How to Be a Hero and Provide COVID-19 Support…

COVID-19… It’s a fucker.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it.

Amongst us humans right now we are seeing understandable spikes in stress, anxiety, depression and financial strain.

And yet, many of us are, comparatively, incredibly lucky. There are people all over the world who face the very real risk of starvation as COVID continues to crush economies. These folks need our help.

Now is a time for those of us who can come together to provide support for others to do so. When we look back on this event in a decade time, we will hopefully remember it as a much needed reboot for humanity. A time where humans banded together to look after each other, a time of compassion, bravery and sacrifice in the name of kindness.

I personally have been blown away by the incredible acts of kindness and community, of stories of people reaching out to form connections, to help their neighbours, to ensure people in their neighbourhoods do not go hungry.

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping everyone’s lives, shutting down the global economy and puts half of humanity on lockdown. This can be a very challenging time for us – it is scary, lonely, and raises more questions than answers.

However, the reality is even scarier and devastating for some communities. Europe is currently the pandemic epicentre but experts are worried that more vulnerable regions such as Africa and Asia could become the new one. The virus is set to ravage those regions as they have weaker health care, sanitary and political systems compared to the West.

Thankfully, there is hope!


How You Can Help Support Covid 19 Relief

Myself and my dear friend Rehman in Pakistan, 2019. Photo: Chris Lininger

There are many incredible NGOs and charities working tirelessly during this very challenging time to bring practical assistance and solutions to humans, animals and the environment.

The Broke Backpacker and my partner company Epic Backpacker Tours is organising a fundraising campaign to help feed vulnerable families in Pakistan right now.

You can check out our food for vulnerable families in Pakistan fundraising campaign here. 

I am asking you, if you can, to please donate to this worthy cause. 

I will personally match every dollar donation (up to a total of $10,000) that is made. $10,000 is a fuck ton of money to me, I’ve lost 90% of my income and with a team of 30+ people to keep employed I am now running at a loss of $25,000 – $30,000 a month. I am happy to pledge this donation and I hope that it encourages you folks to donate what you can as well 🙂

To encourage you even further, we are running a giveaway that includes some awesome prizes. If you donate to our fundraiser or ANY fundraiser associated with Covid 19 relief,  send a screenshot to [email protected] or send us a direct message on Instagram @epicbackpackertours.

You will be entered into a giveaway to win one of five EPIC prizes – these include an hours coaching call with me, a gorgeous framed print of the Pakistani mountains from one of our talented adventure photographers, and three EPIC Grayl Adventure packs. 

The Grayl adventure packs include – 

  • 1 Grayl Geopress purifier bottle + replacement cartridge
  • 1 Camp Cup

This is an absolutely awesome haul of top quality gear and each adventure pack is worth about $200.

We understand that nobody needs an incentive to donate to Covid 19 relief right now, but we also want to do what we can to thank people who are able to give and of course this includes some cool backpacking gear from us and our awesome partners.

If you donate to any Covid-19 fundraising effort whatsoever, and send a screenshot as proof, you will be entered into the prize-draw. Looking for other worthy charities to donate to? We got you covered…

10 Charities Providing Relief During COVID-19

Charity - giving

We’re in this together. | image source: pixabay

I have carefully handpicked 10 charities to support as these worthy organisations are on the frontlines battling right now to slow down the spread of the deadly virus and save lives around the world. For any donation made, I will donate the same amount to a charity we work with in Pakistan providing food relief to guides and porters.


 Caring Hands Pakistan

A Grassroots NGO Providing Social Assistance for Families and Kids

Caring Hands handing out food parcels in local villages.

Who is Caring Hands Pakistan?

Our friend Haris Ali Shah has been helping people in need in Pakistan since 2011 through his charity Caring Hands Pakistan. Caring Hands, a non-political, non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) providing assistance to families in and around Punjab. 

In non-crisis times, they offer community services like free computer training, health and ambulance services, first-aid and disaster management workshops, and various extra curricular activities for under privileged children.

How does Caring Hands Pakistan provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

Haris and his team have been organising food packages to be sent to low-income families living in villages near Islamabad that have been hard hit by the Corona Virus and the subsequent lockdown. 

Since the outbreak of Corona Virus in Pakistan last month, Haris has more than doubled his efforts to help income insecure feed people in desperate need of food assistance.

These families typically earn 500 – 1000 rupees (3-8$ USD/2-6£ GBP) per day and are currently unable to work. Unfortunately in Pakistan, there are very little measures in place to help those living on daily wages during this time. The lockdown in Pakistan has just been extended until April 30th.

While the government has decided to re-open some low risk industries in order to reduce the economic toll on the working class, Haris will continue delivering food packages to those still eligible and unable to work and we aim to help him maximize the amount of support he is able to provide needy families during this global emergency. 

Donate to Caring Hands Now


Moms Against Poverty (MAP)

Supporting Health Workers in Iran

Nurses in Iran

Health workers in Iran fighting COVID-19 | image source: Armen (Wikimedia Commons)

Who is Moms Against Poverty (MAP)?

