Authors Posts by comms

comms

When: 29th October, 2020
What time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (Pakistan Standard Time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared with registered participants – Register Now
Language: Urdu
How long: 90 minutes
Who it is for: Pakistan-based NGOs interested in registration with the Economic Affairs Division (EAD)
Format: Presentations followed by Discussion

Background

All kinds of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across the country have found an evolving regulatory environment which has been fairly challenging to navigate; particularly, around how to legally access foreign funding, through grants and contributions.  With the Foreign Contributions Act of 2013, any Non-Government Organisation(NGO) that accepts or wants to apply for foreign funding must apply to the Economic Affairs Division(EAD) and sign an MOU.   Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is, therefore, providing practical assistance to CSOs and NGOs who have questions and need guidance on the processes and procedural requirements for applying for registrations with the EAD.

CWSA has established an “NGO Help Facility” that provides technical discussions, coaching, on-line information resources and virtual clinics to support NGOs wanting to file their applications and sign their MOU with the EAD to be legally eligible to apply for foreign grants and contributions.

This service is facilitative and free of cost. CWSA will help organisations in clarifying application guidelines, and will support organisations with fulfilling all application documentation as per EAD requirements as well as providing any additional follow up support.    Activities offered by the NGO Help Facility will include the following:

  • Legal & administrative advisory sessions/ days for NGOs
  • Rotating legal advisory clinic days via webinars
  • Creation of a center within CWSA, available to any and all NGOs on demand.
  • Provision of training and coaching to NGO representatives to support development, revision and follow up of their application documentation

Disclaimer: Assistance provided through the NGO Help Facility is a pro bono service that offers technical support and brokers positive relationships.  Engagement, in itself does not guarantee that the client organization will be granted an MOU without having successfully completed all of EAD’s required due diligence processes.

The webinar scheduled for October 29th, 2020 will:

  • Introduce the NGO Help Facility and its services
  • Discuss some of the challenges in the application and signing processes and provide clarity on the process
  • Identify key issues that participants consider as key priorities for facilitative support. These issues will them be  addressed during more further discussions in November-December 2020

Interested in Participating?   Register here for the Webinar! 

Community World Service Asia is a Pakistan-based humanitarian and development organisation addressing factors that divide people by promoting inclusiveness, shared values, diversity, and interdependence.  It engages in the self-implementation of projects, cooperation through partners, and the provision of capacity building trainings and resources at the national, regional and global levels.

Ratni is a 70-year-old widow who lives with her son and his family in Senate John Colony, located in Pithoro of Umerkot district in Sindh, Pakistan. They all live together in a cob house made of mud and straw.

“My son, Khemchand, is a teacher at a local private school. He used to earn a reasonable monthly income of PKR 8000 before COVID-19 forced all schools in the region to shut down. The school administration discontinued paying its teachers as the school was not equipped to carry out online classes and there were no incoming student fees that could cover teachers’ salaries. However, the recent monsoons brought some relief to us agrarian communities. The rains have revived the agricultural activities and have given us opportunities to work on the fields. My son and daughter-in-law started working on the fields and were able to bring home some income through that. It was not much but was better than nothing. Sometimes, I would also assist them on the field to earn a bit more to make ends meets.”

The harvest season lasts three months in rain-fed areas of Umerkot and until the next monsoon season arrives, there will be less or no opportunities to work on the fields. Therefore, Ratni, Khemchand and his wife had no work to do once the three-month period ended in August.

“We had no livelihood by then and were forced to sell some of our household possessions to buy essential food supplies for the house and particularly for my four young grand-children. We also had to take some loan from our neighbours when there was nothing left to sell.”

Community World Service Asia (CWSA), with support of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), is implementing a Humanitarian Assistance project responding to the immediate needs of drought affected Communities in Umerkot. As part of the project, 1, 206 families will be provided with two cash grants, each of PKR 12,000 in September through mobile cash transfer services to address food insecurity caused by drought, repeated locust-attacks and the economic implications of COVID-19.

