The Global Rapid Response Campaign (GRRC) is an international response to Stewardship’s recent Rapid Response Fund, which raised and distributed almost £5 million to 88 UK churches and charities within 100 days of lockdown. Lockdown may be easing here in the UK, but the rest of the globe is still feeling the pain of the pandemic.
The GRRC plans to bring the global impact of COVID-19 to the attention of strategic givers and inspire worldwide change. It aims to engage, educate and enable givers via our global partnering organisations and provide much-needed support to regions worldwide which have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
Along with TrustBridge Global Foundation, Stewardship is part of an international network of Christian Donor Advised Funds who can act globally, with links to many ‘on-the-ground’ partner organisations delivering COVID-19 relief programmes.
The organisations joining with Stewardship for the Campaign are World Vision, Tearfund, A21 and Open Doors – all leading Christian charitable causes with a shared vision to promote the work of the Gospel.
World Vision’s aim is to transform the lives of vulnerable children worldwide. Emilienne Cyuzuzo, World Vision’s Food and Cash programme manager in South Sudan, explains how the charity’s work has adapted to the pandemic to provide local awareness about the virus in the town of Rwanda.
Emilienne says: “We’ve added information sessions to make people aware of the risks COVID-19 brings and what they need to do to physically distance. But this isn’t an easy task, as people are reasonably most concerned about getting their supply of food and often are resistant to staying at the distribution site longer than necessary. The need for humanitarian assistance in South Sudan is huge.”
COVID-19 has unsurprisingly proved a challenge for the work of World Vision as many cases have appeared in refugee and displacement camps within South Sudan, and now the charity are in desperate need of more funding to save more lives.
Tearfund has been stepping up a gear during the pandemic through their work with churches and other local partners in Brazil. They have been raising awareness about the virus, finding shelter for those living on the streets, and organising support work in urban slums where a lack of good nutrition and hygiene mean that COVID-19 can spread like wildfire.
Claudia Moreira leads Tearfund’s work in Brazil. She says: “Partners have been making and distributing masks, equipping pastors and leaders, and providing school materials for children.”
Through their partners, Tearfund has arranged for 400 families within the city of Manaus to receive food baskets and essential hygiene kits for three months, which will potentially save lives.
Meanwhile, with the help of their supporters, anti-trafficking organisation A21 is working to make a difference for human trafficking survivors worldwide, such as sending care packages to children in Cambodia, providing essential supplies and safe accommodation to survivors and their families, finding suitable employment options for survivors, and supporting single mothers unable to work during the pandemic.
However, they still need help from givers like you and me in order to adapt to the demands of COVID-19. The charity has had to increase its budget to continue providing a high standard of care, which will only be made possible through our generosity.
Open Doors has a mission to support the persecuted Church. During this season, they are continuing to provide for communities across the globe. India’s poorest communities are particularly affected, with daily wage labourers now unable to get food. “In the slum areas people are now totally dependent upon the food being distributed by the government and social organisations,” says an Open Doors partner. Living in slums also equals poor social distancing and lack of hygiene, with masks and hand sanitiser considered “a luxury” and no soap to be seen.
Several single mothers have particularly struggled during COVID-19 due to losing their husbands and their jobs. Deepali, from northern India, was left unable to provide for her two children after lockdown: “The lockdown in the city affected my job and now I have no earnings. I had no money to buy basic necessities for my family. In this situation, Open Doors partners contacted me and provided me with these groceries. I am so thankful to God and the supporters for this provision!”
So how can we, as individual givers, respond to the global devastation caused by COVID-19? For one thing, we can pray for our international brothers and sisters. For those who are currently able, you can also give financially through the work of these organisations and their partners – more information will be given during The Global Rapid Response Campaign’s Launch Webinar on Thursday 27th August at 2.30pm (BST).
Visit our webpage to find out how you can join and partner in this campaign.