The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on our world unlike anything we've seen in generations. More than 100 million people have had COVID-19, and millions have died. Countless people have lost their jobs and means of earning a living. More and more of our neighbors are now facing hunger and extreme poverty. Fear and anxiety are often the new normal.
Nearly every CWS program has adapted in response to the pandemic. For example, in the past year we've:
- Shared information about the virus with many groups who are often overlooked, such as refugees or indigenous communities
- Distributed food and hygiene supplies to thousands of households
- Supported hundreds of anti-hunger agencies across the United States
- Helped families pay their rent and utility bills to avoid homelessness
We have also found safe ways to continue to help families overcome hunger and poverty. Through these programs, people are building the resilience to face the pandemic's toll. They are finding new ways to earn a living. They are accessing health care. They are continuing their education.
Sharing Lifesaving Information
One pillar of our coronavirus response has been getting information about the pandemic to people who may not have otherwise heard it. That could be a remote indigenous community, for example. Or asylum seekers on the move. CWS produced a series of videos for refugee communities in the United States that feature medical professionals sharing advice in different languages. This one is in Arabic, but you can see the whole playlist here.
For families devastated by pandemic and disaster, sheep and pigs are little bundles of hope
Families like Magda Rosa Vargas Gutiérrez’s in rural Nicaragua have had a tough 2020. First it was the COVID-19 pandemic, and then hurricanes Eta and Iota struck in the fall. “We were first affected by COVID-19, when we had practically no communication–only virtually–and no commerce with the outside world,” she says. “After the pandemic, the rains [hurricanes] have come to …
From desperation to hope for a family in rural Georgia
“I was in a desperate situation, not knowing how in the future to feed my children or what to do. The tension was growing in the family,” says Alexander Kobakhidze, 35. There are eight people living in Alexander’s small house in Georgia, including his wife, three children, parents and brother. Before the pandemic, the family was barely scraping by. They …
Household latrines help families in Indonesia stay healthy during COVID-19
Disaster struck the village of Balongga in Indonesia in September 2018. A massive earthquake–and the resulting tsunamis and land liquefaction–destroyed or badly damaged most houses here. Today, many families in Balongga still live in “temporary” shelters that organizations including CWS helped them build. They are meant to be an intermediate solution and have a couple of sturdy rooms in each …