“We want to send a message to many people and companies that we can help each other get through this critical moment not only on a health level, but also economically,” Geraldine CarmonaProject Coordinator of the Guanacaste Community Fund said.
This and other organizations in the coastal tourist area of Santa Cruz joined to create the campaign “Juntos por Guanacaste“, an initiative that seeks to raise funds to support Guanacaste families in 31 communities that lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative consists of delivering basic food baskets and goods such as liquid soap, disinfectant wipes and alcohol gel. The distribution of the products began in April, and according to Carmona, they intend to extend the campaign for other three months (until july).
The campaign joined different non-profit organizations, among them CEPIA(Culture, Education, and Psychology for Infants and Adolescents), Futuro Brillante, AbriendoMentes, ConnectOceanyConectandoCorazones, as well as the Association of Integral Development of Tamarindo and the Conchal Reserve.
As of Sunday the 12th of April, they managed to distribute food to 732 families and other 659 people who live alone or whose marital status indicates that they are single, that is, not part of a family nucleus.
How does the campaign work?
The Guanacaste Community Fund is in charge of promoting and managing fundraising – national and foreign citizensso far, as well as small businesses – while non-profit organizations distribute the basic baskets among the communities of the province.
Prior to the pandemic, NGOs were already working on other education projects and delivering food to families in the area, which made it possible to manage the logistics of the campaign and identify the families who needed help.
This is the case of AbriendoMentes, which according to the director of programs in Potrero, Karen Cerdas, had already been working on food distribution to families in the communities of Potrero and Brasilito since before the pandemic, and thanks to the database managed by the organization, they were able to identify 80% of the families in need of help.
However, families who want to benefit from the campaign can also send their requests directly to the organizations, or through the official page of “Juntos por Guanacaste” on Facebook.
Requests can be made by the person who needs the basic food basket or by someone who knows a family that needs such help.
The executive director of the Futuro BrillanteNGO, Lindsay Losasso, explained that beyond the delivery of food, the campaign also considered other needs, such as medicines aimed forfor chronic diseases. In those cases, the organizations make a prior assessment.
AbriendoMentes director Karen Cerdas shared information about one case in which a family’s needs were pre-assessed.
We already had a case where a family member needed heart medication, we sought donations from pharmacies and were able to deliver the medications he needed. So we did not just help with the basic food baskets, we helped where we could,” Cerdas added.
In addition, because of the inherent risks of the pandemic, the organizations took extreme hygiene measures in their delivery strategies to avoid a possible spread of COVID-19.
Therefore, they decided that the basic baskets would be delivered in plastic bags and that each of the products inside the bag would be sterilized.
In the case of Futuro Brillante, to avoid direct contact between people, they asked the families to place a basket or a chair in the entrance of their house. There, they place the bags with the food and minimize the risk during delivery.
At AbriendoMentes, the solution was to define delivery shifts, where they informed each family of the time of delivery of the basic food baskets, with the intention of avoiding large crowds.
In addition, they recommended families to wash all products inside the basic baskets.
For more information about the content of the basic food baskets and how to support the project, visit this link.