Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ,
Greeting in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! We all are aware of COVID-19 and its effect in human life. Globally more than 200 countries are now infected by the virus. Bangladesh is one those countries. The government has shut down all the offices, factories, and educational institutes. Besides this they have locked down five districts and stopped all types of public transport among the districts. The country does not have enough resources to address this disaster situation and to address that our Prime Minister appealed to the rich people to come forward and help the poor people and the sick persons with COVID-19.
Church of Bangladesh (CoB) is also a part Christs body. Most of the members of this Church live below the poverty line and can only earn their living on a daily basis. Very few families are solvent in our Church. Christians are a minority group in Bangladesh, and being a minority community we do not have access to the government or to the rich community. By now, many members of CoB are without a job and struggling to earn money to provide food for the family. A few are contributing a small amount of money to the Church for a food package. But that is not enough for a family for a week. In the rural areas people are starving but they cannot have the access to the government resources. Moreover, the hospital income has gone down and they are not in a position to buy medicine and basic safety tools such as masks and hand cleanser.
The government of your country is welfare government. It will treat you when ill and to some extent give you financial or other support to live. But we are not living in that situation in Bangladesh. We believe God will be with you all and trust in him to keep you safe in this situation.
Keeping all the above issues in mind, and knowing your country's situation, we are placing this special appeal to you to stand beside us and support us in our quest to feed the poor and support the hospitals in Bangladesh. (Further details are given below)
The Most Rev. Samuel Sunil Mankhin Moderator/ Primate The Church of Bangladesh
If you would like to support this appeal please send your donation to the General Secretary with a note clearly indicating the money is to be used for the Church of Bangladesh COVID-19 appeal, and we will see that you donation is sent direct to the Church.(click here). Alternatively, you can do so via the Gift Aid page or using Donate Now! (click here).
Project 1: The food programme
This project will work on emergency issues in all 115 Parishes under seven Deaneries of the three Dioceses. Only 4 congregations can manage the cost of their Parishes. But 111 Parishes cannot manage the cost. Therefore, it is clear that majority of the congregations are from poor and marginalized economic groups. Moreover, the majority of the Church members are from the ethnic and tribal groups in Bangladesh. The poor members are in need of food packages.
The project will distribute an emergency food package for one month for 10,000 families (Avg. family size is 5.5 persons) among Church members (6,500 families) and to another 3,500 families living in the neighbouring areas of our Parishes. Each family pack will contain 50kg of rice, 10kg of wheat, 5 litres of cooking oil, 2kg of salt, 2kg of pulses, 2kg of sugar, a pack of medicine & masks. The cost per food package for one family will be US$105 or UK£85.
At same time the hospital income has gone down tremendously. As a result, the hospitals and Nursing institutions are providing low calorie foods to the patients, mothers and children. The need is for about 6,000 food packages and medicine packages for 200 new patients for two hospitals for three months. The cost for a food package will be US$105 or UK£85. For a medicine package it is US$120 or UK£98 for one month.
Project 2: The Health programme
This project will work on hand washing and safety package issues in all 115 Parishes, 50 primary and high schools, two hospitals and 11 clinics under seven Deaneries of the three Dioceses. The majority of the congregations are from poor and marginalized economic group. They need awareness and practical demonstration for three months to make it into a habit at all level of family members. Moreover, the majority of the Church members are from the ethnic and tribal groups in Bangladesh. The poor members are in need the information on COVID-19 and awareness as well.
The project will distribute hand washing and safety pack for 115 Parishes, 50 primary and high schools, two hospitals and 11 clinics under seven Deaneries of three Dioceses. Each pack will contain a plastic drum, bucket, mug, soap and towel. The cost per hand washing one package for one Parish will be in US$103 and in UK£84. For one school it will be US$103 or UK£84 for one package. A single package for a Church and a school will serve three months benefit only.
At same time the hospital income has gone down tremendously. As a result the hospitals and clinics are not in a position to buy antiseptic liquid, masks and gloves. The PPE is only for hospital. The need is about 200 packages for two hospitals and 110 packs for 11 clinics. The Cost for one hospital package will be US$303 or UK£246 for one week only. Similarly for one clinic package the cost is US$62 or UK£51, and will provide for one week only.
Bishop Paritosh has coordinated a major effort to provide food parcels throughout the Diocese. Following the lockdown ordered by the Indian Government many of the poorest who typically work on single day contracts are not able to work, eran a living and thus provide for their families. The Diocese has therefore initiated a program of food parcels to help the poor of whatever religion, to stave off the disaster of famine resulting from logical but brutal government measures. Whereas in many western countries workers rights are protected and governments are providing significant financial packages to enable salaries to be paid as workers are furloughed or otherwise supported, India has so far been unable to follow this. The Diocese needs financial support to enable it to buy food for its existing programme and to further expand it.
A short video of the work can be seen here youtu.be/8Ygl1ATE4HU
Be generous and support our projects!
HELP US TO HELP THOSE IN DESPERATE NEED NOW!