Call for Nominations for the Martha Farrell Award – Feb. 26, 2021

We have been contacted by colleagues in India regarding an annual award recognizing the life of a passionate civil society leader and gender equality advocate.

Nominations from India-based people and organizations are now being sought for The Martha Farrell Award. The Martha Farrell Award for Excellence in Women’s Empowerment and Gender Justice was established in 2016 in collaboration with Rural Development Trust (RDT) and Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA). The Award has been instituted to honor Dr. Martha Farrell and her ideals. Dr. Farrell was a passionate civil society leader, known for her work on women’s rights, gender equality and adult education. She was killed in a terrorist attack in Kabul (Afghanistan) in May 2015, while she was leading a training on gender with the Aga Khan foundation.

The Award is a first-of-its-kind initiative to discover, recognize and honor mid-career individuals and committed institutions, which have made valuable contributions in the areas of women’s empowerment, gender equality and feminism in everyday life. The award is given in two categories, with prize money of INR 1.5 Lacs for each category: 1. “Most Promising Individual” – a person of any gender, between the age of 25-40, who has worked consistently for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment 2. “Best Organization for Gender Equality” – which has been implementing practices and systems to create gender sensitive and secure workplaces. In its 5th year, we are also presenting a Special Jury Award under each category. We encourage you to send us your nominations for the award. This process is entirely email-based. The forms (in English and Hindi) can be obtained by writing to To know more about the award and the award criteria, please visit this link:

Pavement Drawing

Balint Horvath in the Hague, Netherlands shared this example of social solidarity: “What I have found a fascinating medium to emerge during lock-down is the pavement drawing (“stoepkrittekening” in Dutch). The messages are often praising the healthcare professionals, but also more broadly anyone who is risking his/her health for others – I would argue that this includes for example a cashier in a supermarket too. Although messages are often not making political points, themselves are representing people’s desire in their own living environment to turn ordinary objects into local mediums through which messages are communicated and amplified because of their public character – similar to the front window (see Balint’s submission in the Project Gallery).”

Fasting in Solidarity

Claire Harmer decided to fast for Ramadan in solidarity with her Muslim students who are observing the holy month during the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic. She aims to increase awareness about the difficulties refugees and asylum seekers face and to raise funds for three charities that serve these populations. She has raised over £1,100 so far. Read more:

Solidarity with Migrants in Brazil

Patricia Nabuco Martuscelli, 2019 ZUKOnnect Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz, shared the following initiatives of social solidarity from immigrants and refugees in Brazil:

Stories from the Global COVID-19 Pandemic

StoryCenter in Berkley, California had been helping people tell their stories for nearly three decades and offers both online and in-person digital storytelling workshops. In response to the pandemic, StoryCenter launched a series of free, online storytelling webinars and is gathering and sharing stories on its website.

Rapid Research Response to COVID-19 in Bangladesh

The BRAC Institute of Governance & Development in Bangladesh has deployed the Rapid Research Response to COVID-19 to “provide useful and credible insights to policymakers as well as practitioners such as BRAC on how to control the pandemic effectively while minimizing its socioeconomic impact… with a special focus on the lives and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable people.”

Global Community Support Initiative

Rita Dhungel and Jordan Knapp organized a fundraiser to support the Joint Disabled Unity Awaz Centre in Nepal, which provides care and education to 48 vulnerable children. They write: “Despite the uncertainty, we have all banded together and support one another. We are hoping to raise support funds for our friend Til Bahadur Karki who runs a children’s home in Nepal. Our friends in Nepal are struggling to keep their home and feed themselves. We kindly ask for anything you are able to contribute, or support sharing our initiative.” The fundraiser is currently halfway to its goal of $5,000.

View from My Window

Barbara Duriau started a public group on Facebook called View from my window “to connect people from all around the World during these tough times.” Members are invited to each share a picture from their windows to represent their daily life during lockdown. There are currently 2.2 million members and thousands of posts from Texas to Finland to Tokyo.

What Community Looks Like

Lisa Morrow, an Australian in living in Istanbul, gathered “examples of the care, thoughtfulness, generosity and joyous creativity of people living in different parts of Turkey as we all work together to get through these difficult days” in her blog post: Coronavirus Turkey: What community looks like in Turkish daily life.

Solidarity in Uncertain Times

Yecid Ortega dedicated an episode of his podcast, Chasing Encounters, to “discussing what solidarity means and how it connects to ideas of community building,” going “beyond empathy and support… to acts of love and understanding others.”


The Arlington Public Library in Northern Virginia, USA launched Quaranzine, “a weekly collection of creative works from the Arlington community that documents how we responded to this strange time we find ourselves in.” Four issues have been published so far, featuring artwork, photography, essays, poetry, and other glimpses of hope and creativity during social distancing.