MARCH NEWSLETTER
Ensuring the health and safety of our volunteers and members is our highest priority. Acting swiftly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), such as washing your hands for 20 seconds, will not only reduce your risk of the coronavirus infection, but is an act of solidarity. Protecting yourself decreases the risk that you will infect people in your community and around the world. Help us to not only connect, serve, and change lives, but save them. Spread awareness about the virus by sharing the below facts sheets, sample social media posts, and graphics available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Child Protection Unit
Since the onset of COVID-19, the CPU has begun directing awareness-raising efforts within its networks throughout Latin America. The Unit’s projects are employing innovative solutions to continue the implementation of project activities to address child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in persons, with a focus on the increased risks posed by the pandemic. The target populations that the CPU works with are highly vulnerable, not only to exploitative and dangerous working practices, but also to the effects of COVID-19. To share information on the disease, the USDOL-funded Colombia Avanza project is collaborating with its partner, the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FEDECAFE), to produce radio messages on Occupational Safety and Health and child labor in the coffee sector. These messages will be disseminated nationwide, allowing the project to raise awareness on child labor, especially as schools have closed and the pandemic impacts the coffee sector. The project will also reach rural populations that are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of COVID-19. This communications campaign is one of many efforts from the CPU to ensure the safety of their staff and continue its work improving labor and human rights.
Economic Development and Health Unit
In response to COVID-19, the EDH Unit canceled all upcoming Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) volunteer assignments that would have provided technical support to thousands of smallholder farmers, agribusinesses, and other agriculture sector stakeholders. F2F field staff in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Guyana, Jamaica, and Myanmar – all of whom are now teleworking – quickly notified farmers and other stakeholders of the canceled assignments, and informed them about critical preventive measures to combat COVID-19. Over the past two weeks, F2F staff have directly or indirectly reached thousands of farmers and their families throughout the Western Hemisphere and Myanmar. During this time, some agribusinesses like Yogi Super Foods have leveraged the skills and knowledge they gained from F2F volunteers to adapt. The Guatemalan business has worked with F2F volunteers since 2018 to develop new product lines, improve packaging and labeling, and design digital marketing strategies. As a result of these interventions, Yogi Super Foods is now able to offer its products on Amazon.com , while brick-and-mortar stores – where they sell the majority of their products – are closed due to the pandemic.
Membership Unit
The Membership Unit continues to monitor how the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Chapters and members throughout the Americas. Chapters across the hemisphere are also taking steps in their own communities to support those in need, including:
 
  • The Wisconsin-Nicaragua Chapters' learning, education, and vocational centers in Nicaragua for women entrepreneurship, are preparing for the coronavirus by producing protective masks for a medical center in Nicaragua.
 
  • The Brasília, D.F., Brazil Chapter posted its Projecto Reconecta Brasília on Instagram (@reconectabsb) to offer assistance and remind the community that taking care of one’s mental health during a pandemic is essential.
 
  • The President of the São Paulo, Brazil Chapter hosts an online meditation group every Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. ET.
 
These initiatives are only a few of the ways that Chapters are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The Membership Unit will soon launch video tutorials on how to use PartnersConnect as an effective Chapter management and communications tool. The Unit is also working closely with the Education & Culture Program on virtual innovative events and grant opportunities. Partners continues to be inspired by our Chapters’ resilience, innovation, and commitment to serving others and changing lives through challenging times. 
Education and Global Citizenship Unit
The EGC Unit is providing support to our partners in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean that have been impacted by the coronavirus and is committed to make additional changes to programs as necessary during this moment of crisis. The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund has addressed both active grant recipients as well as the Innovation Network regarding the impact of COVID-19 on international higher education exchanges. The Innovation Fund continues to actively work with its public and private partners, supporters, and stakeholders to ensure the safety of students and faculty abroad and at home. The programs of the U.S. Alumni Network and Capacity Building Program were temporarily paused by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) on March 12, 2020. The EGC Unit and ECA met to discuss and determine immediate contingency plans for the Career Connections Seattle seminar from July 8-10, 2020. For the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund (CDAF), COVID-19 has become a serious disruption to the implementation of its activities, necessitating a longer grant period. As of March 20, 2020, all CDAF teams reported that they have returned to the U.S. For the Education and Culture program, travel from mid-March through April has been canceled and hopefully will be rescheduled later in 2020. Contingency plans are underway for the launch of the next Education and Culture grant. In the near future, EGC plans to partner with organizations to offer online opportunities to enhance the professional skills and development of English teachers.
Open Job Opportunities
Partners of the Americas is hiring! We are currently seeking an EDH Evaluation Assistant and an EDH Evaluation Specialist





Open Internship Opportunities
Partners of the Americas is looking for interns! We are seeking a 2020 IT Intern, EDH Intern, CPU Summer Intern, EGC Intern, Youth Engagement Intern, Program Development Intern, Finance and Accounting Intern, and a Business Management Intern to join our team.