Water points in Kibera, food parcels in a Mumbai slum, hygiene training in rural Zambia – just a few weeks ago none of these activities were on Global Care’s ‘to-do’ list!
However, as we all know, the Coronavirus pandemic changed everything, overnight.
The last three weeks have seen an enormous burst of action from our international partners, responding rapidly to the needs of the vulnerable in the communities they serve.
One of the great joys of our grassroots model of working is that when disaster strikes, our partners are already there. Ready to act, without delay, with local knowledge and established networks.
In slum communities in Guatemala, India and Kenya, our partners have made sure hungry children who would usually attend our projects still get fed. That’s 70 families in Guatemala, 60 families near Mumbai, 140 families in Kibera, Kenya.
Across Uganda our team are delivering food parcels to over 400 vulnerable families.
In Bangladesh our partners are feeding over 300 families. In both countries lockdown means income from daily labour, or small market-trading – common methods of earning money to eat each day – have been abruptly cut off.
In Albania, our partners are supporting 150 families who usually gain income from recycling rubbish – again, lockdown has cut off their only form of income.
In Syria, our partners are feeding children who would usually attend their centre in an extremely disadvantaged area of Damascus.
Feeding is crucial. The World Food Programme is predicting a famine of “Biblical proportions” in many countries due to the restrictions introduced to fight COVID-19.
But it’s not JUST feeding. In communities where illiteracy is widespread, and where communication is poor, awareness raising, hygiene and prevention training are all important in helping vulnerable families cope.
Like installing 25 water points, with soap, in Africa’s biggest slum, Kibera, so people can wash their hands, each used by 700+ people per day. Or providing water containers and soap to 250 families in rural Ethiopia, and masks and hygiene training in the poorest district of Zambia, our partners are rising to the challenge.
And so are our donors. Just three weeks ago we asked you, our donors, to equip us to meet the needs of vulnerable families through this pandemic. Our well-established Children At Risk programme meant we had initial funds available to act in an emergency. But Children At Risk is only designed to help one project in crisis at a time. Never before had we needed to help so many partners simultaneously, and funds urgently needed re-supplying.
We estimate we may need £75,000 to see us through this crisis. The initiatives outlined above have already cost a total of £31,400. Food parcels which usually last only two weeks, or a month in some countries, will soon need to be repeated, in contexts of soaring prices as shortages begin to bite.
Our wonderful donors have already donated £23,362* to support the work of our partners, helping vulnerable families. A HUGE thank you goes to everyone who has given so far.
We recognise that not everyone will be able to give, but if you are able, can you consider supporting this appeal? Or could you share this blog on social media, to help others recognise the need?
Please help us continue making a crucial difference in the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. You can donate to our Coronavirus work using the Children At Risk button below.
*sum correct 23/04/.2020