The PW Response

Here you'll find news, updates, and announcements related to the Partners Worldwide response to COVID-19. Scroll to see more.

We hope this serves you as a source of information, awareness, and encouragement as we get through this challenging time together.

LiFrantz's Dream Birthed in the Midst of COVID-19

June 5, 1:42pm

Even while supporting his family through a career as a teacher, LiFrantz felt there was something more. When he attended a meeting with our local community institution BEL in Haiti, the vision to end poverty through business resonated with him deeply. He joined the LCI to explore if life as an entrepreneur was possible for him.

After six months of learning through training and mentorship, LiFrantz found himself in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. Instead of getting discouraged, he looked for ways that he could start a business that would meet a need in his community at an especially vulnerable time.

With just a small amount of funding, he launched a business for parents of infants, selling baby formula, diapers, wipes, and other necessities. He even delivers the products directly to customers on his motorcycle.

LiFrantz is thrilled to have stepped into this new chapter as a business owner, and is grateful for the ways our network has served him so that he can continue to serve his community.

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Cyclones and Tropical Storms

June 4, 11:15am

Even as countries approach relaxed lockdown restrictions and the re-opening of businesses, other severe obstacles continue to present themselves.

Please be in prayer for communities in El Salvador and India as they have been hit with major storms resulting in flooding, damages, homelessness, and in both cases a significant death toll.

Please pray for continued safety for members of our network and wisdom for community leaders as they move forward.

Business and Leadership Resiliency in Southeast Asia

June 3, 2:15pm

Our Southeast Asia regional leaders have been hosting a Business and Leadership Resiliency webinar series for entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the network.  

Webinar 1 took place on May 21 and addressed Christian Lens and Spiritual Wellbeing for Leadership During Crisis with guest presenter Mason Tan of Garden Impact Investment.  

Webinar 2 was entitled Marketing: Pivoting to Meet New Market Needs and Opportunities with Spencer Chan of SC Consultant Management and Lucien Ong of JJ-LAPP and occurred on May 28.  

Webinar 3 is scheduled for June 4 and will discuss Equipping Remote Teams: Pursuing Outputs, Freedom, and Trust with Ranco Kraaijenbrink 

Even as we know there is a long road ahead, we are encouraged by the way those in our network are able to connect, network, and continue professional development while navigating the unique circumstances of COVID-19.

Podcast Episode: Redemptive Entrepreneurship When "Winter" Is Over

June 3, 12:51pm

Inside this episode:

  • What is “Redemptive entrepreneurship,” and what does it mean to build trust?
  • How might Eugene Peterson’s words, “A long obedience in the same direction” apply to your mission/vision?
  • How can businesses be built with a long-term horizon?
  • How can leaders prototype in sprints for varying future scenarios?

Listen via National Christian Foundation.

Survival, Support, Sustainability: How Diaconia Nacional is Leading the Way in Honduras

May 28, 4:37pm

For 34 years, Diaconia Nacional de Honduras has been providing support to their community in the agricultural and environmental sectors, through community transformation and health initiatives, and through their microfinancing programs, which have helped to create almost 700 jobs in the past 15 years. They’ve seen businesses succeed, fail, start over, and everything in between, and have been committed to walking alongside them. 

But, as it has with business owners across the globe, COVID-19 has brought new challenges for their members.

Continue reading on the blog. 

A Home in the Midst of Crisis

May 28, 3:09pm

When her daughter died late last yearMary welcomed the children she left behind into her home. It wasn’t the first time Mary had lost a child, or the first time she had taken guardianship of her grandchildren -- all 12 had been orphaned, and all 12 lived with her in a two-room house.   

When COVID-19 hit Nairobi, Mary was faced with the hard reality of business closure and lack of income. Unable to pay rent, she lost her home.  

Mary’s story is not unique.  

Grandma Mary on the far right holding the green bag

May 27, 3:00pm

The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating economic impact on people living in global poverty. We are in a moment that requires immediate, full-scale relief.

Such a statement may come as a surprise to those who know me.

 

Read more of this article from HOPE International President & CEO Peter Greer via Christianity Today.