Senate John Colony’s Village Committeeⁱ provided a list of families living in the area who were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters to be supported through the project. As a result, CWSA’s emergency response team contacted Ratni as a project participant and she received the first cash assistance of PKR 12000 (Approx. USD 72).

“Through the money I received, I paid back the loans I had taken from neigbhours to survive in the last months and bought some food essentials for home. I have also saved some money to buy school books for my grandchildren for when the schools resume.”


ⁱ Village Committees are voluntary associations established for local administration. They are extra constitutional authorities comprised of 7-8 members including male and female from different caste in the village.

October 2020

As a member of the CHS Alliance, Community World Service Asia is committed to making aid work better for crisis-affected people. Along with more than 150 other leading aid organisations that form the Alliance, we are excited to share news of the launch of a landmark study – the Humanitarian Accountability Report (HAR) 2020;. The HAR 2020 presents an evidence-based overview of how accountable the aid sector really is to people caught up in crises across the world.

There are many milestones on the road to greater accountability, and this report by the CHS Alliance marks a number of them. It offers valuable insight into the effectiveness of humanitarian responses, which in turn helps to make the sector more accountable.

Notes Kitty van der Heijden, Director General for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands in the HAR 2020 forward.

Overcoming vital accountability barriers

Five years since humanitarians came together to launch the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), many dedicated aid organisations are making significant progress on vital accountability issues that the sector has been tackling for decades. The HAR 2020 shows that aid organisations, such as [insert your organisation name] can tackle the toughest barriers to meeting the commitments they made to people affected by crisis.

This progress shows CHS verification is a catalyst to make aid more accountable.

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is committed to promote Sphere Standards and Core Humanitarian standards in Pakistan and in the Asia Region as Alliance member of CHS and Sphere regional focal point. Our work aims at increasing the effectiveness of humanitarian response through enhancing Quality and Accountability (Q&A) mechanisms of front-line national organizations in Asia. CWSA is promoting CHS and CHS Alliance membership in Pakistan.

The nine commitment relate with the organization’s process, procedures, policies and practices to ensure effective, efficient, transparent and accountable response to the people effected by crises, conflict or disaster.  CWSA provides customized trainings for national and international organizations on Sphere  Handbook 2018, and Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS). These trainings build capacity of organizations on Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) and further support them to go for CHS Self-Assessment.

CWSA facilitates the partner academic institutions in developing Competency-Based Guideline for Field Work Practicum based on Core Humanitarian Competency Framework (CHCF). The guidelines and the tools developed by this process will be competency based. It will help create clarity in the role of supervisor; facilitate students in identifying required knowledge area, skill and technical expertise to work on during the field placement and help host agencies to work with the students with clear direction and agreed objectives.

Accelerate change

Yet the HAR 2020 reveals that the aid sector has not reached its goals. CHS Commitment 6 on coordination and complementarity is the closest to being fully met by verified organisations, while Commitment 5 on welcoming and addressing complaints is the lowest scoring.

The HAR 2020 reveals that we are not yet seeing system-wide acceleration towards a transformative approach that gives communities and people affected by crisis strategic influence over aid. To accelerate the pace of change, the HAR 2020 finds that committed aid organisations need to harness the power of the multiplier effect; they must intensify their efforts on three cross-cutting actions that raise the standard of aid across the board:

  1. Engage crisis-affected people: strive for the Participation Revolution we committed to.
  2. Maximise knowledge and information: in the information age, the humanitarian system needs to get up to speed.
  3. Adapt flexibly to meet current needs: organisations need to adjust rapidly to changing contexts.

Critical mass needed

Currently, more than 90 organisations have engaged in CHS verification, yet even with renewed efforts by those already applying the CHS, more need to make similar changes at the same time. No humanitarian organisation works in a vacuum. A critical mass of aid actors must unite around the CHS in concert to truly make aid work better for people affected by crisis and fulfil the commitments the sector made to crisis-affected people in 2015.

