COVID 19 awareness, response and recovery

by Operation Mercy
COVID 19 awareness, response and recovery
COVID 19 awareness, response and recovery
COVID 19 awareness, response and recovery
COVID 19 awareness, response and recovery
COVID 19 awareness, response and recovery
COVID 19 awareness, response and recovery
local DPO supporting the community
local DPO supporting the community

Dear worldwide friends, 

maybe our day to day attention is shifting to new crisis such as the situation in Afghanistan or other world events but the COVID 19 Pandemic is still with us, and it's long term effects will be a big factor in all our projects in the future. 

So Operation Mercy is continuing to give direct aid on a smaller scale to those affected but more then that we are working towards a mainstreaming of the long term effects. 

In the future, we will merge this project with our general project to build "hope, capacity and community" because we believe that questions like: "How has the pandemic effected your life, your family, your community" will be part of any project plan and assessment in the years to come.

The effects might be medical with continued education on vaccinations, ongoing outbreaks or long COVID, that need to be addressed in our community health projects, or economic because of the loss of a breadwinner, or opportunities to go abroad for work as migrant worker, or psychological because of grief and anxiety after losing loved ones. 

Those of our staff who were hired or put aside their normal responsibilities to specifically gain expertise and work in these areas in the acute phase of the pandemic, will return to or be integrated into our ongoing community development work to make sure COVID 19 and its effects will not be neglected in the ongoing work. 

So - if you want to continue to support this project - please look our for the information that any donations will be transferred to our general project, and accept this change - which will help us enormously. 

But before we close this Project, even so we are not at all turning our back on the topic and need, I want to share some more stories of people who were helped with your support. 

Impact story from Tajikistan: 

Risolat is 59, lives with her family in the West of Tajikistan. Her family of 7 people received food and hygiene packages in the frame of COVID-19 project. Her husband was very sick and died from complications after COVID-19. She called to our office and said: „I called to say that your volunteer came to us and talked about prevention of COVID-19. Now our family members wash hands much more often than we used to do. Unfortunately, my husband died but his last will to call your organization and express his deep gratitude for helping our family with food. Because those days we did not expect that, though we were in great need. Two of my sons are in Russia but not easy now during pandemic to have a permanent job place. Currently, they are in the process of renewing their documents which requires time and a lot of money because of new regulations toward labor migrants in Russia. They haven’t sent any money home since April this year and they were sick with COVID as well in Russia. So those days, that help was the only and came just on time. We had some food to feed our children and grandchildren. Thank you.”

Impact story Sudan: You treat people equal

One old woman beamed when she received a food package from us. “For the next five days I don’t have to worry about food. That is a great relief. You help us more than the government.” Another community expressed her shame: “You help everybody, not looking at their religion or tribe. 

Here an example of what the future will look like - as we go beyond the immediate need: 

Impact story Kazakhstan: Permission to Dream

Along with the food distribution, one of our partners asked many families in her community what their dreams were. She discovered that the greatest felt need by the overwhelming number of the community was the need for a house and a business so that they could provide for their families.

As we were debriefing with her afterwards, she realized that she had never been able to express her own dreams. She saw the greatest need in her community was for strong families.

We did a community development activity with her about her community, the problem-solution tree and we found many of the underlying issue was weak families and stronger families were important to many people. “So, my dream is important!” she said. She cried as she realized that even her dreams for stronger families could be accomplished.

 

Thank you for partnering with us through the pandemic and into the future! 

 

Your Andrea Vogt 

international Director Operation Mercy. 

supporting clinics in North Africa
supporting clinics in North Africa
Education about COVID 19
Education about COVID 19

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Dear friends 

did you think that you would still be getting mail from me today July 2021, on the topic of COVID 19 relief when you first engaged with us on this topic? 

Often relief situations track on, we know this from wars, but the pandemic is been a special challenge. 

The waves we all experience, that move from one location to the next, it is tiering and wears out. 

In many places we thought we re-started our development work, and then had to slow down again. Move staff once more into a relief project, providing basic needs, as families move deeper and deeper into crisis as labour migration and remittance, are long term out of reach, local business struggle and again and again - they suddenly fear not only for their livelihood but their health, as the virus once more comes back with new infections. 

