In places where literacy rates are low, the population is often more at risk during a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. One such community is a Hindu low caste people group in Pakistan, where OM workers have seen a critical need to organise awareness programmes.
“We have been doing relief and development work within this community for the last several years,” Stuart*, a ministry leader, explains. “Now we're helping out with basic things and giving instructions on how to try to deal with and avoid the coronavirus.”
Another leader, Saad*, shares about the teaching the team has done in the past few days in these villages, and how most people “haven’t heard about the coronavirus”. The simple programmes are helping equip an ostracized community to have a better chance of staying healthy. “We are helping the villagers, through the awareness programmes: distributing facemasks, soap and literature that helps teach about better sanitation practices.”
Since Pakistan was put on lock down in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus, there is the danger in poorer communities that many will go hungry. “Many of these people live hand-to-mouth,” Saad says. Meaning that if people don’t work, they don’t eat. And the majority don’t have money to buy food or other essentials right now. “They have to stay home, and the shops are all closed. So we want to distribute food to them so they will not die of hunger.”
OM is raising funds to help feed those in critical need and to provide further training to the community. The team has already reached nine villages with this awareness programme and plans to keep going. Join us in demonstrating Jesus’ love in practical ways to people who may not be able to read God’s word but can recognise when they are treated with love, respect and care.