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  The Mustard Seed Mission Hosts COVID-19 Relief Network to Aid 4,500 Vulnerable Families
2020/04/29 | editor
 

The coronavirus pandemic plunged many families into financial hardship. The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center (DVSAP) in New Taipei City has recorded a three-fold increase in the number of domestic violence cases. More than 35% of the vulnerable families served by the Mustard Seed Mission (MSM) have faced a serious financial crisis. MSM urgently set up a "COVID-19 Relief Network" to help 4,500 vulnerable families reduce the economic pressure during the pandemic by calling on the community to collect supplies and emergency relief funds. Moreover, MSM calls on the public to respond to the needs of epidemic prevention with the power of community network and practical actions: speak out the anti-virus declaration, caring for the elderly and neighbors, donating extra food, and continue to support charity, etc.

The social worker is visiting a vulnerable family
The social worker is visiting a vulnerable family

COVID-19 Battlefields in Daily Life

Sharron, a 5-year-old girl from a low-income family, living in a social housing with her family. Both her brother and her are sponsored by MSM. The whole family relies on the parents with disabilities to sell sausages for a living. Amid the epidemic, the sausage business was affected severely by the tourist decrease; the not much income has dropped and worsened. 

Grace, as a new-immigrant and a mom of four, had experienced domestic violence and cheating in the marriage, now living alone with her children. The economic burdens are heavy to her. Grace works in a restaurant. She wanted to let her eldest daughter work in the factory to help share the burdens, but the factory was shut down due to the epidemic. The whole family still relies on Grace alone. However, the restaurant customers are far less than before. Grace does not know how long it can last.

Wu Xiaoping, the CEO of MSM, pointed out that the vulnerable families served by MSM are suffering the economic instability due to coronavirus. 42% of them are gig workers, temporary workers, and family OEMs with unstable income, 19% of them can’t work due to illness, imprisonment and other factors, 12% of them are drivers or in service industries that are easily affected by the epidemic. The epidemic has made them to take less pay, unpaid leave, or even lose their jobs reluctantly. Their life has changed dramatically. The life-stress index of the served families has increased up to an average of 7.5, and even 20% of them has reached to 10, the highest level of pressure measurement. Under the ongoing tension and pressure, family conflicts occur easily.

According to the statistics of DVSAP, New Taipei City, Taiwan, the domestic violence reports in March this year have increased by nearly 30% compared with the same period last year; and Taipei City has increased 170 cases in Q1 this year over the same period last year. In addition to providing immediate financial assistance to the recipient families, MSM devotes to alleviates the parents’ financial and psychological pressures, and also provide psychological companionship and support through community welfare networks such as social workers and churches that have already established rapport with these families, aiming to reduce the risk of domestic violence in both ways.

Community Food Bank as a Network to support

The economy has been hit hard by the virus, and donations for charity have also been affected. MSM has more than 300 donors stopped sponsorship since January. The donation of food and resources to community food banks has decreased by 36% in the first quarter from the same period last year. Affected by the surge of supplies purchases, the decrease rate has reached 72% in February, but the number of recipients has increased by 49%. To provide timely assistance, MSM urgently set up a "COVID-19 Relief Network" to raise funds for 7,000 supplies packages, including rice, noodles, oil, soap and other daily supplies to support families in need. For now, with a total of donations NT$500,000, MSM will initiate the purchase of epidemic prevention supplies soon, but the distributors have responded one after another that they must give priority to the supply of the market first. As a result, they might not be able to provide preferential treatment to NPOs, which impeded the purchase more.

MSM fights against the epidemic together with vulnerable families, and invites the community to support and help the disadvantaged families to overcome the difficulties! In addition to the " Epidemic Prevention Supplies Package", MSM also raises the "Emergency Relief Fund " to help 1,000 vulnerable households. The public are invited to express their concern with practical actions, take the initiative to care for the elders or neighbors in the community, or donate extra food, contribute to the community when the community needs it, and are willing to continue to donate to the charity to support vulnerable people with the power of the network.

 


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你要盡心、盡性、盡 意、盡力愛主 ─ 你的神。其次就是說:要愛人如己。(馬可福音12章30-31節)

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31)

 

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