The world is reeling. As a global community, we’re seeing an incredible impact from the COVID-19 virus on our healthcare systems, economy and certainly on our daily lives. The devastation that is being seen in Australia is heartbreaking and we are grateful for the work the Australian and state governments are doing each day to lessen the blow. But we must not forget that in countries like India, Indonesia and Bangladesh where Opportunity works, there are no such safety nets.
The ability for families in poverty to access decent health services is challenging even in healthy times. Many are living out this pandemic in crowded, unsanitary slums where water is hard to come by and household items like soap are considered luxury items. Without savings that allow them to prepare for lockdowns by buying extra food or supplies, hunger is a very real threat. In these slums, social distancing is almost impossible.
AT OPPORTUNITY, WE ARE ENSURING THAT WE ACT FAST BUT WISELY, IN ORDER TO PROTECT FAMILIES THAT HAVE VERY FEW OTHER SAFETY NETS.
Our mandate is to work with our program partners to build resilience in communities and prepare and support families in poverty throughout this challenging time by focusing on immediate and long-term solutions:
1. We are focusing our community health leader training on COVID-19 prevention. Each health leader can train at least 150 families in a community on adequate hand washing techniques, personal hygiene, proper nutrition and other effective measures.
2. Our partners are doing everything they can to help the families we serve survive the crisis. Some are even providing essential items like food, soap and other sanitary products. Because we are already working with these families through microfinance, we are well placed to reach people and meet their needs quickly.
3. We know that small loans are crucial for families in order for them to rebuild their lives following a crisis like this. These families will do what they can to survive and are able to reignite and start new businesses with speed, as long as they have the finance. Our funding will be more crucial than ever for families to earn incomes to provide for themselves and their children.
WE CANNOT ABANDON THESE FAMILIES WHEN THEY NEED US MOST.
Families like Oktavin's - whose grilled fish stall allowed her children to go to school - are likely to have no income and nowhere to turn.
PLEASE, CAN YOU HELP US CONTINUE TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE LIKE THIS? IF YOU ARE ABLE TO SPARE SOMETHING FOR THOSE IN DESPERATE NEED, PLEASE DONATE TODAY. THE VERY SURVIVAL OF THESE FAMILIES COULD DEPEND ON IT.
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