It’s been well over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the whole world to a pause. But some communities already faced disadvantages before the pandemic, and have been hit harder by it.
The Presentation Sisters work with the Badjao community, whose story we first shared last Christmas. They have sent us this update of the challenges the community is facing, and how, with help from Missio, they are continuing to bring hope and help.
During the height of the pandemic, there is very little we can do, except giving food packs to assist families and communities who are badly affected by COVID-19. This is because of the many travel restrictions imposed by the government to lessen the spread of the virus.
In the later part of the year 2020, some borders were re-opened to the public, to allow people to go out and start rebuilding the economy. But for the Badjao people, rebuilding is a very slow process, because their means of livelihood are very much affected.
Badjao people have lost their income…twice over
The Badjao are traditionally fisherfolk. But because their access to fishing grounds has been limited, many Badjao had to shift to vending pearls – in different resorts and in different places. The problem is that resorts have re-opened but vendors are not yet allowed to go in. So the families who relied mostly on vending pearls cannot earn enough to feed their families.
To try and help them through the crisis, we distributed 180 packs of rice, coffee, powdered milk, and instant noodles back in October. Grants from Missio have helped us with this distribution.
Please help us continue to support and encourage people who have lost so much during the pandemic. Donate here>>
COVID-19 is spreading fear
Another effect of COVID-19 in the community is fear: Fear of being infected and fear of dying. The fear itself has resulted in deaths because people are afraid to bring sick people to the hospitals. They are afraid that if they go in, they’ll get infected there.
There’s also a lot of fear around getting the vaccine because might cause death to the community.
And the fear spreads quickly here because people don’t have the right information about the COVID-19 pandemic, its effect, how to prevent it, and how to manage it when infected.
Missio is bringing hope where there is despair
With help from grants from Missio, the Nano Nagle Child Care and Learning Centre Team are working to halt the spread of fear. The centre is holding health training sessions on COVID-19 awareness, prevention and referrals.
Community leaders, both youth and adults can join, and in turn they then pass the information on to the families and wider community. Education on the COVID-19 vaccination programme is also included.
The pandemic will not stop us
In the meantime, alongside these new programmes, our education programme continues. With help from Missio, we are still providing education to the Badjao children from preschool onwards. We’re providing stability throughout the crisis, and continuing to strengthen those vital messages to the children that they are loved and cherished by us and by God.
Our next step is to bring back the feeding programme. This pandemic is not stopping us from doing good, especially for the children. With faith in our hearts, we keep on moving forward. Thank you for continuing to walk with us in our journey.
Walk with us
We first shared the story of the Badjao people over the Christmas period. You can read more about the amazing work the community is doing, with help from Sr Victoria and the Presentation Sisters, here>>
Please join us to pray for our Badjao sisters and brothers – and all those in need of the compassion and hope of Christ around the world. Find all the ways to pray with Missio here>>
With faith and love we can meet the needs of our sisters and brothers around the world – throughout the pandemic and beyond. Will you help us with a donation to Missio today? Click here>>