It is with your help that we can continue to help and hear stories like this one: 

"During our second COVID19 relief food and hygiene distribution in Kazakhstan, the father of one of the little girls we have been helping in our Community Based Rehabilitation project offered to come with us to deliver food to the other families in our project. The bags were very heavy, and we needed help to transport them and then carry them (often up many flights of stairs) to the apartments.

More than just a way of thanking us for our help for his family, this dad helped us do something that we could not do alone. The mutual support benefitted a much broader community!" 

In our annual report 2020, you can read more about all the work done last year, which continues on in 2021. 

On our webpage you also find a study we took part in, on our own crisis management in the crisis. How did we care for our staff and our project partcipants? https://mercy.se/stories/effectiveness-of-covid-19-response/  

Thanks for your continued and ongoing partnership, only with your help can we have the long breath needed. 

Blessings Andrea Vogt

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Dear Friends of Operaion Mercy,

These last few days many things had their first anniversary of the COVID time, we would have never through that we need such a long breath and perseverance to get through this and maintain the work and hope we are all about.

 But with your help we have done so! This week I am also receiving the annual reports from all our countries so here are three examples of how your help has been put into practice through our

teams.

 

Winning in the 2nd Half: North Macedonia

COVID-19 has ravaged North Macedonia in many ways during 2020. They say that Macedonia always loses in the second half. Certainly, in the first months (March, April and most of May), it seemed that the pandemic was being well-managed and under-control. Curfews were observed and case numbers were down. But the summer deteriorated and by mid-autumn, the country and its medical system would be fully overrun. Numbers spiked. People with disease were not being treated, while horror rumors were circulating about healthy people going into hospitals and not coming out alive. North Macedonia emerged as one of the top ten nations in the world in terms of death rate per million inhabitants.

Yet even in this “second half”, there was still a chance to make a difference and step towards the uncertainty, chaos and brokenness. OPM were making food and hygiene distributions through our community and project networks. We partnered with North Macedonia FoodBank and the local municipality to extend our resources and reach into the north of the city. This meant we were getting to more people who were truly in need and sometimes isolated. A single woman was in tears, as we stayed with her for a meal – just for being remembered by somebody in the crisis. We were able to deliver to a senior lady who had poor road access to the city. Others we located were alone with no diaspora support. Another wife´s husband was trapped unable to earn or return from the diaspora, because of Covid-19. The outreach also meant locating households in the poorest part of town, where socially isolated women could hear about joining the skills and vocational learning community another project through which we restore hope, grow capacity and promote community.

 

Kazakhstan:

Operation Mercy was able to provide food relief which was desperately needed due to COVID19 and quarantine which resulted in loss of income and higher food prices.As a sparking freedom team, we were able to give out 43 food parcels to women under sexual exploitation in one week! This is the by far that most women that we have ever seen in one week. We were amazed that the ladies were even prepared to give us their (real) addresses and telephone numbers so that we can follow up with them and continue to build relationships.

 

Tajikistan:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we decided to prioritize doing lessons about how to prevent COVID-19 and what to do if anyone in the family became sick. One of the participants reported, “I wash my hands more than before and encourage my family members to do so. I asked my children not to touch everything outside and use hand sanitizers when they couldn’t avoid touching things. We are all wearing masks, disinfecting our household using bleach and keeping social distance outside”.

The participants had been encouraged to share their answers with others and 42 people shared with about 580 people. Two participants shared what they had learned about COVID to a wider audience on the radio. One of them reported, “I used this knowledge when giving a speech on the radio for people with disabilities – especially people with visual impairments. I know that this radio Program has an audience of at least 3000 people.” One of the participants later said, “You were the first people who taught us about COVID. We already understood from your lessons about the importance of clean hands – washing hands and antiseptic and masks. We are grateful that you came and taught us early on!” Our lessons grew the capacity of participants and enabled them to tell others and equip them to stay safe.