Today we lay down a challenge to the aid sector,” said CHS Alliance Executive Director Tanya Wood at the HAR 2020 launch event. “The HAR 2020 shows that dedicated aid organisations can tackle the toughest barriers to delivering accountability commitments made to crisis-affected people; but they need the right tool – the CHS – and they cannot do it alone. We need a critical mass of organisations, including NGOs, donors, UN agencies and networks to apply and recognise the CHS in concert to effect real, urgent change. I urge every humanitarian committed to making aid work better for people affected by crisis to read, debate and share the findings of HAR 2020. Together, we can meet our commitments and Raise the Standard of our work.

Full report findings and recommendations can be accessed on the CHS Alliance website. Read, debate and share the HAR 2020 with all your partners committed to making aid work better for people affected by crisis: www.chsalliance.org/HAR2020.

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When: October 15, 2020
What time: 11AM (Geneva, Switzerland time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development practitioners working with NGOs, INGOs, UN agencies and academic institutes
Format: Presentation & Discussion
Panelists will make a five-minute presentation that will be followed by questions and answers, providing a space for participants to ask questions.

Background and Purpose

Accountability to affected populations has been a long-standing discussion in the aid sector. During the World Humanitarian summit in 2016 there was a renewed call to accelerate progress. Commitment 6 of the Grand Bargain urges humanitarian actors to enable a ‘participation revolution’ i.e. “include people receiving aid in decisions which affect their lives”. The Core Humanitarian Standard encourages humanitarian actors to create situations where “communities and people affected by crisis know their rights and entitlements, have access to information and participate in decisions that affect them.”

What is becoming more evident for local actors is that Accountability to Affected Populations can only become possible when there is Principled Partnership which creates mutually trustful environment and where accountability is not one-way, but two-ways – not only upward but downward as well. And it requires behavioural change from both partners. Principled Partnership means co-designing; co-creating processes with partners and the community.

Localisation is not only about the transfer of more resources to local actors but requires revolutionary change in the systems and processes to enable real participation of the major stakeholders in decision-making of aid. It is about power and it is about challenging the barriers that perpetuates power imbalance brought about by centuries of unequal relationships in the power structures. The formalistic complaints and response mechanisms and other accountability mechanisms are not adequate enough to address the more deep-seated problems, attitudes, behaviour and mind-sets. We need to establish a more conscious culture of accountability.

The webinar will help to explore:

  • Who is accountable to whom?
  • What needs to shift to improve partnership to deliver accountability to affected populations?
  • How do we deal with the deeper-rooted issues of PSEA?
  • How can we create a more conscious culture of accountability?
Webinar Speakers

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa – Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. – Executive Director

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa is the founding Executive Director of Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (ECOWEB) and convenor of the Community Led Emergency Action Response Network (CLEARNet) in the Philippines that actively promotes survivor and community-led response (SCLR) to crisis approach – a humanitarian-development-peace nexus advocacy in action. She has been in peace and development work for over 25 years and engaged in local and national policy advocacy on the issues of disaster, poverty, conflict, environment and governance. She is actively involved in international advocacy on localisation of humanitarian aid through her engagement with Charter4Change, Local to Global Protection and participation in the World Humanitarian Action Forum. She is the chair of global Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP).

Bernadette Castel-Hollingsworth – Deputy Director of the Division of International Protection (Field Protection Service), UNHCR – Co-Chair IASC Results Group 2 Accountability and Inclusion

Ms. Castel-Hollingsworth joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000 and has held numerous positions in Protection and Management in Pakistan, Liberia, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Jordan, Myanmar, and Egypt. From November 2017-December 2018, Ms. Castel-Hollingsworth was Senior Protection Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after which she was deployed on emergency support missions to Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Since May 2019, she has joined UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva where she is the Deputy Director of the Division of International Protection (Field Protection Service).

Angelina Nyajima Simon Jial – Hope Restoration – Executive Director

Angelina Nyajima Simon Jial is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope Restoration South Sudan, formed on 23 March 2010 in Unity State, South Sudan. The organization’s major area of focus is ending gender-based violence and force and early child marriage; keeping girls in schools; improving women’s standard of living; investing in food security and livelihoods; empowering women to be peacebuilders.

