WIN: Fijian climate justice group ensures no COVID cases

Originally shared on 11 September 2020.

In this issue: Partner highlight: Social Empowerment and Education Programme’s Operation 38-0

Dear reader,

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, Thousand Currents partner SEEP launched Operation 38-0, a community-led monitoring mission in their 38 communities. Their target: 0 positive cases of the novel coronavirus in these communities.

The Social Empowerment and Education Programme (SEEP) is a social justice network in the Pacific Islands that works with Indigenous (Taukei) communities in Fiji. SEEP promotes people-centered development and community well-being in furthering climate justice. agroecology, and gender-based rights.

SEEP’s team distributed face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers in their communities.

SEEP’s team was in constant contact with local households, both via phone and visiting door-to-door. They ensured that remote communities received updated COVID information, frontline care, supplies for their community dispensaries, and sanitary supplies.

To address the rise in gender-based violence during the lockdown, SEEP circulated information packs with contact details for legal and professional counselors.

The result: no one has contracted the coronavirus in any of their communities and no cases of domestic violence were reported from their partner communities.

The community showed resilience in the wake of the category-5 Cyclone Harold in April, which destroyed crops and homes. They began salvaging and replanting crops the next day.

SEEP is now undertaking a detailed survey to understand the pandemic’s long-term impacts on livelihood and access to food. They will use these findings to introduce a sustainable income generation project. 

SEEP’s work is an excellent example of how grassroots solutions are best suited to address the COVID-19 and climate crises. When community-led processes build power and meet needs locally, it creates a feedback loop that reverberates locally and globally

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