As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to circulate the globe and afflict thousands of new patients every day, our call to serve is loudest and we cannot sit, watch and do nothing, but rather we are on the frontline to provide aid to the needy wherever we are. With almost 3 million confirmed cases and 300 000 deaths, the impact of the coronavirus has left cities, states, and countries with no choice but to take drastic—yet needed—measures to prevent further infection. Aggressive regulatory measures have been introduced to prevent further infection and “flatten the curve” of transmission. Zimbabwe has not been spared from this global response to the pandemic. The country has been on lockdown for the past 6 weeks, only workers deemed “essential” commute to and from their workplaces and interact with people every day. These include healthcare providers, grocery store employees, food aid workers, and law enforcement, to mention a few. The rest of the population is at home, and sadly they have no access to their various sources of income such as vending, buying, and selling.
In such difficult times, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is among the frontline workers who are actively serving communities in Zimbabwe. “Our brave men and women are boldly out every day, dressed in protective gear, scared like everyone else but not moved because we have a mission, we have a call to stand up for justice, to show compassion and to touch many hearts with love,” the ADRA Country Director for Zimbabwe Mrs. Judith Musvosvi said, during her field visit in Seke District, one of the sites where ADRA is distributing food rations.
Currently, ADRA Zimbabwe continues to serve a total of 175 711 households with monthly rations of food aid in partnership with the World Food Programme. Though most of our staff are in the field working, some are working from home in order to stay safe and healthy and to also ensure that we are doing our part to flatten the curve. We are interacting and conducting our meetings 100% virtually, and with the applications such as Zoom and Microsoft have become our new way of connecting with others. Of course, we all miss worshiping together, laughing together, being able to stop by each other’s cubicles to ask a question or simply say hi. Some days it really feels tedious and hard. Other days are just lonely. But we know this is just for a period of time. Our God is able and He will deliver us from this pandemic in the fullness of time.
Our partnership with the church in Zimbabwe is solid, and many churches are coming forward to donate through ADRA during this pandemic period. So far, with the help of the church, we have managed to donate to a local orphanage with food and other essential donations. We continue to call for a partnership with the church, and we are confident that we are going to work together to assist local communities. Today, as with all other days, we must keep the world’s poorest and most vulnerable in mind. While It is the responsibility of governments and employers to safeguard the health and well-being of working people, it is everyone’s responsibility to advocate for programs, responses, and policies that help create positive change.
By Kudzai Tinago
ADRA Zimbabwe Communications and Marketing Officer
Photo credits: Kudzai Tinago