It’s 5am. Doors are being knocked on in Barranquilla, Colombia. People answer, still fuzzy with sleep. There are police outside. But something else too... Some wonder if they’re still dreaming as they find bags of food being delivered to them. Packages of hope amidst all the coronavirus fear.
Far from a world of stockpiling freezer food, for many people in Barranquilla existence is a day-to-day struggle. Many vulnerable Colombian families and Venezuelan refugees – who have sought shelter here from the political and economic crisis across the border – rely on being out and about to earn enough money to buy food. ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ is a prayer with a real sense of urgency.
People living here do jobs like selling sweets on the street, or driving taxis or delivery motorcycles. None of this is possible right now. Although quarantine helps keep people safe from a virus, for many here it means an even more insecure future. ‘What will we eat?’ they worry. ‘How will we take care of our children, our old people…?’
With no way to get money for food, to pay rent or to disinfect their homes, this adds to the stress and uncertainty being felt across the country – and around the world – about the virus. Anxiety and despair grow as people in Barranquilla face the real fear of overwhelming hunger.
Through our partner Crecer con Amor (which translates to ‘Grow with Love’), Tearfund is bringing hope to these families by delivering food to their homes. By the time the parcels reach the families at 5am, our partner staff have been at work for many hours.