A Word of Encouragement

May 27, 10:34am

Dear Friends and Partners,

I am truly amazed by your ingenuity and ability to problem-solve as we continue together in the fight against COVID-19. Daily I am encouraged as I read stories of innovation from our network.

In John 1, we are told the story of something being created out of nothing—light being created out of darkness—and that the darkness could not overcome it. This is truly the first entrepreneurial act of innovation!

Continue reading this week's word of encouragement from President & CEO Doug Seebeck below. 

Regional News | May 2020

May 21, 10:02am

The last few weeks and months have presented an unprecedented challenge for the global work of Partners Worldwide.

Despite this adversity, we've been encouraged by stories of hope and innovation amongst our network.

Read an update and stories from each region in which we work below.

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Ecuador's Business Leaders Navigate COVID-19

May 20, 1:02pm

Bodies lined the streets.

Funeral homes were overwhelmed and some closed altogether.

The medical system was inundated with cases and testing was severely limited.

An unofficial estimate suggested 30% of the population – almost a million people – were infected, and those with friends and family members who were fatally impacted had no place to bury their loved ones.

This was Guayaquil, Ecuador, mere weeks after COVID-19 hit the country.

Read more below on our blog.

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Keeping Food on the Table

May 19, 3:24pm

For many business owners, this time of crisis has required them to pivot in order to stay afloat -- and Merise is one of those business owners.

A member of our Local Community Institution RES in Haiti, Merise is known for his backpacks, purses, book covers, and other quality products. However, once COVID-19 hit Haiti, demand for these products dropped dramatically and he had to be creative in looking for ways to continue feeding his family.

When he and his wife looked at their community, they found that one of the biggest needs was access to food -- especially broiler chickens. They started a small chicken farm in their backyard and made successful sales, meeting high demand. As a result, they doubled the size of their farm, and are on track to quadruple those numbers by the end of the summer.

Not only is Merise able to provide for his family in new ways, but his farm has met a crucial need in his community in a time of crisis and has a sustainable model for creating more jobs in the future!

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For Haitians, Die of Hunger Today or Coronavirus Tomorrow?

May 19, 2:34pm

“We like to say that when the American economy suffers from the flu, Haiti suffers from pneumonia – the millions of jobs lost in the United States will cause worsening extreme poverty for sure,” Pharel said.

Read more of this article on Jamaica Observer.

Partnership and Compassion in Sri Lanka

May 18, 3:45pm

In Sri Lanka, members of our network raised funds to provide food for a community of people on the coast -- daily wage earners without any current source of income, single mothers, and women widowed in the war.

So far, food packages for 50 families have been distributed in an effort to provide tangible care and quick relief for people most impacted by poverty and its increase as a result of COVID-19.

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Partnership and Compassion in Haiti

May 15, 4:45pm

At the beginning of the year, our partners in Haiti formed an LCI Advisory Team, which is committed to developing a strong network of connection for our Local Community Institutions throughout Haiti.

One of initiatives of the LCI Advisory Team was to distribute 350 hygiene kits for COVID-19 prevention to the LCIs in order to help their members fight the spread of the COVID-19 in their own communities. One LCI, RES, chose to share their kit with a local association that cares for the elderly in order to protect the most vulnerable among them.

In this time of crisis it's encouraging to see the spirit of partnership and compassion extend even beyond our network.

LCI leaders providing a tutorial on using COVID-19 prevention kits.
LCI leaders providing a tutorial on using COVID-19 prevention kits.

Songs & Daughters of Encouragement

May 12, 6:02am

"I must confess, I felt weary this week. As we feel the pain of our friends and partners, entrepreneurs and small business owners, families and entire communities, we can become weary, discouraged, and depressed.

"It’s at a time like this that I am reminded to persevere."

Read this week's word of encouragement from Doug Seebeck, our President & CEO.

Our Network Needs You on #GivingTuesdayNow

May 5, 9:02am

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Today is #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and an emergency response to the effects of COVID-19. And now, our network needs your support more than ever.