Moms Against Poverty (MAP) addresses children’s basic needs through provisions of food and shelter to end childhood poverty. Launched in 2008, MAP has grown into a large network of like-minded peers ensuring every orphan and underprivileged children in this world has a chance to thrive regardless of where they were born.

MAP’s priority is to provide basic needs such as food, shelter and healthcare to children in need. MAP also empowers children with appropriate education and vocational programs, giving them the necessary support to become self-sufficient and reach their full potential.

How do they provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

Iran is the 3rd hardest-hit country with COVID-19, and deaths are increasing every day. Moreover, the country has limited access to medical supplies due to geopolitical factors. MAP is providing critical preventive supplies and equipment to hundreds of hospitals, clinics, homeless shelters and orphanages with the aim of slowing down the spread of the virus.

With the support of Humanitarian Relief Coalition (HUREC), MAP also distributes life-saving support to Iran with the help of American organizations and medical professionals. Iran is in desperate need of support and this is a worthy cause where you can truly make a difference. Please support if you can.

Donate to MAP Now



A Charity Fighting Global Poverty

Oxfam Africa

A young girl in Dabaad standing amid graves of 70 children, many of whom died of malnutrition | image source: Oxfam East Africa (Wikipedia)

Who is Oxfam?

Oxfam is a global movement of millions of people working together to end the injustice of poverty around the world. With 75 years of experience, the well-established NGO is working hard to push for action on inequality, tax dodging, climate change and more. Oxfam responds fast in emergencies and helps people rebuild their lives to create sustainable communities. In 2017-18, Oxfam reached more than 22.2 million people globally.

How does Oxfam provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

COVID-19 is impacting everyone around the world. Some of us in more vulnerable countries, though, don’t have the privilege to observe social distancing, wash their hands or wear masks when grocery shopping. In poorer countries with weak public health systems and already-existing threats to health and livelihoods, the virus outbreak could be even more devastating.

Oxfam is dedicated to providing relief during the COVID-19 crisis to those high-risk communities by delivering soap, sanitation services including hand-washing facilities, and clean water.

Donate to Oxfam Now



Protecting Refugees Around the World

Healthier lives, fairer future.

Who is UNHCR?

UNHCR is a United Nation agency with the mandate to protect refugees around the world, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. The NGO ensures that everyone fleeing violence, persecution, war or disaster is able to seek asylum. Founded 70 years ago, UNHCR has extensive experience with dealing with crisis on multiple continents, providing vital assistance to refugees and asylum seekers.

How does UNHCR provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

UNHCR is concerned with the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and anyone displaced by conflict or persecution. To mitigate the impact of the crisis, UNHCR is providing health, water, sanitation, hygiene services and education to them. Also, the NGO works very closely with governments to ensure that those communities are included in preparation and response plans.

Donate to UNHCR Now


Karam Foundation

Protecting Syrian Refugees in the United States

Syria kids

Group of children in Syria

Who is Karam Foundation?

Karam Foundation develops innovative education programs for Syrian refugee youth, distribute smart aid to Syrian families, and fund sustainable development programs initiated by Syrians for Syrians. Their mission is to build a better future for Syria, a beautiful country that has been ravaged by years of wars, destroying the lives of many innocent people.

Karam Foundation develops innovative education programs for Syrian refugee youth, distributes smart aid to Syrian families and funds Sustainable Development programs initiated by Syrians for Syrians. 

How does Karam Foundation provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

Karam Foundation’s mission is to protect and support Syrian refugees in the United States against COVID-19. The NGO launched an emergency campaign to distribute living essentials including food, household items and medicine to those communities. Also, the Karam Scholars team provides online support including virtual “all-student” meetings, biweekly individual check-ins, virtual office hours and online workshops for both current and future university students.

Donate to Karam Foundation Now



Protecting Children Around the World


UNICEF in the Central African Republic | image source: hdptcar (Flickr)

Who is Unicef?

UNICEF is a United Nations agency providing humanitarian and developmental aid to vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the world’s toughest places. With access to 190 countries and territories and 70 years experience in the field, UNICEF works with young children and adolescents to make sure they grow up in a safe and healthy environment.

UNICEF focuses on child survival, providing education, implementing social policies, reaching every child in emergencies, empowering young girls and delivering solutions to reach every child at risk.

How do they provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

UNICEF is fighting fuelling discrimination and stigma that has spread alongside COVID-19. Working closely with health experts that promote facts over fear, the NGO launched hand-washing campaigns, provides essential supplies to health workers such as surgical gloves, soap and clean water facilities and brings guidance to parents, caregivers and educators.

Donate to UNICEF Now


Human Appeal

Saving Lives in Crisis-Hit Countries

Refugee camp in Iraq

A refugee camp in Syria

Who is Human Appeal?

