COVID-19 Community Response | April Update
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to continue offering life-saving support to Myanmar’s most at-risk people. This is possible due to recent prayers and donations. We have currently raised $44,576 of our $100,000 goal. We continue to need your ongoing support and generosity, as there is much to do.
Instead of celebrating the water festival, Myanmar’s largest celebration, the country is currently under a ten-day lockdown. For households in slum areas, this means no work. Usually, these families rely on daily wages to cover their needs. However, without any savings, they were unable to stockpile necessities at home to prepare for the lockdown.
In times of crisis, poor families are forced to borrow from loan sharks to meet their daily needs. It is common for households to use half of their salaries to repay debts, trapping them in a cycle of debt bondage. Human trafficking also increases in times of crisis, as families are desperate for income and willing to believe the promise of false jobs. To add to these challenges, there is no possibility of social distancing in the slums with houses close together and large families in each house. For all these reasons, now more than ever, vulnerable communities have an increased threat of further exploitation and illness.
Human trafficking increases in times of crisis as families are desperate for income and willing to believe the promise of false jobs.
At Eden, the safety of the people we serve is our top priority; so temporarily, the Eden women are making soap and masks from the safety of the Eden Shelters. We have partnered with New Hope Local Myanmar NGO and LIFT Myanmar. Together our goal is to produce 16,000L of multi-purpose soap and 36,000 reusable protective masks to distribute to those living in the most vulnerable areas.
We have received unprecedented permission from the Myanmar Government to continue serving in the slums during the shutdown, and government senior health advisers in Myanmar have expressed great interest in our masks. Together, we’ve discussed the most effective methods for maximizing our mask production to help as many people as possible.
Traveling throughout the poorest slums, our partners are providing medical advice and prevention education, including how to observe social distancing between families and hand hygiene. We are also using our mobile clinic vans to safely deliver nutritious foods and vital supplies to more than 40,000 people. It is moving to see how people have been greatly touched by these gifts! This crisis has become an opportunity to build closer relationships with people in need in our own neighborhood and as we support the poor, we gain the trust of the community leaders in the slums. This allows us entrance into more areas and the ability to support as many people as possible.
In one area, we were told that masks and soap are nearly impossible to buy. They were grateful to be given these items. Another family spoke a blessing and a thank you through tears to our distribution team as they handed out essential items.
In one area, we were told that masks and soap are nearly impossible to buy. They were grateful to be given these items.
Please pray for the Eden women that are currently under lockdown! We also need your help to continue distributing supplies necessary for the survival of Myanmar’s most vulnerable people. Provide life-saving assistance by donating today at thisiseden.org/donate.