to have decent meals. They will be able to mask up and each have soap to wash their hands.”