A Phone Call to Celebrate
Munni is a 14-year-old girl in the sixth grade. Her father works as a day laborer and is the only member of the family who is able to earn an income. Despite their hardships, Munni’s parents dream that she and her 18-year-old brother will be able to earn the highest degree from a local university.
Munni’s family started realizing the impact of the pandemic when they were put on lockdown, and her 50-year-old father became ill. Now, the struggle turned into a question of survival: not only from COVID but also from hunger. They were starving and her parents started asking for food from the neighbors. However, since the whole neighborhood was facing the same struggles and lack of food, they were unable to support one another.
Then, the helpless, hopeless, confused family received a phone call from Munni’s Compassion project. They provided a food and hygiene package that was enough to support Munni’s family for an entire month. The package contained rice, lentils, oil, onions, salt, laundry soap, personal hygiene items, masks, and more.
Munni’s Compassion partner has brought hope in a hopeless situation. Everyone in their family is confident that they can now do what it takes to stay safe and healthy. What could be a better reason to celebrate during this hard time?
Compassion Bangladesh is continuing to provide food and hygiene packages to the beneficiary families and community members every month since May 2020.
COVID 19 Government Relations Support and Relief Efforts from Compassion Bangladesh
Bangladesh has a high population density, and experienced its first case of COVID on March 8, 2020. Since then, the infection continued to spread rapidly across the country. Health infrastructures were struggling to match the emerging impact of COVID and desperately needed to protect its medical professionals.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports and the media had been highlighting medical professionals of those who were getting infected and those who were in potential danger of becoming infected due to shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). So, Compassion Bangladesh took this opportunity to support the Upazila Health Complexes (UHC) where the Frontline Church Partner families and the poor go for their medical treatment.
This intervention turned into an opportunity to strengthen relationships between Frontline Church Partners and the government with the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO). It was also a chance to position Compassion Bangladesh to have the highest impact during the pandemic.
- Providing quality PPE to support local government health department was critical during this pandemic. We planned to provide 900 PPEs to 60 Upazila Health Complexes. We were able to provide 885 PPEs by the end of the project. Each Upazila Health Complex received 15 high quality, reusable PPE sets. One of the Upazila Health Officer’s refused to accept the PPE, so those 15 sets of PPE’s will be distributed in another area after approval from the non-governmental organization affairs bureau (NGOAB).
- Strengthened the FCP and Compassion Bangladesh relationship with the government at the local level.
The distribution was done in the presence of the UNO, who received the PPEs and handed them over to the Upazila Health Officers. The distribution has been covered in the media with visibility given to Compassion Bangladesh for the ways they supported medical professionals and clinics.
- Compassion Bangladesh has been able to gain media coverage in 30 out of 60 Upazilas, in addition to upcoming national news coverage.
- Creating easy access to local government authorities has allowed FCPs to attain various approvals, certificates, and acknowledges needed to serve the community. Since the PPE distribution provided opportunities to get local government officials on board, project managers have been able to gain access and partnerships with local authorities. Acquiring the UNO certificate has been successfully facilitated. Access to local hospitals has also been facilitated with the provision of reusable PPEs, helping to protect front line health care staff in more rural Upazila locations.