Stories of survival, hope and healing

5 February 2021

Hygiene kits are distributed to homeless people in São Paulo, Brazil.

Hygiene kits are distributed to homeless people in São Paulo, Brazil.

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, these local experts have been responding to the coronavirus 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.” 


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. 

With your support, we have 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. 

Regina, who lives in Fortaleza, said: "It’s a difficult time because I don’t have a fixed income. During the pandemic, I haven’t received any orders. So the food basket came at a good time and it helped me a lot."


Like far too many people, Asal lost someone she lived to coronavirus. When her husband died, she had to find a way to provide for their two daughters and three sons without him.  

Thankfully, Asal was not alone. She is a member of a self-help group funded by CAFOD to help women in the region build their skills and fulfil their potential. Thanks to support like yours, Asal can get training and a loan to start her own business, so she and her children can start to rebuild their lives.  

“My only hope is the self-help group. I am planning to request some chickens so I can start a small poultry farm.”  

Sierra Leone 

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.”  

How you can help

Donate to our coronavirus appeal

Pray for those affected by coronavirus

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