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Small grants making a big impact

Special Interest Programme / Partner story

(c) 360 Degree Health Network

When Covid-19 hit in 2020, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT), based in the UK, worked with its global network of young leaders to develop a response that would directly address the needs of young people who were making a positive difference in their communities during the pandemic. QCT launched a small emergency grants response programme, aiming to reach and support the people and communities that are too often left behind or forgotten in times of crisis. As a result, the first grants went to young people from Indigenous communities and Small Island Developing States, before the opportunity was opened up to the wider QCT community. QCT’s young leaders are exceptionally well networked, with knowledge of their peers who provide vital services to those who might not otherwise receive the help they need. Since 2017, Oak Foundation has been working with QCT to target support to those have the solutions their communities need and who are trusted by local people to deliver.

In the emergency response programme, grants were awarded to small organisations and individuals that delivered disaster relief and urgent services in direct response to Covid-19. GBP 152,002 was awarded to 35 projects in 23 countries across the Commonwealth through the emergency grants. Each organisation received a grant between GBP 1,000 and GBP 5,000. In 12 of these projects, in Uganda, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, St Vincent & the Grenadines, India, Ghana, and Rwanda, QCT worked with young people to help communities at risk.

One project supported by Oak and QCT, 360 Degree Health Network in Nigeria, used grant funding to purchase personal protective equipment to protect frontline healthcare workers, while also providing vital information to raise awareness about Covid-19 and ways to minimise risk wherever possible. The funds also contributed to the installation of water and sanitation services in different hospitals, to help prevent the spread. The photo shows the team in action, helping the community to understand the risks and to take action to safeguard the community. This work happened quickly and effectively, and helped keep community members protected from Covid-19.

QCT continues with its main grant-making programme in Africa and will expand this further, beyond Africa, during 2021. For more information, please visit its website. This grant fell under our 2020 Covid-19-focused grant-making, which you can find out more about here.