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Coronavirus appeal: how the church rose to the challenge

In April 2020, Tearfund launched its coronavirus appeal. The response from supporters was extraordinary.

15 Jun 2021

Image credit: Tearfund partner copyright

Last year, as coronavirus spread rapidly around the world, an alarming question arose: how would vulnerable communities cope?

Nations with vast resources struggled to contain the virus. So what about refugee camps, where social distancing isn't possible? Or in places where there is limited access to safe water for handwashing?

As soon as the potential scale of the problem became apparent, Tearfund's global network of local Christian organisations swung into action. Hygiene kits were assembled and distributed. Safety messaging was delivered from pulpits, printed on leaflets and broadcast on the airwaves. Food parcels and cash vouchers were given out to people who had lost their income because of lockdowns.

Delivery of food packages to 500 vulnerable families as part of Tearfund's response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Image credit: Edrei Cueto/Tearfund

And today, more than 12 months on, the work continues – and now includes working alongside community leaders to ensure accurate information about vaccines is shared. This work remains as vital as ever, as we have seen with the current tragic situation in India.

But it is work that has only been possible thanks to the generosity of Tearfund's supporters. An emergency appeal was launched in April 2020 to fund our response in places as far apart and diverse as Brazil and Bangladesh. To date, this has allowed:

  • More than 12,000 food parcels distributed
  • Over 3,000 safe water stations installed
  • Nearly 100,000 hygiene kits given out
  • More than £800,000 of cash vouchers distributed
  • Nearly 2 million vulnerable people reached by the response

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A Tearfund partner explaining precautionary measures to help avoid the spread of Covid-19. Image credit: Tearfund partner copyright

Vital work

In countries like Yemen, which has been devastated by conflict, information about coronavirus was hard to come by for ordinary people.

Mariam lives in a house without a toilet, and has to travel for an hour each day just to collect water. Her family all came down with symptoms of fever and coughing, but at the time she had no knowledge of coronavirus.

But Tearfund's local partner ran awareness training in the village, ensuring everyone knew about the disease and how to prevent its spread. Hygiene kits – including water purifiers and hand sanitiser – were given to families.

‘Now we understand the importance of social distancing and drinking clean water,’ Mariam tells us. ‘Everyone in my family and my village were happy when they received hygiene kits and water filters. It was a great assistance that helped me and my family to be safe.’

Mariam is setting up a mothers’ group to continue to build awareness in her community.

This is one example of thousands from around the world. And it’s only possible thanks to the ongoing generosity and faithfulness of Tearfund’s supporters.

Please continue to join us in prayer for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pray with us

    • Pray for countries like India and Brazil where coronavirus continues to have a devastating effect. Pray for healing for those who are ill; comfort for those who are grieving; and strength for those who are responding.
    • Pray for people who are being pushed back into poverty because lockdowns have deprived them of income. And pray for God's blessing on our work to support them.
    • Lift up our local partners who are working around the clock to help stop the spread of the disease in vulnerable communities. Pray for provision and wisdom.

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