#CoronaVirus State of the NPO Sector #3 (Work from Home)

During the #CoronaVirus and COVID-19 pandemic, forgood and our network of corporate employee volunteering programmes can be a powerful platform for understanding the realtime needs of the NPO sector in South Africa. We have a Volunteering in the time of #CoronaVirus campaign up – which we update every day. There you’ll find all the ways you can assist NPOs during this difficult time.

This is a series of posts (a VoxPop, if you will) to understand the immediate reaction to the pandemic. Use this to identify ways to help and structure tactical CSI / CSR responses to organisations, beneficiaries and communities in need.

Our question to forgood’s 400+ NPOs:

Are you implementing a “work from home” policy? Is that realistic for your organisation?

Abraham Kriel Childcare: We are working from home as much as possible until further notice. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.

Africa Food For Thought: We are not yet doing any “work from home” measures, but we are taking steps so that we could facilitate that if it becomes a requirement. Our drivers are pushing to do as many of our necessary deliveries as possible this week and next week so that our families have what they need, especially in case they become sick or need to self-isolate. This will also make it possible for them to be off of work after the 1st of April if that becomes necessary. They are our most vulnerable as they travel to and from the office in public transportation. 

APD Nelson Mandela Bay:  We have a sewing department of 40 workers and the rest of our team are needed on-site as support services. These 40 workers are in production lines, working in teams, so they have to be on-site to use their sewing machines. Three admin people might be able to work off-site via computer, but our system needs to be upgraded to allow team-viewer and similar applications. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.

Baby Hope House:  Is that realistic for your organisation? Not possible.

Bless-a-Baby: Admin is always done from home which will continue but packing of bags needs to be done in the room.  It is a smallish room so few people can be in the room at any one time.  Sewing of bags and knitting can be done at home.

Botshabelo: Since schools are closed, and our education programmes were going to be on a two-week holiday, they will still take the two-week holiday, but our education staff will work remotely for the other two weeks–and come in perhaps here and there at that stage for planning meetings (will assess as we go).

Community Women Action: We currently cannot implement a work from home policy. Should this happen, we would need to shut down any and all activities.

DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage: Work from home is not realistic for us.

Epic Foundation: Will not work for the volunteers for Epic as we need to be in the office to pack the bags. We have a small group of volunteers (4) who agreed to support with this, so should be ok.

Epilepsy SA – Free State & North West Branch: Two staff members are able to work from home and we are investigating the feasibility of this further.

Fisantekraal Centre for Development: At this stage we are not implementing a work from home policy as of yet.

Gateway Health Institute: Yes, everyone is working from home and virtually.

Great GirlsTrust: Our administration is done from home.

Heartlands Baby Sanctuary: It is not practical to work from home – being a 24/7 place of safety, it is very much hands on.

i4118 Foundation NPC: This does not apply to us currently as we are all volunteers and so therefor do most of our work from home already. We are encouraging our volunteers to be vigilant and to measure their temperature regularly as well as to take additional vitamin supplements to help bust their immune systems as well as to reduce unnecessary contact with people.

Kids Haven: Unfortunately, this is not realistic other than in fundraising however the fundraising office remains open for now, with additional sanitizing in effect.  Children and care givers are encouraged to wash hands regularly.

Kagcisham WOMEN Development Center: It’s not practical for our organisation.

Kwanliziyonye resource care centre: No we are not at home we are pushing our everyday work. It’s realistic to work at home because we are in a rural area where the community do not have enough water and the do not get the information as fast as possible.

Maitland Cottage Home Society: Yes, in some instance a work from home policy is realistic for our organisation and has been implemented.

Makabongwe PreSchool: Unfortunately working from home is not an option as we are a preschool serving an underprivileged community.  Online teaching is not practical at this age nor is it possible for our families.

Phakamani Young Minds Academy: As of now we still in the process of implementing the work home policy. It is a good initiative but however it is also not realistic taking into cognisance that we believe in productivity if people are working within the organisation premises. Some staff members need to be guided so that they have increased productivity.

Project Playground Trust: As of today, all staff have been sent home. In order to reduce the financial impact, they will continue to work with their participants via WhatsApp and text messages to parents. Facilitators are providing activities and discussions to help our participants stay occupied while school is out. Social workers are maintaining contact with families who are likely to need the most help during this time.

Rare Diseases South Africa: We have a business model that can work remotely, and therefore members would feel little impact day-to-day from a servicing perspective.

Rata Social Services NPC: We have not done so as yet, since we do not have the equipment to allow for our employees to do that.  We are in need of modems, cell phones and laptops to enable our social workers to work from home, since they need access to clients by phone and computer, which is only available at our offices.

Retina South Africa, a patient-driven action group: Working from home as far as possible. Some matters may be delayed but it is realistic. Meetings are taking place via Zoom.

STAND: Not at this point as we are a small team who are all well at this point – we will implement a work from home policy if needs be.

The Character Company: Not currently, at this point we will start implementing a system where we will measure temperature for our staff as they arrive in the mornings, provide strong alcohol based hand sanitizer, limit physical contact and offer vitamins to all staff every morning.

The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children: This is not realistic for our organization as most of the children we assist come from disadvantaged backgrounds and as such do not have access to digital platforms.

The Wot-If? Trust: Working from home is not an option as staff are needed to man the centre. 

Ya Bana Village for the children: No, our employees must be hands on caring for our children.

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