Since March 2020, Tearfund has supported our partners in providing vital support to over 520,000 people through the provision of food, Personal Protective Equipment, hygiene kits, training, counselling and more. Specific funding has been provided to 25 projects in 13 countries for their response to pandemic related needs.
Here are some of the latest updates from our partners as they support their local communities in addressing the challenges of COVID-19.
From a humble clinic to a COVID-19 isolation centre
Like most rural health centres in the context of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, Dakamela Clinic in Ward 16 of Nkayi District has faced many challenges. Over the years, Dakamela community has partnered with Tearfund’s Christian partner HEFO in developing the clinic and other livelihood projects. Through their combined efforts, the clinic now has electricity, an expectant mothers’ shelter, reliable water supply and a sprouting nutrition garden.
Khumbulani Masuku, one of the clinic nurses, says, “It’s no surprise that our District Health Team nominated Dakamela Clinic as a COVID-19 isolation centre, owing mainly to the conducive infrastructure that HEFO and the community have put in place.”
HEFO has used the centre for a COVID-19 awareness campaign and as a base from which to distribute sanitiser, hand wash gel, masks and medical gloves.
IAM staff member, Khaled*, reflects on their work throughout this season
“When COVID-19 first hit Afghanistan, I remember feeling worried about its impact on the work of our mental health program, which wants to see all Afghans mentally well and included in their communities. Now looking back at what the project has been able to achieve, I feel a sense of pride in the team and our achievements.
We quickly mobilised mental health services for COVID-19 patients, set up online support for hundreds of people and prevented a number of people from committing suicide. Our Positive Parenting project provided support to parents throughout the lockdown. IAM’s strong commitment to the poorest and most vulnerable people was put into action through the provision of hygiene kits for people that other agencies had not included. IAM’s support to the government’s COVID-19 response was really appreciated and our relationship has been strengthened through working together.
*Name changed for privacy reasons.
Finally, I feel really grateful to God that IAM’s donors are flexible, have a strong humanitarian focus and supported us to take the lead in supporting the mental health of Afghans during COVID-19.
One local father shares how IAM’s support through COVID-19 has brought about transformation in his family relationships
“I used to be really busy working in my tailor shop and spent little time with my family. When my young children were playing and making noise, I would quickly become aggressive and I used to beat them. I had the same behaviour towards my wife. Back then I was happy with my behaviour, as I could control the family as the man of the house, as I thought I was supposed to do.
During my COVID-19 quarantine, my days at home were difficult, but I started to realise they were more difficult for my family who had to adapt to me being home and keep quiet to avoid my aggression.
After hearing from a friend about stress management activities, my wife and I called the IAM facilitator. We received guidance on overcoming stress, were referred to a parenting support group and participated in Positive Parenting training. Every training topic reminded me that my behaviour was the opposite of what I should have been doing. I made a decision to do things differently right after this training.
My wife and I put into action a shared way of parenting our children. Our relationships with them have improved and they have had a significant increase in their confidence. Now that I am back in my shop, I look forward to the end of my work days, when I can enjoy family time.”
COVID response strengthened through self-help group networks
Partnership for New Life (PNL) is determined to show God’s love through the prevention of coronavirus in the communities where they are working in Nepal. With the generosity of Tearfund’s supporters, PNL has organised the distribution of masks and hygiene items to self-help groups, children’s clubs and adolescent groups that they have been working with.
763 households have been provided with washable masks, nail cutters and soap. Significantly, women were provided with masks, helping to shift community attitudes that only men need to wear masks when out working, while women stay at home.
The development of habits in using these items has been encouraged within the self-help groups. PNL has focused throughout this season on mutual coordination and the maintenance of healthy relationships with the self-help groups, and other community members have continued to see the benefits of being a part of these groups.
Masks have also been distributed to PNL team members, to help prevent potential spread of the virus as they visit vulnerable communities.
Our partners have made significant adaptations to working in the COVID-19 context, and the courageous dedication to bringing tangible expressions of God’s love and kingdom has been unwavering. With COVID-19 creating a situation where the number of people facing extreme poverty will increase for the first time in decades, the work of our faithful partners – and our continued partnership with them – is more vital than ever.
Thank you for your continued partnership and prayers, as we journey the long road ahead.