Human Appeal is a British charity with 25 years of experience in its field. The not-for-profit organization runs poverty relief programs in crisis-hit countries and develops sustainable food, education and healthcare systems. It ensures mainstreaming of gender equality, climate change adaptation and environmental protection throughout their projects.

Focusing on conflict areas, natural disaster zones and refugee camps all around the world, Human Appeal works effortlessly to create a fair, sustainable world.

How does Human Appeal provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

Human Appeal worries that if the virus reaches refugees camps, where healthcare, hygiene and space already is a struggle, it will spread severely and kill people at an alarming rate. The NGO has experience in responding to outbreaks, from dengue fever to malaria, diphtheria, leprosy, cholera and waterborne diseases.

Human Appeal’s priority is to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the many existing refugee camps in Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. The organization relies on donations to provide food and hygiene kit to refugees to those in need.

Donate to Human Appeal Now



Alleviating Mental Illnesses in Africa

African woman with baby

Mental illnesses are universal.

Who is StrongMinds?

StrongMinds’ aim is to help African women with mental illnesses by empowering them and giving them tools to manage and treat their depression. Founded in 2013, it is the only organization scaling an efficient data-driven solution to the depression epidemic in Africa. Without being treated, women in Africa can’t even begin to tackle issues such as economic development for themselves and their children.

How does StrongMinds provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

Africa’s health systems are weaker than the ones we have in the West, and the continent also has a population disproportionately affected by HIV, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. Consequently, experts and African citizens worry that COVID-19 ravage African countries if the number of cases increases.

Mental health care is often overlooked across Africa. Yet, it is a huge issue in countries that have recently experienced civil wars and conflicts, including Liberia and Sierra Leone. As this pandemic is threatening African countries, StrongMinds’ priority is to provide treatment to alleviate mental health suffering caused by the pandemic.

Donate to StrongMinds Now


Rainforest Foundation US

Protect Rainforests and their Communities

Yahua Blowgun Amazon Iquitos Peru

Yahua Blowgun Amazon Iquitos Peru | image source: JialiangGao (Wikimmedia Commons)

Who is Rainforest Foundation US?

Rainforest Foundation US protects rainforests in Brazil, Peru, Panama and Guyana. The organization works closely with the local indigenous communities to find long-term and sustainable solutions, from strengthening indigenous land security to teaching them how to use technology to protect their forests.

Protecting the ancient forests and their wildlife, fight climate change and empowering indigenous communities is the charity’s priorities.

How do they provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

Rainforest communities experience disproportionate rates of illnesses resulting in lower immunity levels compared to cities. Isolated from the outside world, some of the communities are at greater risk of infection and may be more vulnerable to COVID-19. Moreover, communities will need access to food, medical supplies and services in the event that positive COVID-19 cases reach them. The objective of the Rainforest Foundation US is to support these communities during the pandemic.

Donate to Rainforest Foundation US Now


Bawa Bali

Saving and Protecting Animals in Bali

Animal welfare

Animals are affected by COVID-19, too.

Who is BAWA Bali?

BAWA Bali is a not-for-profit organisation that saves, protects and improves the lives of animals in Bali. It provides emergency response and rescue, food and medication, rehabilitation and adoption services to any injured, sick or abandoned animal. Also, the NGO runs education programs to enhance animal welfare in the future.

BAWA Bali responds to any animal distress, from dolphins to snake. However, the focus is on dogs, as Bali’s stray dogs are under threat and often left sick, injured or abused.

How does BAWA Bali provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis?

BAWA Bali faces a funding shortfall due to COVID-19. The charity had to close down their center to the public until the current situation improves, leading to fewer dogs getting adopted, and more dogs to feed and take care of. Simultaneously, BAWA’s team keeps on working hard to rescue, treat and look after abandoned and vulnerable animals around the island.

The charity needs to survive during the crisis and can only carry on its operations with financial support.

Donate to Bawa Bali Now


Final Thoughts on COVID-19 Relief

There you have it my friends, our pick of best charities to support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is happening in the world right now may be one the biggest crisis we will ever face in our lifetime. This is the moment to shed our normal routines, our normal travel plans, and do what we can to support the people in our local communities and abroad who need our support.

From all of us here at the Broke Backpacker, stay safe out there, cherish the positive moments that have woven their way into our new daily routines, and remember that it is not the easy moments in life that define us, it is the struggles.


1 Comment

  • Avatar Naeem Dad says:

    Hi Will, You are doing a very noble and incredible work and I fully support your fantastic efforts against Covid-19 pendamic, yes our Prime Minister Khan has launched a countrywide relief compaign in this regard, like a tiger force registration is in progress and more than 1 million youth have registered till date, the tiger force will soon distribute ration package to the door steps of poor and needy people all over the country, more over this NGO helping hands may also join this force for collective efforts against this covid-19 menace. Weldon Will keep it up again. Thanks and regards Naeem Dad (Pakistan ,the land of dreams)

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