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

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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Dear supporters of our CIVID 19 response,

we want to continue to update you and thank you for your generosity, I hope this reaches also those who gave to the GlobalGiving general COVID response which we have benefitted greatly from thsi last week. Thank you GlobalGiving! 

We have also continued to submit proposals elsewhere and received funding from individuals of support in Sweden, Austria the UK as well as some larger donations from other donors. THANK YOU!

This is also why we have updated our budget today. beyond the income received directly here. 

The work continues to bless many people who are in extreme situations ongoingly - only to face even worse vulnerabilities through COVID 19 restrictions or illness. 

Some examples of what we have done and what we will do with the latest gift of GlobalGiving. 

In the refugee camps in Northern Iraq we have distributed hygiene and food packs to all participants in our Community based rehabilitation project, this helped to stay safe and feed in the crisis and lock down, but also provided an opportunity to check up on the children and their family and their physical therapy home work! The latest gift will go to these communities mainly and enable us to continue this follow up and support during a continued lock down in the camps. 

In Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, North Macedonia and Kirgizstan we have worked with the communities, local food banks and faith based organisations to distribute food to the most vulnerable in the community, give psycho social support as we chat with people over the threshold of their gates and doors and follow upon WhatsApp or the phone. 

In Jordan our regular refugee clinics are picking up their work again, after the lock down is lifted, also advising and providing special care in relation to COVID 19 fears and awareness.

In Afghanistan the situation continues to be extremely heavy, our booklets have been picked up by many and continue to educate people on the virus and how to stay safe. We are providing protection gears and masks to local clinics partnering with our "Birth life saving project (BLISS), hygiene packs to the communities of our Self-help groups, the WASH project and many others. Almost everyone in our office has lost a loved one in the last months in Afghanistan - tests are not available but it is suspected that many died of COVID 19. 

Thanks for standing with us as we shift gears towards that need for this project here and focus on Afghanistan in the next months ahead. If you want to give to one of the other countries simply leave us a note with your donation! 

 

Thanks for your partnership

Andrea Vogt 

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Organization Information

Operation Mercy

Location: Orebro - Sweden
Website:
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Project Leader:
Andrea Vogt
Orebro, Sweden
$4,101 raised of $20,000 goal
 
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