Project Hope Update

Earlier this year, Worldbuilders partnered with Project HOPE to raise funds for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. 

We reached out to them to see what they’ve been up to since we last chatted, and here’s how your donations have directly impacted the fight against COVID-19:

Project HOPE is a global health and humanitarian organization on the front lines of the world’s health challenges, partnering hand-in-hand with communities, health care workers and public health systems to ensure sustainable change. We continue to respond aggressively and energetically to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on ensuring health care workers and frontline personnel have the skills and resources they need to care for patients and reduce transmission.

The Worldbuilders and Geeks4Hope campaign was a big boost to our efforts early on in the Spring. You helped build our COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which has allowed us to be nimble and flexible in our COVID-19 approach and activities to meet the most current needs.

The U.S. in particular continues to break records with soaring case rates. While stringent public health measures across the country initially helped flatten the curve, pressure to reopen the economy has resulted in unprecedented growth and new infections. The U.S. continues to lead the world with the highest number of confirmed cases and the most deaths. The numbers are rising most sharply in states that have pushed to reopen quickly, and hospitals are once again overwhelmed and over capacity.

Our strategy focuses on providing lifesaving protective gear in high-risk areas, training health workers to recognize and treat COVID-19, deploying medical volunteers to provide surge staffing, and helping health systems around the world ensure continuity of health services.

Together with partners like the incredible Worldbuilders team and your community of geeks doing good, we are committed to meeting this challenge and placing power in the hands of doctors, nurses, and other health workers around the world.

Our Director of Emergency Response, Tom Cotter, who also participated in the Geeks4Hope campaign with Worldbuilders, sends his thanks:

“Thanks to the support of Worldbuilders, we’ve sent delivery after delivery of equipment and protective gear from Chicago to Indonesia. We’ve trained medical volunteers and local providers online and in person. This work will continue to save lives in the most vulnerable communities.”

I know the Worldbuilders community loves specific impact stats and bullets, so here’s a rundown of our COVID-19 response broken out into two categories, globally and domestically:


Project HOPE’s Global COVID-19 Response


  1. Personal Protective Equipment: Distributed 8.9 million+ PPE and supplies in 14 high-risk countries, including 5.4 million surgical masks, 1.19 million respirator masks, 1.17 million gowns and lab coats, 1.17 million exam gloves and 18,000 COVID-19 tests.
  2. Training and E-Learning: Launched remote trainings for 70,000+ health workers globally and in high-risk countries. The trainings are available for free here.
  3. Medical surge support: In the Philippines, we’ve distributed 16,000 PPE packages, trained 10,000 health care workers, and we’re supporting 24 hospitals with IPC technical assistance and monitoring.
  4. Contact tracing and screening: In Colombia, we’re supporting contract tracing, lab confirmation, screening, and patient care.


Project HOPE’s Domestic COVID-19 Response



For more information on Project Hope, you can check out their website here

  1. Personal Protective Equipment: We continue to rapidly bring in protective gear for American doctors and nurses. We have delivered millions of PPE to health systems across the U.S., including Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Texas.
  2. Medical volunteers and surge support: We’ve activated our global roster of medical volunteers to provide staff surge capacity and mobile testing in hard-hit areas including Houston, Chicago, Navajo Nation, and Montgomery County, Maryland.
  3. Training and E-Learning: Provided online training for 2,000+ health workers to become Master Trainers in infection prevention and control.
  4. Mental health: Project HOPE has supported the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Institute to implement its first series on COVID-19 and other topics on mental health and resiliency during disasters, reaching 1,200+ first responders.
  5. At-risk and marginalized communities: In Maryland, we’ve administered COVID-19 tests and PPE in homeless shelters and other high-risk communities. In Illinois, we’ve provided COVID-19 risk assessment and mitigation planning to 45 long-term care facilities.


We can’t express enough how grateful we are to the Worldbuilders community for the support you’ve shown us and health workers around the world fighting COVID-19. The PPE, trainings, medical surge support and more are saving lives. Teresa Narvaez Villarreal, Project HOPE’s Country Director in the Dominican Republic, says “As I started to fear that we would not be able to help the people who needed us so much, HOPE arrived through a donation of PPE – masks, gloves, gowns, and more. In less than 48 hours, we were able to distribute urgently needed equipment to three area hospitals.”

The volunteers we were able to send around the country for surge support has been tremendous. Pamela Russell, a nurse in Houston, told us “The first wave of nurses deployed from Project HOPE was a welcomed gift. They were excited and eager to do whatever they could to ease the burden of our nurses – their peers.”

This amazing work that’s happening … the inspiring stories we hear on the ground … all of this is possible because partners like Worldbuilders and your amazing community stepped up early on to support our COVID-19 response and build our COVID-19 Emergency Fund.


But the fight against COVID-19 is still ongoing.

In the U.S., Project HOPE continues to deploy medical teams around the country as hot spots appear. We are currently assessing the response needs in Arizona, Florida and California where they are experiencing critical levels of COVID-19 infections.

It’s also important to note that we’re doing all of this work while also continuing to focus on our global health programs, particularly around child nutrition, maternal and neonatal health, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and emergency response. These programs are also vital, and our resources are stretched while we focus on COVID-19 and the fact that our core work is also being impacted by the pandemic.

On the emergency response front, since Project HOPE is also a disaster response organization, since our Spring campaign with Geeks4Hope, we’ve rapidly responded to the escalating crisis in Yemen, activated an emergency response to Lebanon in the immediate aftermath of the Beirut port explosion (including our very own CEO Rabih Torbay, who was born and raised in Lebanon and led our early response on the ground there). And most recently, we sent an emergency team to Louisiana to respond to the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura, where we are extremely concerned we could soon see a spike in COVID-19 cases in storm-affected areas.

Despite the incredible challenge COVID-19 presents, Project HOPE remains dedicated to our mission and will not stop working to help everyone access the health care they need to reach their full potential. If the Worldbuilders team and community has any questions, please feel free to reach out. We also invite anyone to attend our “HOPE for Life” virtual event happening September 15, where you can find out more about your impact by signing up at our registration page here


For more information on Project Hope, you can check out their website here