Giving Compass’ Take:
• Piter Panjaitan encourages organizations to follow the lead of Bali Life, a charity focused on listening to community needs for an effective COVID response.
• One coronavirus response effort doesn’t address the needs of each individual community. How are you listening to community needs in your own COVID-19 response?
Bali Life is a small charity with a big heart. Since 2008, we have supported and empowered Balinese children and women through a variety of programs. Whether we are running a daycare center, school, sustainable farm, or our cataract surgery program, we focus on building deep relationships with the community.
Indonesia and Bali were in a semi-lockdown in March and April because of COVID-19, which made getting feedback and communicating with people in person difficult. Thanks to our close connection with and commitment to the community, local leaders reached out to us directly with suggestions for how to help.
Community leaders told us that the shutdown in Bali’s tourism economy had left members of the “sandwich generation” — which supports both children and parents — unable to afford food and basic necessities. We partnered with photographer David Biner to begin the People Must Makan campaign which provides two weeks worth of food and basic supplies to families who had lost their income due to COVID-19, the elderly, and people unable to work due to disabilities. While delivering food, Bali Life staff would conduct informal interviews with people to hear what they needed. The results were almost always basic necessities such as food and water filters. These “face to face heart to heart moments” are how we have always done feedback, and they give a good sense of what is important to the people we are helping.
Listening with an open heart is just one step to a successful COVID-19 response. Over the past few months, I have used many strategies to respond to community needs in a time of crisis.
Read the full article about listening to community needs by Piter Panjaitan at FeedbackLabs.
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