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5 ways we have been responding to the Coronavirus pandemic

Our mission is to aid our communities. This is why when, eight weeks ago, the Coronavirus pandemic began to take hold around the world, we launched the #40Neighbours campaign.

Such are the horrific repercussions of the pandemic, the vulnerable have become even more desperate. They need our help. Through the #40Neighbours campaign, we are supporting our neighbours, many of whom have been greatly affected by the ever-spreading coronavirus. Across five continents we are buying groceries, distributing hygiene supplies and providing financial support.

Hussain and his family taught us that we should care for forty of our neighbours. Now, more than ever, in this time of great need, our global teams are spreading kindness, love and compassion in their communities

1. Essential groceries and food distribution

Even before the global pandemic, too many families struggled to make ends meet. Coronavirus has exacerbated these harsh realities. Low-income families, the homeless, orphans, those who already live in extreme poverty are suffering even more. Can you imagine the plight of a daily wage worker who has lost their job, and can’t feed their children? So our volunteers in Pakistan, Birmingham, Toronto, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Kinshasa, Bujumbura, and Mauritius are distributing grocery packs to thousands in their most-affected neighbourhoods.

2. Online support for mental wellbeing

Lockdown measures have largely halted our physical interactions, and as a result, more and more people are suffering from anxiety and mental health issues. They need our support. To combat this, our teams have taken their volunteerism online and opened up helplines to offer support. They’ve held virtual events to raise awareness on issues such as domestic violence that has, sadly, intensified during this time. Our teams have organised Coronavirus awareness campaigns too and Who is Hussain Sri Lanka are providing some much-needed hope by looking ahead to a post-pandemic time through live sessions on Facebook & Instagram.

3. Keeping local communities safe

In these times, we must prioritise and help to maintain high levels of health and safety across our communities where possible. The shortage of PPE for healthcare workers has galvanised many of our teams in Pakistan, Kinshasa, South Carolina, Orlando and Arusha to provide these essential supplies to hospitals, clinics, and care homes. In areas where free-flowing water is lacking, and soap is an expensive commodity our teams are distributing hygiene packs, hand sanitiser and setting up handwashing stations to ensure ALL communities are able to maintain good hygiene, and therefore good health. Whilst teams across Pakistan have been helping in efforts to sanitise streets, the team in Chicago has taken to the streets to distribute masks to the public, even being featured in local news.

4. Financial support for families

Financially, the pandemic has had disastrous effects. With jobs lost, small businesses shut down, and the loss of a steady income for many wage earners around the world, people are struggling. They can no longer support their families, pay rent, bring food to the table, or buy basic essentials. Our teams in Pakistan and Lebanon have been raising funds to provide for these families, so that they can at least feed their children every day.

5. Gratitude for healthcare heroes

Without a doubt, our healthcare and key workers have been the true heroes of this time. Every day they put their lives at risk for our wellbeing. There has never been a more appropriate time to show our appreciation. Whether through hot meals, nutritious snacks, gifts, and acts of kindness, volunteers in London, Birmingham, Texas, and Ottawa have supported hospitals, care homes, and clinics to say ‘thank you’ for their sacrifices. Check out this article on 4,000 meals distributed across London’s hospitals.

These are just some of the activities that we are doing in response to the pandemic. However, it just goes to show that if we all do our part, no matter how small, collectively we can achieve so much and hopefully bring some relief and ease to those suffering the most during these uncertain times.

We need your support, though. If you can, please volunteer your time – or lend us some spare change to make this work possible. To get involved, click here.

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