Angelina has chaired the National NGO Forum for two terms and represents national NGOs on the UN Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and other country coordination mechanisms. Angelina is a Member of A4EP, Grand Bargain Localization Work stream 2 and, also a member of Call to Action. In March 2019, she addressed the Security Council on the issues of SGBV in South Sudan and lack of accountability particularly the Bentiu incident where over 150 women and Girls were raped during food distribution and most especially when going to collect firewood.

Tanya Wood – Core Humanitarian Standard Alliance – Executive Director

Ms. Wood is the Executive Director of the CHS Alliance, a network of more than 150 organization making aid work better for people, through application of the Core Humanitarian Standard. She brings more than 20 years management and leadership experience in the international humanitarian sector, predominantly in international membership organizations.

Marvin Parvez – Community World Service Asia – Regional Director

Marvin Parvez has twenty-eight years of experience in humanitarian relief, development, and advocacy in Asia, Europe and the Pacific. Marvin is also highly experienced in lobbying, advocacy, and resource mobilization. He has long-standing interests in setting quality and accountability standards, visibility and image building, as well as donor relations and networking. Marvin has been a strong & committed voice for just, dignified and equal partnerships between northern and southern NGOs.  Marvin believes that if partnership paradigm is not changed & worshiping of brands & bottom-lines replaced by dignified & empowering partnerships, the whole sector and specially, large northern NGOs will experience decline and lose credibility.

To register for the webinar, please click on this link: Who is Accountable to Whom?

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When: September 29, 2020
What time: 11 AM (Geneva, Switzerland time)
Where: ZOOM – Link will be shared with registered participants
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development practitioners committed to the dream of Localisation all over the world, academics and donors
Format: Presentation & Discussion

Purpose

Background: International Humanitarian response is a show of solidarity towards the populations affected by crisis. The International humanitarian aid is made available out of a fundamental recognition of shared humanity and solidarity.

There are small and large humanitarian disasters all around the world. Normally, it is the local authorities working together with Civil Society actors and the citizens who show solidarity and are the first and longer-term responders to those disasters. Local solidarity continues to be expressed in times of crisis as a seemingly innate response to human suffering. This was true in the Nepal Earthquake, in response to the influx of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the grassroots organisations to response to refugee crisis in Greece, France, Italy and Germany, The White Helmets in Syria, Proactiva Open Arms in the Mediterranean, the Women of Las Patronas in Mexico, those who are running food banks in the UK, US and other parts of the world during Covid 19 response. All these are true embodiments of the ‘essence of humanitarianism’ in everyday acts. However, what is particularly problematic is “the way in which grassroots expressions of solidarity are pressed to better align with the ‘Professional’ humanitarian’s unique interpretation of humanity and solidarity.”

The Anti-racism protests across the globe, led by the Black Lives Matter movement and others, has put a spotlight on deeply ingrained historic and systemic racist attitudes and racial discrimination that deny people their fundamental human rights. It has –finally created the opening to speak about racism and attitudes of colonialist superiority also in the ‘humanitarian’ sector. We need to work in solidarity to tackle inequality and injustice, not only in the society around us, but also in our own ‘aid sector’.

The webinar will help to explore:

  • How is humanitarian solidarity expressed?
  • What attitudes and behaviours show solidarity?
  • What lessons have we learned about solidarity during Covid-19 crisis?
  • What impact does the recent discourse on racism and de-colonisation of aid have on solidarity?

What is the way forward?

Speaker(s):

Mrs. Ritah Nansereko

Ritah Nansereko, Is a teacher by profession but also studied Human Rights at Masters, plus postgraduate studies in leadership. She is a Human Rights Advocate, and currently serves as the Executive Director of a local humanitarian organization- African Women and Youth Action for Development- AWYADbased in Uganda. She is the Chairperson for Charter4Change Working Group in Uganda and a member for the African NGO Council which is hosted in Sierra Leone, and a member of the steering committee of the National Humanitarian Platform.

