We now have a CAFOD Hallam JustGiving page. You can find it here. Please consider making a donation if you can and find more information below.
Last week, I spoke to Simon Morykin on BBC Radio Sheffield’s Sunday morning faith show about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the most fragile countries and communities across the world such as Syria, South Sudan the Rohinga refugee camps in Bangladesh. We talked about why these millions of people are the most vulnerable to the virus, given that they do not have basic handwashing facilities, access to medical care and advice, enough nutritious food to eat nor the means to socially distance or isolate.
We talked about what CAFOD is currently doing to protect these vulnerable communities: making sure that people have access to soap and handwashing stations, spreading messages of awareness and potentially live-saving information through Catholic radio stations in local dialects, and distributing nutritious food to ensure that this pandemic does not mean that even more people go hungry.
It’s easy to feel helpless in times of major humanitarian disaster. But there are many simple ways for you to help CAFOD fight the the coronavirus pandemic overseas.
For example, 6-year-old Freya in Rotherham organised a danceathon to replace the dance competitions she was supposed to attend, and has raised a fantastic amount of £100!
Think you can do something similar? See our A-Z of fundraising for plenty of ideas on how to raise money for CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal at home with your family and friends.
However, if you cannot fundraise at this time, please consider making a donation through our Hallam diocese JustGiving page. It’s the easiest way to donate and your donation would make a huge difference to our work.
And please feel free to share the JustGiving page with your parish, schools, family and friends. Let’s come together in Hallam and make a difference!
But of course, this is just the ‘Give’ part of ‘Give, Act, Pray’. If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to the Prime Minister to cancel the debts of developing countries, allowing them to spend money on much needed healthcare rather than debt repayments. And of course, please join us as we continue to hold in our prayers all those who are living the most fragile parts of the world throughout this pandemic. Thank you.
Helen Murray, Admin Support & Development Officer for the dioceses of the North East
Helen Murray, Admin Support Officer for the dioceses of the North East
This week, thanks to the generosity of the UK public, the Disaster Emergency Committee – of which CAFOD is a member – Coronavirus Appeal has raised an incredible £10 million to help those living in the most fragile states.
The DEC Coronavirus Appeal will help the most vulnerable people in six of the world’s most fragile states: Yemen and Syria; Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Afghanistan.
In Syria, our local partners on the ground are reporting urgent concerns about the risks of the virus spreading, as vulnerable people are unable to take the basic measures to protect themselves.
Mustafa, 28, a frontline worker supported by CAFOD, lives in a camp outside Idlib with displaced people.
He explained how they are preparing for what he calls ‘an explosion of coronavirus’ in the camps. He said:
“My heart is beating so hard; we are expecting an explosion of coronavirus in the camps. The coming days are really critical for us.
“Doctors are preparing for the spread of the virus. People live in large overcrowded settlements in tents with maybe 12 people and no access to clean water. It will be a catastrophe. Disaster. Please help them.”
Of the 111 public hospitals in Syria, only 57 public hospitals (64%) are fully functioning. There is a considerable shortage of trained staff and a high turnover rate, reducing capacity to manage cases. Up to 70% of health workers have already left the country.
Despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, CAFOD, many of the DEC’s 14 member charities, are already present and working in refugee and displacement camps.
Through our local experts, we are focusing on essential humanitarian services while ensuring the health and safety of staff, volunteers and communities are prioritised.
Our local experts are giving emergency support and essential hygiene kits and continuing to homeless families who are within Syria itself but also in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.