What your support will do:

  • $100 helps sustain a job for an individual so they can continue providing for their family during this time of great need.
  • $250 provides a business a much-needed lifeline in the form of a loan, sustaining it until things return to normal.
  • $652 is what it costs PW and our partners to create and sustain a brand new job—helping an individual and their family stay out of poverty in this time of great need.

Will you provide critical support to our network in order to save jobs, save businesses, and help vulnerable communities?

Millions Had Risen Out of Poverty. Coronavirus Is Pulling Them Back.

May 2, 3:02pm

Now more than ever, our mission to end poverty is vital in communities around the world.

"Most at risk are people working in the informal sector, which employs
two billion people who have no access to benefits like unemployment
assistance or health care.

One of them, Shahida Khatun, was laid off along with her husband in
March as Bangladesh went under lockdown. Jobs at a factory had been
their path out of poverty, but the loss of income has now thrust them
back in, said Ms. Khatun, 22.

“My only dream was to ensure a proper education for my son,” she said.

“That dream is now going to disappear.”

Continue reading this article via the New York Times.

Jojie's Hope in COVID-19

May 1, 12:45pm

"COVID-19 cannot stop us from honoring God with our theme: "Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done."

Read more of business owner and community leader Jojie Locsin's reflections on the blog.

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April Prayer Partners

April 30, 2:05pm

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Pray specifically for members of our network in South Asia, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Sons & Daughters of Encouragement | A Word of Encouragement

April 28, 2:26pm

As we continue the fight together against the global pandemic of COVID-19, I only become more amazed, grateful, and inspired by all of you!

Truly yours is a living faith in action. I am inspired daily as you follow the encouragement of Jesus when he so elegantly summed every commandment into seven simple words: “Love God; Love your Neighbor as yourself.”

Read the rest of this Word of Encouragement from Doug, our President & CEO.

Watch: United States Regional Update

April 27, 4:03pm

Watch as US Regional Director Ethan Daly shares three ways that Partners Worldwide is addressing the economic impact of COVID-19 across the United States.

Support Our COVID-19 Response

April 24, 2:09pm

Many people across our network—like in the Caribbean and South Asia—are now more vulnerable than ever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. And we're in need of your critical support.

What your support will do:

  • $100 helps sustain a job for an individual so they can continue providing for their family during this time of great need.
  • $250 provides a business a much-needed lifeline, sustaining their business until things return to normal.
  • $652 is what it it costs PW and our partners to create a brand new job—helping an individual and their family stay out of poverty in this time of great need.

We are 20% of the way to our goal of $15,000 for our COVID-19 response efforts. 

Your support will provide urgent relief where it's needed most across our network to save jobs, save businesses, and help vulnerable communities.

Will you help us reach that goal?

April News | Partnership In a Time of COVID-19

April 22, 8:42am

Throughout our network, thousands of lives and businesses have been impacted as COVID-19 continues to run its course. Our global staff is working hard to support our network where it is needed most urgently as we continue to do the important work of fighting global poverty, especially in a time of economic distress.

Find out more in our April newsletter below.

Keeping Your Entrepreneurial Dream Alive During A Crisis

April 21, 11:21am

While many of the resources in this article are US-centric, it is full of helpful tips and reminders for all entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The world is currently facing a public health crisis and a financial crisis. These crises pose a variety of personal and professional challenges. For entrepreneurs, one challenge is how to keep their professional dreams alive.

There are a number of things that entrepreneurs can bear in mind during the present crisis.

Read more of this article on NC State News.

"Do Not Be Afraid" | A Word of Encouragement

April 16, 10:19am

"Greetings! Do not be afraid."

"Can you imagine how Mary Magdalene and the other Mary felt when they heard these words? They literally ran out from the empty tomb and into the arms of Jesus! Matthew 28 says they were afraid yet filled with joy after hearing from the angel that Christ has risen, just as he promised."

Read the rest of this word of encouragement from our President & CEO, Doug Seebeck.

A Network of Encouragement

April 16, 9:16am

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our network continues to step up and support each other during this critical time. Read, be encouraged, and be inspired by what is being done!

