An Open Letter of Bulgarian Fund for Women in response to COVID-19: Security, Peace and Solidarity

  •  March 31, 2020

Dear colleagues, partners, donors and supporters,

Dear friends of the Bulgarian Fund for Women’s community,

We are facing an unprecedented situation caused by the global spread of COVID-19 virus. It affects all of us, both in Bulgaria and around the globe, our families and colleagues, and has an impact over all industries and sectors, changing our plans for the coming months.

At the Bulgarian Fund for Women we firmly believe that in emergency situations like these, we must put extra efforts to remain calm, to take care of ourselves and the people around us, to express solidarity and to think more of the vulnerable groups of our society. We urge you to be brave – to help others and not to forget to do good.

As the only foundation in Bulgaria supporting civil organizations that work for the rights of women and girls, and gender equality in all spheres of life, Bulgarian Fund for Women has a number of partners from the non-governmental sector, institutions, media and companies. We turn to you with deep concern and confidence that our work will not stop. Moreover, we will put double the efforts to defend our values, to fulfil the commitments we have made in the best possible way and to respond to you and your needs. In these challenging times we need mutual solidarity more than ever; we need individual and collective care and social justice in order to overcome systemic inequalities which become more obvious in crisis situations. We believe that in such moments all we need is:

Security – We hope that you, your family, the people from your organization or company, and your community are in good health, are in a safe place and have undertaken all the necessary measures for protection against COVID-19. We urge you to follow all the requirements of the National Crisis Management Center and to put the necessary efforts to diminish the risk for infection, to apply quarantine and strengthen hygiene practices to control the pandemic. The BFW also follows the instructions of the authorities and we work remotely from our homes. We analyze the situation constantly and think over possible risk and future steps which we can undertake in the coming months. We are in contact with all our partners, donors and state representatives. We follow actively the situation in our efforts to be flexible and to respond to the needs of our community.

Peace – We know that many of us face great difficulties and the future of some NGOs in Bulgaria is unclear. Also, we fully understand that at the moment there are too many unknowns and that you do not know whether you can implement your project activities funded by the Bulgarian Fund for Women. We encourage you to remain calm, to take care of your health, security and safety by means you deem adequate, even if that means you stop temporarily all ongoing activities. At BFW are are more than ever dedicated to our values and to respond to your needs. We strive to be flexible and to understanding to all the changes that will take place. We are ready to discuss with all our partners the current projects and campaigns, in order to expand deadlines and change activities.

Solidarity – At the Bulgarian Fund for Women we are deeply concerned for our community and for the needs of women and girls in this difficult situation. The crisis shall have an impact on all of us – on our physical and mental health, but let’s think of women living in poverty, isolation or are victims of domestic violence and exploitation, elderly women, single mothers. That is why we call on the institutions, media, companies and civil organizations to stand in solidarity with these vulnerable groups! Let’s act together and individually to prevent the consequences of this unprecedented crisis and help women and girls as well as the groups that suffer the most right now.

The whole team of Bulgarian Women Fund expresses readiness to respond to all its partners, colleagues, donors, like-minded people, friends. Let’s not forget to take care of ourselves and each other in the difficult times.

We wish you health, courage and hope. Everything will be alright.

Nadezhda, Gergana, Svetlana, Rada and Teodora

Image: Flickr

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