At DT Global, we have spent the better part of the past six weeks focused on coronavirus, COVID-19, and what this pandemic means for our staff, our industry, and our partners and friends in the communities around the world where we’ve worked and built relationships for more than 50 years. Like everyone else, we have struggled to find a balance between keeping our team safe and secure and ensuring that our important programs continue to have an impact around the world, while simultaneously moving a global firm to a new work-from-home model overnight. And yet, even at this unprecedented time, there have been so many glimmers of hope.
While so many people around the world are facing devastating hardships, the team at DT Global is truly fortunate to be in a position to help. Alongside the stories of those struggling physically, emotionally, or financially, we’ve heard inspirational stories too. Our colleagues and friends have risen to the occasion, changed lives, and fought to make a difference when it’s what the world needs the most. Here are just a few of those stories.
In Egypt, USAID’s Strengthening Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development project, implemented by DT Global, has supported the EiTESAL Business Nurturing Initiative (EBNI) startup incubator for several years. With USAID support, our team provided EBNI with 3D printers and laser cutters, intended to help startups create mockups of their products to demo to potential investors. When COVID-19 changed the world, EBNI quickly pivoted and began using their equipment to produce vitally important face shields for local healthcare workers on the front lines fighting coronavirus. To date, EBNI has provided more than 1,700 face shields to local hospitals, keeping healthcare workers safe and using innovation to make a difference in the face of a global pandemic.
In Spain, our Madrid-based staff has been working remotely for upwards of 6 weeks and the team wanted to find a way to give back to their country in crisis. In partnership with the Spanish NGO, CESAL, our staff led an initiative to help local families who have been affected by the financial strains of the pandemic, coming together to pack and distribute food baskets to vulnerable households with DT Global tripling donations that our staff contributed to the cause.
In Somalia, to help the Somali government in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, our local team worked with USAID/Somalia to quickly procure and deliver 350 hospital beds across the country. These beds will help the Ministry of Health provide much needed medical care to those who become sick and will also help hinder the spread of the disease through improved isolation.
In Sudan, our local team works in partnership to support Civic Labs, community centers across the country that support youth and women. Beginning in early April, the Civic Labs pivoted to become a hub for critical COVID-19 community activities. DT Global is proud to support the Civic Labs through rental of the centers, furniture, and equipment, as well as training and stipends to consultants and staff. Realizing the critical need to provide services to the most vulnerable Sudanese citizens now more than ever, local partners and Civic Lab volunteers have come together on their own (in partnership with UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the Ministries of Health, Works, and Community Development, and other local players) to provide sewing machines and other equipment needed to create virus protection materials like masks and sanitizer, organize a COVID-19 homeless shelter and provide daily meals for homeless children, and support media coverage of various community activities and community prevention campaigns. These locally driven initiatives vary depending on the needs in different communities around Sudan, and DT Global is proud to play a small role in this life-saving effort.
In Vietnam, our local infrastructure-focused program, Aus4Transport, has always recognized the importance of prioritizing safety in the field. The pandemic hit Vietnam early, shuttering local businesses and forcing our staff to work from home while many of our job sites were put on hold. Rather than get frustrated, our local staff quickly responded by thinking ahead to identify what our local team, partners, and contractors will need to safely get back to work. Personal protective equipment, or PPE, was at the top of that list. With support from Australian DFAT, our team designed specialized PPE optimized for tropical climates and then identified and hired a local service provider to produce 1,000 PPE units to be provided not only to our staff, but government partners, consultants, and local authorities as well, to ensure everyone is safe and secure when back on the job site.
DT Global's team of experts, leaders, and partners—alongside our communities and families—are continuing to shift and adapt to this unprecedented situation every day, in new and inspiring ways. Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to hear more about the incredible work being done to make the world a safer place to be.