Open arms to the needy
Responses towards the global catastrophe – COVID 19 by Good Shepherd Sri Lanka
The present global reality brings us to a very different experience in comparison to other disasters that we have faced in our life time. It is the worst ever crisis to strike the entire world. The Tsunami, flood situations, landslides, and the war are some of the devastating situations that affected our people. In such situations it was possible to support each other and we were able to reach out to the needy. But the reality of today calls us to go beyond our creativity to help those affected in different ways by COVID-19.
Good Shepherd Sri Lanka (GSSL) was able to identify some of the concerns and have responded according to the situation.
With an openness to the ground realities, the PLT have circulated a letter within the province, inviting the sisters and the mission partners to open their arms to the needy in a creative way. Sisters and mission partners have taken many different steps to reach out to the needy especially those who are unable to earn their daily living due to the lockdown which has been continuing for a long period of time. Please see Appendix 1 for Open Arms to the Needy.
People are being educated through the media with regard to the precautions that can be adopted to prevent contracting the virus. Using a mask is one of the best means of prevention. With a high demand for masks, there is a scarcity of masks in the country. With the intention of responding to this need, the young and old came together in producing masks. The distribution took place on the road side and in the locality where we work. This also was an opportunity to introduce preventive measures to the people who are not taking this issue seriously.
Curfew has been imposed. “Time has been given to people to stay at home”. Where families have limited housing facilities overcrowding is a problem, and children of those families are the worst affected. They have no options to spend their time profitably and tend to spend time together with friends. Community based child protection (CBCP) programmes have introduced attractive study materials which are currently used as learning resources to help the children to continue their studies at home, thus preventing them from losing their interest in studies and also preventing them from going out.
A leaflet has been prepared to raise awareness on COVID-19. It contains information about the preventive measures as well as some contemporary thoughts and some values that speak out about the existing situation.