So much of our own lives have been shifted since the pandemic. From social distancing measures, to the closing of church doors and businesses, many of you have asked how this has impacted Tearfund and how we serve the world’s most vulnerable.
There are two answers to this question: how COVID-19 has affected our work in Canada, and how it has affected it globally.
1. In Canada
COVID-19 dramatically changed the way we work in Canada. All our staff have migrated to working remotely from home, and many of our plans for the next few months have had to be adjusted.
One of the biggest ways we had to change was how we engage with Canadian churches. Many events and speaking engagements in Spring were immediately cancelled, with a few being migrated online. Moreover, we produced a number of resources to help churches during this difficult time: https://tearfund.ca/covid19-church/
As time progresses, we will continue to determine how we can best engage and partner with churches in Canada, as well as individuals such as yourself. Since COVID-19, our fundraising efforts have also changed to not only include funding agricultural training and savings groups, but also projects aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the areas we work in.
One critical aspect that seperates Tearfund from other organizations is our intentional focus on empowering local leadership to help people realize their God-given potential so that they can lift themselves out of poverty using their own abilities and resources. Because of this focus on local empowerment, we are able to continue working even in the midst of a global pandemic. In fact, we have been more active now than ever before.
Since the pandemic, we continue to operate our regular programs with some adjustments, such as conducting sessions in smaller groups and creating new programs to address urgent needs globally. Here’s what our response looks like:
- Providing our Partners with personal protective equipment, washing stations (soap and clean water) and COVID-19 educational materials.
- Training churches and families about proper hygiene practices
- Equipping churches and families to be lights in their communities
We have been working relentlessly with our global church partners to alleviate the challenges of the pandemic and create safer and healthier communities. Through Tearfund, you are empowering over 800 national partner staff and thousands of churches across multiple countries to help some of the most vulnerable communities.
But there is still a lot to be done.
According to the World Food Programme, 135 people were living with “acute hunger” at the end of 2019. But now, this number is likely to almost double to 265 million within a year. The need for action and support has never been greater and our Conservation Agriculture programs are continuing to teach farmers to grow 3-4x more crops to feed their families. Whether there is a global pandemic or not, people still need to eat.
We thank you for your prayers, support, and donations during one of the most difficult challenges of our time. Together, we will continue to build healthier futures for our communities.