For many people around the world, cold weather isn’t just inconvenient – it can be deadly. As we move closer to winter, Tearfund and our local partners have been reaching out to people who fear the months ahead.
Depending on where in the world we are, this work can look a little different, but its aims are the same: to help people in poverty survive the cold weather.
Halima* and her family fled the Syrian conflict with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They now live in a tent in a camp in Lebanon. There are seven of them in one room. Life is hard, but in winter it’s even tougher.
‘In winter, water infiltrates the tent from the door and from the roof,’ shares Halima. ‘We do what we can... but water still comes in. This very morning we could not turn on our stove for hours, because water had leaked in it from the roof.’
Hazeem* works for Tearfund’s local church partner. He’s been helping Halima – and families like hers – prepare for winter.
‘Since [Hazeem] heard my story, he has been helping me with everything he can. He calls to check on us and inquire about our needs. I thank God for him!’ says Halima. ‘He helps us with food boxes every month and fuel vouchers in the winter. With it, I get fuel for heating every day at the gas station. He also gave us blankets and mattresses.’
Tearfund has also funded the distribution of hygiene kits in Halima’s camp in response to coronavirus.
In Padumpur, a remote town in Bangladesh, Tearfund’s local partner, LAMB, carried out a blanket distribution ahead of the cold winter. They distributed more than 500 blankets to vulnerable people in the community.
Sumi* was one the recipients. She is a 70-year-old widow who lives at her daughter’s house. She sleeps outside on the balcony.
‘I don’t have the money to purchase blankets so this is how I spend every night during winter season,’ says Sumi. When our partners delivered the blanket to her, Sumi wept. ‘I am very glad to get this and I hope this helps me lots.’
As we notice the temperature drop here in the UK, let us remember those for whom winter will be difficult.
We cry out on behalf of everyone living in fear of the upcoming winter. Please put your arms around them so they feel your comfort, warmth and hope.
We praise you for the organisations that are helping people in poverty to survive the winter. Give them wisdom and grant them the resources to reach even more people in need.
We ask you how we can be your hands and feet this season. Guide us through prayer and action where we can share your love with others.
*Names changed to protect identities.