Stories of survival, hope and healing
11 March 2021
How you are helping people affected by coronavirus around the world
As part of one of the largest aid networks in the world, our local experts work with some of the most remote and difficult-to-reach people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Because of your incredible response to our Coronavirus Appeal, these local experts have been responding to the pandemic across the world, in your name, working with some of the most vulnerable communities. While the pandemic has exacerbated many existing challenges, with your support, together we can rebuild.
Here are some of the stories of people you are helping to survive, rebuild and heal.
Richard Sloman, CAFOD’s Programme Officer for Bangladesh, tells us how your generous donations help to change lives. During the pandemic your support has been more important than ever to help families survive.
He shares this message with you:
“The other thing that gives me hope is the generous support and donations that people make that make this work possible. Every time I go to Bangladesh, I go to very rural communities and they’ll say to me please, please, please say thank you to the people that have given money on behalf of CAFOD. Just a huge thank you it really, really does make a huge difference.”
Ibrahim Njuguna, CAFOD’s country representative for South Sudan, explains how your support is making a difference in South Sudan.
We are working with experts on the ground to deliver vital hygiene messages via radio. Local health volunteers have also been trained with accurate information about coronavirus, and we are delivering food to households that need to isolate.
We are also working with women’s groups to protect wives, mothers and girlfriends from the risk of domestic violence during lockdown and working to provide access to counselling and other services.
"We realise that working with women has a huge impact. It will help move the country forward.”
In Brazil, a new strain of the virus, collapse of the public hospitals and a shortage of supplies and oxygen has caused the death of hundreds of people.
In Manaus, the first delivery of oxygen has now arrived, bringing the ‘breath of life’ to dozens of people.
We would like to say thank you for sending these cylinders which are already being sent to the interior of Amazonas State. We thank Caritas who acted as intermediary for this delivery from CAFOD.
Dom Leonardo Steiner, Archbishop of Manaus
With your support, we have also been distributing essential food, facemasks and hygiene kits to help stop the spread of the virus in cities. And in the Amazon, we have been providing information in local languages.
In Sri Lanka, the local experts and aid workers you support are helping communities build a 'new normal'.
From finding ways to share their common home with elephants, to getting food to those who need it and ensuring dignified burials for those lost to coronavirus, your support is giving people renewed hope.
In Afghanistan the number of people testing positive for coronavirus has dropped slightly over the last few weeks, but there are concerns that cases are being undercounted significantly. The crisis has meant that food prices have increased, and more families are facing hunger and loss of income.
Your donations support a self-help group for women in northern Afghanistan. The group helps to empower women to take a more active role in their finances so they can help earn enough money to support their families. It is an ongoing project, but it has become even more vital as families face a loss of income because of the pandemic.
Last year we shared with you the story of Asal, who is the cashier of her group and had requested some training and chickens to start a small business.
“My only hope is the self-help group. I am planning to request some chickens so I can start a small poultry farm.”
The group’s activities were paused for a few months due to the outbreak, but the activities are now taking place again with additional COVID-19 safety measures. Asal has been receiving training on business development, group management, literacy and bookkeeping. She will continue to be supported by project staff as she starts her small business.
Kayode works for CAFOD in Sierra Leone. He told us how lessons learned during the Ebola outbreak helped to save lives when coronavirus hit.
“Ebola devastated the economy, social systems, almost every aspect of life. It lasted almost two years. Part of the reason our work was a success was because we brought leaders on boards – community leaders of all faiths – and we gave them training. The community had trust and respect – they trusted the leaders.
“Trust is so important. We believe that by working through faith leaders, and with the trust they have build in the communities, we can get information out about what people need to do.”
“We defeated Ebola, and we know that by the grace of God, we are going to defeat coronavirus.”