Thank You for Caring – Pandemic Response Impact
Right now, our Sisters and project partners are operating in countries where COVID-19 infection rates are escalating. The levels of stress they continue to face, without knowing when this may end or when lockdown conditions will ease, cannot be denied. Despite these challenges, their focus on supporting those in poverty has been inspiring. None of this is possible without you – our supporters. Your generosity and selflessness throughout this trying time has been incredible. Here, we share some of the impacts your donations have made locally and globally, reminding us of our interconnectedness in this time of health crisis, and supporting those in our Mary Ward family and beyond.
At the Mary Ward Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC), Rumbek, South Sudan, our nurses and interns are not only focusing on COVID-19 prevention and education, they are also extremely busy treating malaria. One nurse states “When the rainy season starts, the grass in our villages grows tall and the area becomes infested with mosquitoes. This leads to a massive spread of malaria. Malaria has been the biggest health challenge for our community in July and August. At the PHCC, we have treated over 700 malaria cases for this season”. Recently, a truck filled with medicines, medical equipment, personal protective provisions and various supplies arrived after a long journey from Nairobi, Kenya. Water tanks for hand washing have also been supplied, and twenty-five Loreto Rumbek graduates have been working in the community each day to educate and deliver food and water to those in need.
House of Welcome (HoW), Australia, located in Granville NSW, has responded to the needs of refugees and people seeking asylum. Asylum seekers are unable to access support from the government, and many are solely reliant on charities for survival, particularly during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Over 106 new clients have sought support – all are experiencing financial distress; some have rental arrears, and others face food insecurity. In partnership with MWIA, food and crisis accommodation has been provided.
In Lukulu, Zambia, the Integrated Health Care Support Program (IHCSP) witnesses increased hardship for mothers and guardians of orphan babies. The struggle to provide the basics for their families is compounded by the prices of goods escalating due to the lockdown in Lusaka – this includes milk for vulnerable babies. Food hampers and milk have been distributed to families in need. The current Program support vehicle assists the IHCSP to educate villagers about COVID-19, its prevention, and distributes soap.
|Lukulu, Zambia | Auntie receiving milk for orphan baby Ngambo||Sydney, Australia | Preparation of food deliveries at the House of Welcome|
The Loreto Sisters in Kenya facilitate the Termination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Project. Fears of curses, myths and taboos related to FGM, discourage many communities from abandoning the practice, despite fines and the well-known health dangers. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been an increase in FGM cases, child abuse, pregnancies, and early marriages. The Sisters have focused their work on equipping trainers, who will reach and support more girls and communities.
Thank you for your support of our MWIA global projects at this crucial time. We are privileged to address the most basic needs of people, at a time when it has become far too apparent that they are without the same economic and social safety nets as we have.
On behalf of the people we serve, thank you.
Author: Michelle Gale
Feature Image: Termination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Project, Kenya