AS I write this the situation in our project countries differs greatly – some places are back to almost normal life, due to not having the resources to survive another lock down or because the situation is really better, hard to say. Others are back in lock down, some are starting with vaccinations but for most the road to that is still long.

 

Awareness raising and advocacy for the vaccination is going to be the focus of our COVID 19 work imbedded into our health, empowerment and WASH projects – or standing alone in the next months. Thanks for continuing to partner with us.

 

Together we restore Hope, grow capacity and promote community – even in COVID 19 days.

 

Yours Andrea Vogt

 International Director

Operation Mercy

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Dear Friends of Operation Mercy,

COVID 19 continues to rage around the world, just a few moments ago i read that every 17 sec a person is dying in Europe related to COVID 19! 

The numbers and statistics from our countries are much more unclear, the unknown figures high, so we continue to provide aid but also increasingly as we restart our ongoing community health projects include COVID 19 awareness raising and education in our daily work. 

Today I have a story from Jordan for you, another team that benefited of the generous gift we received from GlobalGiving a few months ago. Here is what our Country Director from Jordan writes: 

"Before the Community Health Team went to the house for a follow-up visit, the family was told that we will all be wearing masks because of the COVID situation in Jordan.  After entering the home, the father said, “I think this is all political. I listen to professors online, who explain about the conspiracy theories. You should watch these videos too. COVID is not true. The government says there are large numbers, but we don’t get to see it or people with COVID. They are just trying to control us.”   Our team member replied, “It is real, and we know of people who have had it. You need to be careful, especially because you are older.” The whole family, including the adult children, believe COVID is a lie. We asked the 29 year old daughter, “When you go to places, do you wear masks?” She replied “Yes.” We asked, “Why do you wear masks if you think that COVID is not real?”. She said, “Because if it is true, then my parents will be safe.” We explained again that it is true, and cautioned them, “Your family needs to be careful to not give it to each other in the family.” This went back and for some time. Then dad tried to show us videos explaining his point. Since we had said all we could say, we moved on with our medical assessment/follow-up of family members, which was the other reason for our visit. 

In the past few weeks, with more people knowing someone who has Corona, we are dealing with other conspiracies. For example; this rumour:  "People, who are COVID positive and hospitalized, are being given medical treatment trials, which causes them to die. "

Another one is: "Patients, who are being hospitalized and don't have COVID, are being injected with a bad vaccine trials and dying."

All of this is encouraging people to not get tested, nor to seek medical help when needed." 

 

Thanks for continuing to stand with us and support this important project that brings correct infomration as well as phyiscal aid and relief to people in the midst of the pandemic.

 

Yours Andrea Vogt 

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Dear friends

 

a few weeks ago GlobalGiving gave us an extra gift for this project to support our work in the refugee camps in Northern Iraq.

 

Today I received back the first report from our team there, the first group we were able to support with specific items needed during the COVID 19 crisis were the participants of our Disability programme.

"The first thing we did was providing the families we serve a food and hygiene kit as a Covid-19 response. We were able to provide kits for 65 families spread over 7 camps. The packages differed in size tailored to the number of family members and based on the family's income. We asked how each client has been doing and we were able to hear their stories and encourage them.

For many this season has been difficult as their income has decreased. Some families work in the fields and because of lockdowns were not able to sell their crop for a good price. Others could not work at all during lockdowns or lost their jobs. One family had hardly any food left and finished their last rice a few days before we came. Imagine the joy of this family when they received 20 kilos of rice plus other food items.

Now it's time to continue our physical therapy program. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 we cannot start our peer groups bringing different clients and their families together. However, we can visit them apart from each other in their homes and work on their physical improvement and bring encouragement. It has been encouraging to see that some clients have improved quite a bit physically since the last time we met. We'll continue to come along side working for better integration into their community."

 

Other parts of the GlobalGiving funds went to Kazakhstan and Afghanistan - watch this space for more updates soon.

 

Thanks for being a hope giver with Operation Mercy

Yours Andrea Vogt

International Director.

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Organization Information

Operation Mercy

Location: Orebro - Sweden
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Project Leader:
Andrea Vogt
Orebro, Sweden

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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