23 June 2020

World Mission Fund Grants for Coronavirus assistance from May 20th to June 23rd 2020

The largest numbers of Coronavirus cases is now in the America’s, however numbers are still rising elsewhere and the effects of lock down are still being felt worldwide especially by families living on a day to day income. The Methodist Church in Britain continues to support its partners in this time of epidemic, in solidarity, prayer and financial support for their work.

To date since the beginning of a global lockdown in March, the World Mission Fund has dispersed over £445,000 in support for the work of our global partners.  Read reports on how World Mission Fund grants made in April for COVID-19 work, have been used in South India and Ecuador.

The following grants (Total - £123,479) were sent from the World Mission Fund between May 20 to June 23rd, in conjunction with the Emergency Appeal raised by All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain, in the coordinated response to this global pandemic.

To give to the Emergency Coronavirus Appeal go to: www.allwecan.org.uk/globalresponse  

Church of Pakistan, Multan Diocese, (£12,575): The COVID-19 Pandemic in Pakistan has so far resulted in 180,000 confirmed cases, rising by about 2,000 each day, and 3,590 deaths, rising each day. Multan Diocese, will provide financial assistance and relief package to pastors, office staff, school staff and relief food packages to the most needy parish families affected by the disease, the lockdown and the unemployment.

  • 50 vulnerable families will receive food packages of flour, oil, rice, sugar and Daal Chana.
  • 143 Diocesan workers will get financial assistance.

Iglesia Evangelica Metodista de El Salvador (£10,130): El Salvador has been under strict lockdown since 11 March, this has helped stop a steep increase in the number of COVID19 deaths and infected people but the economic effect on the nation has been devastating. 

The church will support 400 families with food rations that cost approximately £10 per package and contain beans, rice, sugar, salt, tinned sardines, instant soups, spaghetti, oil, milk, maize four, flour and biscuits for children. They will also use the funding to buy medicine that will benefit up to 2,500 patients through their clinic. These patients have ailments that require medication that is not being provided by the state, who is focusing its energies on preventing COVID 19. Some PPE equipment for the community will also be purchased.

The Evangelical Methodist Church in Chile (£12,305): Santiago, the Chilean capital, is in lockdown and this has resulted in increased economic pressure around the country, with many millions of people finding themselves in a very challenging economic situation. The overall income of the church has also decreased substantially, which means that there is significantly less funding available for its various social action work around the country. The church has therefore requested support for the following:

  1. To purchase food relief packages that will support 170 families with rice, oil, salt, flour, non-perishable food, toilet paper etc. This food package will last approximately 15 days.
  2. To support three feeding programmes to benefit those who have been made vulnerable by the current lock down in the capital.
  3. To support for its Methodist family medical clinic in Temuco, Santiago to purchase PPE which they can use for two months.

The National Evangelical Methodist Primitive Church in Guatemala (£9,900): Guatemala continues to be in lockdown because of COVID 19, while these measures are very important, they have caused serious economic consequences. Guatemalan families have been left without any form of income and run the risk of being penalised for any attempt to provide for their families. A vast majority of families in the country live off daily wages or income, and do not have savings.

With the support of donor partners in the US, the church has been able to support 212 families in their wider communities who are living in extreme vulnerability and poverty, compounded by COVID 19.  The church is also keen to offer some financial support to its leaders as well as the Methodist orphanage in Chichicastenango. Its lay leaders are suffering alongside the communities they so sacrificially and lovingly serve. These funds will enable 308 lay leaders and the orphanage to buy food supplies to help them survive the current lockdown situation.

Church of South India (£15,000): When the lockdown was announced, just hours before it was implemented and enforced, these labourers were caught in their workplaces, usually towns and cities, far away from home. With no work and no pay to send home or to support themselves, they and their families at home were left to starvation and only a few found any place to turn for help. As millions of migrants tried to return home, frightened due to the news of life-threatening pandemic, the state machinery treated them like criminals and often did not allow them to return home using the highways. When they finally arrived home, tired, despairing and famished, what they found was often serious and abject poverty.

