Dear CWI Members,

CWI shares the deep and growing national and global concern about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the devastating effects it is having for communities, families and individuals throughout the world. While acknowledging that collective protection in line with medical advice and state regulations needs to be paramount, we are also concerned that social justice and human rights remain to the forefront in underpinning the struggle to develop responses.

We support all of our members working in and with the communities who will doubtless be hardest hit by this crisis including Travellers and Roma, people who are unemployed  or living on low incomes and working in precarious jobs, people living in direct provision and emergency accommodation, those who are homeless living in hostels and family hubs, women living with an abusive partner or those seeking shelter in refuges,  those in rented accommodation in fear of losing their homes, those with mental health problems, older people especially those already isolated and living in poverty and others facing certain unemployment as this crisis deepens.

Now perhaps more than ever is a time for strong community work, and for community workers to pull together collectively to share information, ideas and concerns while working with those most affected.  

CWI have convened a Covid-19 NGO Group comprising national organisations representing most of these communities in an effort to build a collective response to share information on emerging issues which need to be raised at Government level.

We are participating in the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Advisory Group on community response to needs of vulnerable people. The overarching purpose of the Advisory Group therefore is to encourage and facilitate community engagement in response to the needs of vulnerable people living in the community.

We want to establish a way of communicating with you our members because it is only by working together and communicating with each other that we can make an impact for the communities we work with. We all are heartened by reports of solidarity and support within communities all over Ireland. We need to build on this together to ensure that community work and community workers are supported in the work you are doing.

We will keep you updated on any relevant developments and will be in touch in the coming days to ask you for your input and feedback on what is happening in your area and the communities you are working with.

See here some recent information which may be of interest to you – many of you will have received this through other channels but we feel it is important to share all communication from Government and agencies as widely as possible.

COVID-19 NGO Group | Marginalised Groups and Promoting Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights in the COVID Crisis – A Joint Submission

COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement

Stop the Spread – Video