As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, the poor and marginalised, the sick, the elderly and the disabled are particularly vulnerable at this time.
Caritas believes that no one should be left behind and our national organisations in affected countries are ramping up efforts to raise awareness, prevent and provide assistance to those who find themselves dealing with the coronavirus.
Here is just a fraction of what Caritas organisations doing support communities as they face the COVID-19 crisis across the globe.
We are preventing the spread of the pandemic
New Zealand has been a shining example to many countries regarding how to halt the spread of COVID-19. Now, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is focusing its efforts to prevent COVID-19 in many places across the vast area of the Pacific. Check out their work here .
Caritas Ukraine has been sewing masks and suits as in many countries Personal Protective Equipment is hard to come by due to the high demand.
We care for the most vulnerable
When the whole country came to a standstill and even Caritas workers had to stay home, NASSA/Caritas Philippines promoted “ Kindness Stations ” to create “ripples of hope” in communities where people could donate items and those in need could come and take what was necessary.
Caritas Armenia has been supporting the elderly and people with disabilities with home visits when necessary and daily phone calls to keep their spirits up, as well as supporting families with food and heaters.
“ Time to Care ” is a solidarity campaign launched by Caritas Brazil and the Brazilian Bishops Conference to provide food and hygiene items to vulnerable people affected by COVID-19. Let us be One is a campaign where Caritas Argentina and other organisations will give food an hygiene products to four million people affected by the current crisis.
The USA has been one of the hardest hit countries and Catholic Charities, a US member of the Caritas confederation, has been increasing efforts to help the poorest communities in all states. This video gives some idea of how many people seek help from Caritas in just one part of New York.
Caritas Hong Kong was one of the first Caritas organisations to have to face the epidemic and lockdown. It adapted swiftly by giving virtual support, helping students home school, providing hygiene products and continuing residential and psychological support. Read more .
We are listening and giving guidance
Caritas Lebanon’s counselling service has many years’ experience dealing with people traumatised by war. Now they are using their expertise to help those facing mental suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tweet .
Caritas Hellas offers migrants in Greece helpful and easy to understand advice about their rights at this time. Read more
Caritas India offers a helpline to help people stay aware and positive in the face of COVID-19. Tweet
We are advocating for the rights of the vulnerable
Migrant workers are key to keeping up the food supply in many countries. Caritas Europa has called on the EU to protect migrant workers as COVID-19 has severely restricted their ability to work. Read more.
Catholic Relief Services , a US member of the Caritas confederation, has signed a statement calling for the homeless and migrants on the margins of society to be protected from the consequences of isolation policies and call for adequate housing, food, access to basic hygiene and sanitation. Read more.
We are helping children continue their education
Up to 1.5 billion children are out of school at the moment to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Caritas Bouar, Central African Republic, has organised radio lessons for school children four times a week.
#CaritasOnCovid19 #StopCoronavirusInCAR #Centrafrique À Bozoum #Caritas Bouar avec l’inspection organise l’école par la Radio “la voix de Koyale” :4 jours x semaine, 6 leçons de 30 mn pour les élèves du Fondamental1 pic.twitter.com/kmaCYgO5Fd
— Aurelio Gazzera (@pAurelio1) April 15, 2020
We are praying
CAFOD, a UK member of the Caritas confederation, offers weekly prayer updates and liturgy resources as well as on online Mass from London every week. Read more.
We are being creative
As Caritas volunteers and staff we put our hearts and souls into making a connection and bringing hope and a smile to people’s face. Listen to “We will Overcome” by Caritas Europa colleagues or watch a fun video by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand to encourage handwashing.
— Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand (@CaritasNZ) April 8, 2020
…and we are preventing the pandemic by encouraging people to wash their hands, wear masks socially distance…all over the world.