Those who have not returned to their villages are facing hunger and homelessness. The migrant families who have stayed where they hope work will restart are not registered on the Public Distribution System through which the Government gives some free rations. They therefore do not benefit from those schemes, especially during this critical situation. As they continue to face starvation, many are looking to the church in the locality for help. The Dioceses will identify the migrants living within their jurisdiction. Dry Rations and Groceries will then be procured and distributed to the migrant families through the local Parishes. The Intended outcome is to sustain the families until the employment resumes or return home is facilitated.  Read and watch how the Church of South India is responding here.

 Eglise Protestante Méthodiste du Bénin (EPMB) Protestant Methodist Church of Benin (£10,289): On 17 March 2020, the government initiated social distancing measures plus several other measures, including closure of churches and mosques between 29 March and 2 June 2020. This has caused several problems, including financial difficulties at the Head office and local churches.

The church is equipping the vulnerable local churches with masks and hand washing. A supply of reusable masks and liquid soaps with water buckets are being given to churches in rural and semi-urban areas in general and in particular those who are unable to bear the cost of implementing social distancing measures. Some support is being given to ministers and their families with priority to the ministers based in rural and semi-urban areas.

Methodist Church Sierra Leone (£8,365): Sierra Leone recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 31st March 2020. Since then the number of confirmed cases has increased to more than 1,000. Despite initiatives by the government in a bid to prevent and control the disease, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected all segments of the population and this is particularly detrimental to members of those social groups in the most vulnerable situations. Majority of our church communities including the Ministers and their family members are also being seriously affected by the economic impact of the disease.

The church is procuring food packages and distributing hygiene kits including buckets, bowls, face masks and soap to more than 160 Methodist family heads including Church Ministers across the Connexion. This will help support those unable to provide for themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and alleviate hunger and hardship. 

Methodist Church Sri Lanka (MCSL) (£25,000): The Methodist Church commenced its immediate response some months ago by providing dry rations packs to the most vulnerable Church Members in all circuits for families who could not afford sufficient food due to the loss of their livelihoods. This response supported 5393 families from 44 circuits, with special focus on persons with disabilities and women headed households.

Now the long-term restrictions are presenting new challenges for Church members. In the light of this, the following actions have been identified by the Superintendent Ministers of the Churches in consultation with the Government and non-Government authorities.

  • Provide hygiene and cleaning kits for institutions such as pre schools, orphanages and care homes, identified by the Church Ministers.
  • Provide hand washing stations in Churches to prevent the spread of Covid-19,
  • Provide infrared thermometers to Churches.
  • Awareness on prevention on Covid-19 through distance meeting for Church members which will be done by government health authorities. 

The MCSL has acted to provide food for its members and the wider community and this grant application will enable its institutions to resume their services.

Methodist Church Tanzania (MCT) (£13,315): The church is supporting 400 families with vulnerable persons, during the lockdown due to lack of jobs and no source of income. In addition to procuring food items and water in containers, hygiene products will be purchased for the recipients as well as providing PPE for frontline MCT staff distributing the goods.  The aim is to provide the sanitizers, hand washing containers and food items that will help to safeguard the identified individuals at minimal cost and reach out to more needy cases. The sanitizers will be the 100ml package per household plus 25 litres water containers to serve a number of people residing within the same premises of the community. 

Université Protestante de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (UPAO) - West Africa Protestant University (£7,500): To prevent the spread of the virus and save people from the health disaster, the government of Benin organized a partial lockdown which restricts movement. A good number of student’s parents are traders and craftsmen; people whose survival depends on daily earnings. The partial lockdown has therefore jeopardized the incomes of the same parents. When classes reopened on May 11th, 2020 the inability of parents to supplement their children's school fees caused many students to drop out because they no longer had funding.

This has left a huge shortfall in University funds but they are committed to fulfil their mission of teaching and training. They have split the classes in order to respect the social distancing measures decided by the government. This grant will assist the University in its operating costs and payment of lecturers.

To read more about the work of the World Mission Fund follow this link

For other recent COVID-19 related WMF grants go to:

World Mission Fund COVID-19 grants from April 25th-May19th 2020

World Mission Fund COVID-19 grants from April 8th-April 24th 2020

World Mission Fund COVID-19 grants prior to April 8th 2020

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