Ritah has over 8 years of experience in responding to humanitarian crises, particularly the safety and protection needs of refugee women and Children, as well as victims of massive land evictions. During her career, she has worked on a number of successful campaigns at both national and regional level. For example the campaign against land grabbing and massive land evictions in Uganda, the campaign on the regulation of GMOs in Uganda, the campaign to include Local Governments in refugee planning and response, to mention a few. She will be leading the discussions.

M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury is leading “COAST “(www.coastbd.net), a CSO working for coastal poor in Bangladesh. COAST is the first Asian organization to receive HQAI (www.hqai.org) certificate on quality management and accountability. He was also on the board of different international bodies; at present he represents humanitarian organization from southern countries on IASC – OPAG (Inter Agency Standing Committee- Operational Policy and Advocacy Group). He participated in the Principles of Partnership (PoP), Grand Bargain (GB) and Charter 4 Change (C4C) discourse. He leads along with others the localization mobilization in Bangladesh through Bd cso process (www.bd-cso-ngo.net) and in Rohingya Response through CCNF (www.cxb-cso-ngo.org). He is also part of international conveners’ committee of A4EP (Alliance for Empowering Partnership, www.a4ep.net). He believes in complementarity and inclusiveness in the CSO sector. He also believes that UN agencies should provide more robust technical assistance, support and promote of local CSO development.

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa is the founding Executive Director of Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (ECOWEB) and convenor of the Community Led Emergency Action Response Network (CLEARNet) in the Philippines that actively promotes survivor and community-led response (SCLR) to crisis approach – a humanitarian-development-peace nexus advocacy in action. She has been in peace and development work for over 25 years and engaged in local and national policy advocacy on the issues of disaster, poverty, conflict, environment and governance.

She is actively involved in international advocacy on localisation of humanitarian aid through her engagement with Charter4Change, Local to Global Protection and participation in the World Humanitarian Action Forum. She is the chair of global Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP).

Dorothea Hilhorst

Dorothea Hilhorst is a professor of humanitarian studies at the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University in The Hague. Her focus is on aid-society relations: studying how aid is embedded in the context. She has a special interest in the intersections of humanitarianism with development, peacebuilding and gender-relations. Her latest research programme aims to understand changes in humanitarian governance in relation to localisation and resilience, and to reform humanitarian studies towards equal partnerships and participatory methodologies. Email: hilhorst@iss.nl  Twitter: @hilhorst_thea

To register for the webinar, please click on this link: Solidarity and Diversity 

This short film marks the release of the CHS Alliance’s upcoming flagship report, the Humanitarian Accountability Report (HAR) 2020. Providing an evidence-based overview of accountability in the sector, the HAR 2020 will report on the current state of adherence to the CHS and what progress has been made meeting its Nine Commitments. Using information and data gathered from more than 90 aid organisations that have undertaken CHS verification, the report will uncover the Commitments which are being best met and where more efforts are most needed.

The HAR 2020 launches on 6 October 2020, 15:30 CEST, which is also the first day of the virtual Global CHS Exchange.

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Following a successful application, the Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP) is the newest, 63rd Signatory to the Grand Bargain.

The Grand Bargain now includes 63 Signatories (25 states, 11 UN Agencies, 5 inter-governmental organizations and Red Cross/Red Crescent Movements and 22 NGOs) which represent around 84% of all donor humanitarian contributions donated in 2019 and 69% of aid received by agencies.

Please find A4EP’s statement below: 

The vision of Alliance for Empowering Partnership is a world where sustainable, independent and accountable local organisations, promoting a society based on democratic principles, equality and social justice, and particularly in aid-recipient countries, are leading voices and play a leading role in relief and humanitarian assistance.

Our mission is to create an active and effective network of independent and locally grown organisations and global activists. We provide a platform for promoting South–South and trilateral cooperation through information dissemination, sharing experiences, evidence, good practice and learning. We share information about our initiatives and advocacy strategies in our own countries, where possible, contribute to on-going research and debates, and develop consulted and commonly agreed positions and advocacy strategies around the global agenda of ‘localisation’ ‘participation revolution’ and ‘transparency’. 

