GDP – Impact of Coronavirus on this year’s Graduates Development Program

As the coronavirus pandemic reaches all corners of the world, the near future becomes increasingly unclear. With quarantine restrictions and other regulations in place to keep the virus from spreading too fast, their impact on all future plans and activities is massive. In our case, these precautionary measures and regulations have a large impact on our Graduates Development Program to Jamaica and our planned fundraising activities.

First of all, a large part of our activities consists of fundraising money through different events during the months leading up to our trip to Jamaica in July. This money is raised to have resources so we can fully support selected businesses in need in Jamaica. The goal is that we are able to provide them with certain assets if needed, in addition to helping them with our knowledge and guidance. These events vary from a big fundraising gala with the auction, a soccer tournament, a running race, drinks at Woody’s and a boat party. Since all of these events were planned between April and June, most of them have to be cancelled. Going forward, we are moving some events to June, in the hopes that circumstances might have changed by then. On top of that, we are trying to come up with innovative ways of raising money, within the boundaries of quarantine restrictions. We will give an update on this very soon!

Secondly, whether we can actually go on our three-week volunteering trip to Jamaica in July remains uncertain. We are cautiously positive that by then, circumstances might have changed for the better. But obviously, only time will tell. One thing is for sure, we don’t want to sit still in the meantime. Therefore, we have to be innovative and creative and keep working on our goal of helping and supporting these Jamaican businesses. When we end up not being able to go to Jamaica in July, we might be able to move it to a later date or find a different way to support our cause.

In times where there is such a pressing crisis in the world in the form of a virus, it makes us uncertain of the ethicality of pushing another good cause and raising funds for this. But, although this corona crisis is tragic and unprecedented in scale and need, it is not the only issue or problem in the world and we hope that, in an appropriate matter, we can shine some light on another cause the coming months as well.

Like many other countries, the Jamaican economy relies heavily on tourism. With travel bans and closed borders everywhere, this has currently fallen completely flat. Therefore these businesses need our help, even more now than ever. We strive to be able to help them with our knowledge and resources in the foreseeable future. In order to do this, we hope you will support us in doing so!

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Sophie de Mare
Participant  • MSc BA: Strategy and Organization