Majonzi (Swahili): Grief or deep sorrow
The Majonzi Fund provides bereavement and grief support to members of the Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic (BAME) community affected by loss due to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sorrow and grief to families and communities the world over; loved ones have been lost, lives have been cut short, and pandemic’s path is not yet over.
Evidence shows that BAME communities have been disproportionately affected throughout the course of the pandemic. Mortality rates are between two to four times higher than that of other ethnic groups, after accounting for demographic, socio-economic and health-related factors. For many, COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have also meant that traditional mourning rituals have not been able to take place.
Fund recipients are provided with a monetary grant of £500 to use towards celebrating and commemorating the lives of those they have lost in a way that is meaningful to them, be it a funeral, religious service or community memorial.
The fund also supports BAMEstream, an alliance of BAME practitioners, therapists, policy experts, activists and academics who aim to raise awareness and address the urgent mental health and wellbeing needs of the BAME community in the UK. BAMEstream offers customised, culturally relevant bereavement services, events and support for individuals and communities.
How It Started
The Majonzi Fund was set up by Patrick Vernon OBE, British social commentator, cultural historian and health campaigner in partnership with the Ubele Initiative, an African Diaspora led infrastructure organisation leading the work in the UK to develop a community response for BAME communities as result of COVID-19.
“My family have weathered the impact of the pandemic with our own personal loss. On [date], my sister’s partner passed away as a result of the virus and we have been grieving his loss separately ever since. When you lose a family member under these heart-breaking circumstances, you simply cannot put the pain into words. You realise the importance of the grieving process within your own families and culture more broadly. With the support of the public, I hope this fund can make a small difference to families and communities affected by COVID-19.” – Patrick Vernon OBE, Founder of The Majonzi Fund
Other Ways to Get Involved:
Share on Social Media: Raise awareness with your network by sharing the fund’s purpose statement and intended impact for your communities
Contribute: Artists, writers and filmmakers who have created work intended to commemorate those who have lost their lives as a result on the pandemic can submit their pieces for display and auction in aid of this cause.
Visit the Majonzi Fund website for more information on ways you can get involved.
- ALICE ALLUM
Organizer and beneficiary
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