Principles of equity, justice and agency are at the heart of our actions. Since its inception in 2018, A4EP has been trying to make global and country level discussions more meaningful with inclusion of local voices, acknowledging actions of invisible local actors on extreme margins, and providing them adequate information and a platform to share their views and concerns.

A4EP is pleased to join the Grand Bargain as signatory at a critical juncture of time, when its future is being discussed. We consider it a huge opportunity to continue providing inputs to the dialogue for shaping a better future of the process which will ensure meaningful outcomes of the commitments for the affected populations. 

We will work with others to bring wider and more inclusive representation and voice and propositions from the global south to create equity and balance in the future GB processes and bridge the gap between local and global. We will work with other signatories to contribute to meaningful change by helping to contextualise and disseminate the commitments at country level and make humanitarian operations more cost effective in the longer term and more accountable to the people affected by crisis.”

The sign-up process to the Grand Bargain is now closed until the Annual Meeting 2021.

2020Wed21OctAll DaySun25FeaturedInteractive Theatre for Influencing(All Day) MurreeTheme:Quality and Accountability,COVID-19Type:TrainingRegister here

Dodo (far right) with his family

Dodo Maru Bheel is a 74-year-old father of two children, a son and a daughter, and a resident of Moriya village in UC Sekhro district of Umerkot, Sindh. He and his wife and younger daughter currently live with their son and his family (of six members, a wife and four children). Dodo has a visual impairment but he has never considered that as a disability or something that would hinder his life plans or goals. He is as resilient as can be and everyone in the village admires his determination and strength.

Dodo experienced a fatal road accident a few years ago. Due to an unavailability of an ambulance or timely first aid in the area, Dodo was unable to access appropriate medical facilities which further worsened his injuries from the accident. Since his financial conditions were unfavourable, he could not even afford most of the prescribed treatment at a bigger health centre in the nearest urban city. Dodo suffered a severe head injury which eventually lead him to lose his eye-sight completely.

With his sudden visual impairment, Dodo was unable to find any employment or paid work. He used to work as a daily labourer in the Umerkot city and surrounding areas. The elderly couple, along with their daughter, hence became financially dependent on their son. Their son, a daily wager, worked as a mason and the money he earnt barely met his own family’s basic day-to-day expenses, let alone a whole household of now nine members.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit Pakistan, the government imposed a country-wide lockdown to restrict the spread of the virus. Many daily wagers lost their jobs during the lockdown; Dodo’s son was among them. The family could barely afford a single meal a day. Dodo and his son were struggling to keep their house running and their families fed. This dire situation prompted Dodo to sell a few of his goats during the days leading up to Eid-ul-Adha in late July 2020. His goats were his only remaining livestock and a supporting income means. Dodo also borrowed some money during the early days of the lockdown from a local landlord to meet their household expenses.

In April 2020, Dodo’s wife had received cash assistance of PKR 12000 (approx. US $ 71) from Ehsaas Kafalat Program as a part of the government’s COVID-19 relief fund. With that amount, Dodo and his wife planned to run a small scale, home-based business but his former creditors pushed him to pay back his loans with that amount so he was unable to use it for anything else.

The lockdown in the country has now eased but COVID-19 has left the country in a severe economic crisis that has pushed many underprivileged communities into poverty. Dodo and his son sold almost all the resources they had to sustain their family’s survival needs and are left with nothing now.

Community World Service Asia and UMCOR have initiated a project to respond to the needs of hazard and COVID-19 affected marginalised communities in rural Sindh. As part of the project, together with the support of village committees, the project selected Dodo as a participant of its cash-assistance. This will ensure that Dodo receives PKR 24000/- in two monthly installments to start his own small scale, home-based business.

Dodo and his family are happy to be selected and are looking forward to efficiently utilising the cash that they will receive next week and returning to a somewhat normal semblance of their life, as they did before the COVID-19 crisis. Dodo also hopes to save some of this money to consult an eye specialist for his eye-sight treatment.

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