COVID-19’s Impact on Self-Help International & Spring Gala

Self-Help’s response to the novel coronavirus at a glance:

  • Spring Gala, scheduled for April 17, will take place in a virtual format – no in person event
  • We are prioritizing the health and safety of the communities we live in and serve
  • Overseas teams are adjusting work plans to aid in dissemination of accurate, scientific information about the novel coronavirus and community risk mitigation

What does the novel coronavirus mean for the annual spring gala?

Given the recent Centers for Disease Control guidance on mass gatherings, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the annual spring gala, previously scheduled for April 17. Those of you who have attended this signature annual event for years have told us that you enjoyed the emphasis during the program on accomplishments and upcoming plans, and that is something we look forward to communicating with you in an alternate format that you can enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own home.

We remain committed to helping you make the difference you wish to make, and honoring the commitments we’ve made to the communities we serve. Further details about the new format will be posted online at and shared via e-mail and social media channels.

What does coronavirus mean for the communities Self-Help works in?

Self-Help is all about alleviating hunger by helping people help themselves. We partner with community leaders to provide capacity building training, and resources to put that training into action.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of the community members we serve, the supporters who make that work possible, and our staff and key advisors by taking actions that keep our colleagues, friends, and families healthy.

What our day-to-day services look like will evolve over the coming weeks. As an organization we will:

  • Continue to comply with local laws and guidance, including those related to coronavirus.
  • Continue to offer paid time off to encourage employees who are sick to recover and allow time to serve as caretakers if necessary.
  • Remain committed to helping spread accurate information to support the communities we serve to lead healthy, productive lives

Our overseas staff in Ghana and Nicaragua will:

  • Work with local government officials to aid in dissemination of accurate, scientific information about the novel coronavirus and community risk mitigation.
  • Prioritize the long-term health and safety of our clients, by providing capacity-building training in person while possible, preparing clients for fewer in person trainings in the coming months, limiting movements when necessary, and utilizing alternative means of communication such as WhatsApp and text messaging in the interim.
  • Proceed with plans for professional development training that can be done in an office or remote setting.

Our US-based staff will continue to provide remote support to our overseas teams. All staff are working remotely at this time, and we are transitioning previously scheduled in-person meetings to virtual meetings or phone calls to respect recommendations for social distancing. International travel is on hold until further notice.

How can you help?

  • Take precautions to keep yourself and those around you healthy. You can find guidance and resources from the World Health Organization here.
  • Show your ongoing support for our mission by making an online donation here or returning the donation envelope contained in your spring gala invitation with a gift to help us continue serving vulnerable populations even in this tumultuous time
    If you have any questions, please feel free to email Nora Tobin, Executive Director, at