  • We and our network continue to offer Business Training through online platforms, helping entrepreneurs get through this challenging time
  • Online mentoring sessions are being offered to local business owners
  • We are helping small business owners launch online platforms to sell their products
  • In Trinidad & Tobago, our local partner NCB recently launched their e-learning platform to provide business training and discipleship to members of their network
  • REPP, an LCI in Haiti, is designing and manufacturing facemasks to provide safety amidst COVID-19
  • In India, our partner NICOG has distributed food to over 900 families in the slums of Kolkata and North Benegal as well as providing 150+ warm meals each day to the homeless
  • In El Salvador, our LCI CCE held a virtual seminar on “Business Adaptability in Times of Crisis”
  • In Sri Lanka, our partner NCEASL is serving vulnerable groups, providing food for 500 families per week

These photos depict just a fraction of our network's activity in helping support businesses and fight poverty during this pandemic. Thank you to every member of our network!

New Donation Incentives From the CARES Act

April 12, 2:24pm

Give wisely this year. Donors who itemize their deductions may continue to deduct charitable gifts like before, but they now get a special deduction for cash gifts made in 2020 to churches and public nonprofits. Donors can now deduct 100% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2020.

Learn more about the CARES Act incentives at the links below:

400 Million Indians May Fall Into Poverty

April 8, 11:29am

In India, a country that is part of our South Asia Region, almost 90 percent of people work in the informal economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in 400 million Indians being at risk of falling deeper into poverty during this crisis.

Read the full article on Business Insider.

Our Network Needs You Now

April 8, 9:14am

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Despite the challenges COVID-19 has brought, governments in developed nations are stepping up and financial safety nets are being stretched out and protecting populations.

But many people across our network—like in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia—don't have the same safety nets. Not even close. And they are more vulnerable than ever.

That's why we're asking for your support.

Will you help us provide relief across our network to save jobs, save businesses, and alleviate the economic impact in vulnerable communities?

Network Summit Postponed

April 6, 10:31am

Dear Partners Worldwide Network,

We're contacting you to share that the Partners Worldwide Network Summitwill now take place in the fall of 2021 instead of this October. At this moment—and for the upcoming months—supporting you and the rest of our network through the Coronavirus pandemic is our top priority.

In the meantime, we are exploring ways for our network to connect virtually this fall for a time of shared learning and inspiration.

Thank you for your understanding, and we are excited to gather together again soon.

A Word of Encouragement

March 27, 5:17pm

Dear Friends and Partners,

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! You might find this an odd thing to recite right now, but we are called to rejoice every day.

With headlines of fear coming at us, I take a moment to breathe and be still. I can, in this moment, place all my worries in the hands of my loving Father—God of compassion and perfect love. And we know that perfect love casts out all fear...

Read more of this word of encouragement from our President & CEO, Doug Seebeck.

An Update Regarding Our Work

March 16, 12:00pm

Please know that Partners Worldwide holds the safety and health of ournetwork and volunteers of utmost importance. Given the latest escalation of the coronavirus pandemic, Partners Worldwide wants to convey some important news and information pertaining to your role and wellbeing partnering with PW.

Travel: We are recommending you cancel or postpone non-essential travel between now and June 30. This comes at the urging of the WHO, US government, local governments, other global organizations, and more. If you have a critical need to travel for PW, please contact your Engagement Manager or Regional Director for further assistance.

Partners Worldwide Offices: In response to the spread of the coronavirus in the US, Grand Rapids-based PW staff will work from home until April 6. We acknowledge some roles and responsibilities are essential to perform in the office, so we will have very limited staffing during this time. We ask for your patience and understanding as we adjust to this new working arrangement.

Prayer: As we pray individually and in small groups, let's also unite in worldwide prayer for those infected by the virus, the tremendous business and financial impact this is creating around the globe, and that our staff, partners, and families stay safe and healthy.

Words of Encouragement: We acknowledge the challenging obstacles the coronavirus and a more remote style of work present. Despite these obstacles, we encourage that—now more than ever—we continue to support each other as a network around the world.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and spirit in supporting each other.