Operation Rescue: Emergency Response to COVID-19 

Heart- breaking: Now, with this pandemic, hundreds of children and families are living in the streets of Kolkata, and they don’t know where the next meal will come from. With the closing of our centres, our staff is now supporting the families with their basic needs.

Dear friends,

We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during the very difficult time we are living in.

With the spread of the covid-19, thousands of people are going through profound grief, while countries try to figure out the best ways to prevent the spreading of the virus and to care for the sick people, and all of that can feel quite overwhelming and scary at times.

At Operation Rescue, we share the same concerns, especially because of the health and safety of our children and the families who are at greater risk of getting sick.

The children and families we serve in Brazil, Ethiopia and India live in poverty, and often on the streets, without resources to meet their basic needs such as food, clothes or clean water to drink, shower or wash hands. The poor health that all of this causes, combined with the poor hygiene of a life in poverty, puts them at a greater risk for illnesses.

This is better explained in an interview I gave about how the Covid-19 is impacting Operation Rescue:

Is the COVID-19 impacting Operation Rescue?

Yes, for sure. Operation Rescue is in Ethiopia, India and Brazil, serving some of the most vulnerable children and families in the local communities. Those are people living in poverty, on the streets, without a roof over their heads, so the parents who were able to get a job were daily workers who were barely making enough money to feed their children every day. Now, with the coronavirus, the cities are shutting down, and in India and Ethiopia, for example, the local stores and businesses were closed, so the parents have lost their jobs, which means, they don’t have money to buy food for the next meal. It is heart-breaking.

What is Operation Rescue doing to help the children and their families in this crisis?

We are doing several things. The first thing we did was to follow the instructions of the health authorities to close all schools to prevent the spreading of the virus. The safety of our children is our priority, so we have closed our project centres to keep the children, their parents, grandparents and our staff safe.

The second thing we are doing is we’re keeping our local staff employed and we have adjusted our services to this new scenario. Operation Rescue relies on volunteers who travel to India, Ethiopia and Brazil to support our work, and we also rely on our local staff, people from the community, to care for the children. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary closing of our centres, our staff is now supporting the families with their basic needs, such as food, instructions on how to prevent the transmission of the virus, emotional and spiritual counselling, and other support services.

Lastly, the third very important thing we are doing right now is the Covid-19 Emergency Response Campaign. Poverty has become more chronic in those communities, as the families that had little money before, now have no money, so they can’t buy food anymore, and there is barely anyone on the streets that they can beg for money. This is the other side of the coronavirus crisis: the hunger that has gotten worse in poor communities.

What is the goal of this fundraising campaign?

The goal of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Campaign is to raise money for food and safety of the children and families that we serve in India, Ethiopia and Brazil. Hundreds of children and families in the local communities are living on the streets, and they don’t know where the next meal will come from.

It may be hard to imagine, but as I talk to you, children are sleeping on the streets in Calcuta, India, and when they wake up, there will be no food to eat, grandparents will wake up without clean water to drink or to wash their hands. The people who have money wake up early and buy as much food as they can in the local grocery store, and stock up in their homes. Access to food has become even more difficult in this crisis. Jobs were lost, food is scarce, and children and adults are being pushed into prostitution, crime and drug-trafficking to survive.

We need donations like never before to ensure our local staff can buy food not only for the meals we used to serve while the children were at our centres, but for all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) of the children, their parents and often grandparents, until life goes back to normal.

In closing, what would you like to say to the people who are watching this interview?

What I would like to say is: please wash your hands to avoid the spreading of the virus, and open your heart to save lives. Make a donation today to the Emergency Response Campaign to bring food and support to children and families living in poverty.

Times of crisis like this can be turned into opportunities for you and I to show love, compassion and generosity. Let’s keep the health of our loved ones in mind, and let’s enlarge our thoughts and our hearts, to the greater family that we belong to: the family of God who created each and everyone of us. Let’s care for each and everyone us. Make your donation today. Thank you and God bless you.

 We hope you will reach not your hand, but your heart today,
by making a secure donation on this page.

You can also contact us via WhatsApp to make a donation via bank deposit, or to request more information: +41 77 455 06 58

Thank you so very much for your faithful support and prayers. Without you, this work would not be possible.

With gratitude,

Marciano Teixeira, Founder and President of Operation Rescue

Please write “covid” on the remarks. Thank you for your help!