May 14, 2020 | Harare, Zimbabwe |
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to circulate around the world and infect thousands of new patients every day, our call to serve is loudest and we cannot sit, watch and do nothing. Rather, we are on the frontline to provide aid to the needy wherever we are.
With more than 4 million confirmed cases and almost 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, with only workers deemed “essential” able to commute to and from their workplace. The list of “essential workers” includes healthcare providers, grocery store employees, food aid workers, and law enforcement. The rest of the population is at home, and sadly with no access to their various sources of income.
In these 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,” said the ADRA Country Director for Zimbabwe Judith Musvosvi, 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 Program. Though most of the 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. ADRA Zimbabwe is interacting and conducting meetings 100% virtually. Applications such as Zoom and Microsoft have become the new way of connecting with others.
As with the rest of the world, the ADRA team misses 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 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.
ADRA Zimbabwe’s partnership with the Adventist Church in Zimbabwe is solid, and many local 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. The team at ADRA Zimbabwe continues to call for a partnership with the church, and are confident that everyone can 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.