Index > Sponsorship for Overseas Child - Salute to the Frontline Heroes Combating COVID-19
 
  Salute to the Frontline Heroes Combating COVID-19
2020/09/18 | editor
 

"Since the pandemic began, we run similar processes every day: family surveys, packaging, delivery, and ensuring the families receive supplies. Although being exhausted, I am still happy when thinking of those being helped."

"Volunteers are still packing supplies." It is already 8-9 pm, we got a message from our Indian working partner.

 

Since April, the Mustard Seed Mission launched rescue plans in countries, including India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Nepal, providing food parcels and anti-epidemic kits to the vulnerable families.

In order to obtain enough food, masks, soaps and other supplies during the lockdown, our local working partners in various fields have mobilized all their social network: community leaders, grocery store owners or wholesalers.

Hoping to deliver the supplies to the families in need as soon as possible, all the volunteers continue packaging day and night.

During the delivery, mask is their only protection, our working partners step into communities fearlessly, trying their best to understand the life challenges and urgent needs of vulnerable families, daily-wager families and migrant worker families.

Overseas partners preparing relief packages
Overseas partners preparing relief packages (Photo by ISACC)

 

"Thank you for not forgetting to care about me. " -this is a message of gratitude from our Filipino partner at the end of a work discussion.

With the help of communication software, we can contact and communicate with our international partners. By greeting and caring their diet and sleep, we try our best to read between the lines and texts to figure out their conditions, so that we can encourage and show our sincere concern to them at any time.

At the end of July, we suddenly could not contact Fhabi, our local work partner in the Philippines. A few days later Fhabi shared with us that she was weak and at risk of contracting COVID-19, but she could not find a hospital willing to assist in the screening, and the screening fee was expensive. She chose to isolate herself at home to restore her health.

Three weeks later, Fhabi shared this journey from frontline rescue to self-isolation during the epidemic:

The physical sign is a virus detector

When visiting a community with a high risk of infection, the COVID-19 virus also struck at the same time. A large number of confirmed volunteers started with dizziness, while some felt weak after a week. When Fhabi came into contact with a COVID-19 patient, she had itchy skin and a rash; if she exposed to the virus for a longer time, she was more prone to unexplained fatigue, back muscle soreness, and intermittent mild fever.

The physical reaction is actually a protective mechanism. Although it is a little scary, it reminds oneself to pay more attention to the environment which also makes our partners safer.

Hiding the facts of community infection under fear

Doing the frontline work, working partners may also step into unknown risks. Once, after the supplies were distributed, the community leader confessed that there were COVID-19 positive cases in this community. But he dared not tell it at the beginning, because he feared that once the volunteers know that there are confirmed cases in the community, they will be afraid and worried.

Before survival, risk and social distance do not exist

When our partners enter the community with supplies, residents who are desperate for supplies due to chronic poverty usually surround us and wait for food to be distributed. Usually I need to raise my voice to the top to promote social distancing, obtain the understanding of the residents and rectify the order, and then make enough space for volunteers to distribute supplies.

Self-care: strengthen body and mind immunity

During the epidemic, in order to reserve enough physical strength, once any of us feel unwell, we will immediately take time off to take a good rest to fully recover. One also needs to eat foods that increase immunity, such as raw garlic, in order to return to work and help others.

In fact, we are conscious that there's a high risk to get infected amid the delivery. Therefore, every time before we go, we gather together and encourage each other, in solidary we fight fear and worries away.       

(Photo by ARUP)

After several months of combating the epidemic, the Mustard Seed Mission has overcome the limitations of time, space, and language, and continued to encourage each other through various measures, and discuss the works with local partners. As a witness of exhaustion and helplessness of working partners after the rescue, I also see their strength and resilience.

For those vulnerable people striving for survival, you are invited to accompany them in this COVID-19 battlefield.

 

 


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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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