Our Commitments During COVID-19

Message from Reeta Roy, President and CEO

Thursday, March 19, 2020 – The current global pandemic has evolved with incredible speed, demanding agile action from all of us. It has been encouraging to see strong, swift responses and leadership across the public, private, and non-profit sectors globally – as well as from citizens.

To those who have been affected by the virus: our thoughts are with you and your family, and we wish you a quick and full recovery.

In times like this, we are reminded of our inter-connectedness and the responsibility we bear to and for one another. Today, I want to share the actions we are taking as global citizens and what our stakeholders can expect from us during this challenging period.

Our Commitment to our Staff

With a team that is spread across the world, we have had to act quickly to protect our staff, their families, and communities. So far, we have taken the following measures at the Foundation:

  1. We have suspended all work-related travel.
  2. We have instituted a global “remote-working” policy which will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
  3. We have revised the structure of upcoming internal and external meetings, making them virtual engagements where possible. Where not possible, we have postponed them.

We are regularly reviewing our responses in line with updated guidelines from the WHO, public health experts, and governments of the various countries we operate in. We are also exploring how to equip our staff with the resources they need to thrive, collaborate, and be productive during this period of disruption.

Our Commitment to our Partners

Much of our work in Canada and Africa is affected through partners. Like everybody, their operations have been upended. As we move forward together, we want our partners to know that:

  1. We stand together in this. We are here to listen and understand the challenges you are facing. You can expect our understanding, empathy, and support.
  2. We share a common goal of creating opportunities for youth. We also share common values that compel us to take precautions that protect people and their communities. In these challenging times, let’s align to prioritize health and safety.
  3. Together we can learn and adapt. Necessity gives rise to innovation. We can collaborate to identify unique ways of improving our work, and advancing our goals. We want to work with you to find the best solutions to achieve our impact.

Our Commitment to African and Indigenous Youth

The effects of COVID-19 are multifaceted and still unfolding. We expect that the prospects of young people in Africa and Canada will be impacted. We will continue working to understand their needs, amplify their voices, and co-create solutions that will enable them to reach their full potential. We are also keenly considering what lessons we can learn during this time that will enable us to better equip young people for a future in which work is increasingly digital. Despite momentary setbacks, we will do everything possible to ensure we scale up rather than scale back our support to young people moving forward.

Please do lookout for any further updates from us on our website and social media handles. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe.

In solidarity,

Reeta Roy