Tag: COVID-19

Going the Distance: Convoy of Hope Commits to a Lasting Response

Convoy of Hope receives expressions of thanks from around the world. Rita Davenport’s email came with a copy of her mother’s obituary after Wilona Henry, 87, passed away from complications of COVID-19.

“Our windows came in today,” Rita said. “Mom would have been so excited to know they are now in.”

When Rita and Wilona’s home in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was devastated by Hurricanes Laura and Delta last August and October, Convoy of Hope responded, addressing short- and long-term community needs following both disasters.

Hurricane Laura had barely died down when Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team sent multiple vehicles to quickly create a distribution site at Glad Tidings Church in Lake Charles. By early September, the team had delivered more than 1.6 million pounds of disaster relief supplies to 19,000 families in 16 cities.

“When the storm was setting its bullseye on Lake Charles,” said Glad Tidings Pastor Paul Burke, “I didn’t even have to reach out to Convoy of Hope. Directors at Convoy of Hope were already reaching out to me. I can’t say thank you enough.”

Convoy’s immediate response was just the first step. By November, with Lake Charles and other communities forging ahead after both hurricanes, Convoy worked with The Home Depot Foundation to provide materials to repair devastated homes. Local contractors reduced their fees to assist. Volunteers from Christian Aid Ministries and the Fuller Center Disaster Rebuild Group provided labor.

Eventually, Rita and Wilona’s home joined more than 40 other homes (with additional projects still in transition at press time) that received some level of repair. This could include new roofs, windows, or other structural components. Major electrical appliances were also given to some families because post-hurricane power surges were destructive.

Lake Charles joins communities worldwide that have experienced Convoy of Hope’s rapid response and long-term presence. Some of those responses have expanded existing Convoy initiatives or have even become a factor in establishing new ones.

Within 48 hours of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake in 2010, Convoy of Hope team members were on the ground evaluating the situation. Convoy already had a school-feeding plan in place for 13,000 Haitian children. By maximizing existing resources and warehouse space, and rallying faithful partners, Convoy made Haiti the staging ground for dramatically growing its recently established Children’s Feeding program. 

In time, an important key to that growth came from a new initiative — training Haitian farmers to radically increase their yields through modern agronomy strategies. 

In 2020, that dual approach to combating food insecurity translated into more than 387,000 children around the world being fed every school day and 15,351 participants being trained in agricultural practices. Convoy of Hope’s rapid response to Haiti’s crisis 11 years ago continues to find expression in its Children’s Feeding and Agriculture programs.

Similarly, Convoy of Hope hit the ground strategically in Ethiopia in 2010 to offer marginalized women an opportunity to attain financial security. Today, the Women’s Empowerment program is helping thousands of women and girls around the world. Many women in the program are now successful owners of their own local businesses.

Whether a crisis is personal or communal — the crippling impact of poverty or the devastation of a natural disaster — Convoy of Hope’s short- and long-term intervention means lives are being changed for the better.

“We provide hope,” says Gwen Johnson, Partner Services Director for Convoy of Hope Disaster Services. “And we never discount even small acts — every little thing helps people on their path to recovery.”

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Disaster Services

Mishika’s Plan to Make a Mark in Her Community

“It felt like a big pain in my heart,” 12-year-old Mishika said as she described the poverty her family faced. But as a participant in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program in Sri Lanka, Mishika now has access to tasty, nutritious meals every school day.

Financial issues plagued Mishika’s house as long as she could remember. Her father worked odd jobs. Bills regularly went unpaid. Needs often went unaddressed.

“I had hoped one day I’ll study and give my parents a better life,” she said.

Mishika loves math and reading books, she dreams of being a lawyer, and she is well-respected among her peers. She carries so much hope in her heart, even the community leaders were surprised to learn of the constant need among her family.

“One of the things I learned from Mishika is that we can’t look at someone and make decisions about them,” said Melani Karunanayake, a Convoy of Hope partner in Sri Lanka. “We have no idea what they are currently facing in their life — it’s much harder than we think.”

As a participant in Convoy’s Children’s Feeding program, Mishika now has opportunities she once lacked: the chance to stay healthy, to focus in school, and to pursue her dreams of beginning a career that allows her to break the cycle of poverty and provide for others.

“I like to help the needy,” she said.

When COVID-19 struck her community, Mishika couldn’t go to school where she would normally receive hot, nutritious meals from Convoy of Hope. However, thanks to local partners and volunteers, she still received meals each school day while classes were not in session.

“We are happy with the meals provided to us,” she said gratefully.

Still, Mishika was eager to get back to school once she could safely return. “It was a great pleasure to start the school term after a long time,” she said.

Because of your support, hundreds of thousands of children like Mishika have the chance to start new lives full of hope and possibilities. Thank you for changing their stories.

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Children's Feeding
Relief is delivered in response to Cyclone Ana in Fiji. Relief is delivered in response to Cyclone Ana in Fiji.

Not forgotten: Convoy of Hope Responds to Multiple Disasters Worldwide

Every day can feel like it contains a year’s worth of news. And though certain disasters might not be in the headlines anymore, hundreds of thousands of people are still living in the aftermath. Through your generosity, Convoy of Hope continues to respond with food, water, and necessary supplies to people impacted by great loss. You are making a lasting difference.

Here are just a few of the active responses Convoy of Hope is a part of.

  • Tropical Storm Dante, also known as Choi-Wan, made landfall on the island of Samar in the Philippines on June 1. Hundreds of families who were in crisis now have bags of groceries thanks to Convoy of Hope and the organization’s in-country partners.

    “I would like to thank you for helping hundreds of families with food supplies here,” said a Convoy of Hope field partner. “This will be a great help for our community leaders and people who are the most needy.”

 

  • In Ceuta, Spain, the ongoing refugee crisis has people living in survival mode. Local staff and team members conducted distributions in two separate locations. The majority of the refugees served were men and boys between the ages 10 to 25. Some have been in Ceuta as long as four years, while others have only been there for a month.

    “The needs and opportunities in Ceuta are great. After the distribution, the [Convoy] team began to brainstorm ways to continue to assist with empowerment initiatives,” said a partner.

Convoy of Hope also continues to offer hope in India as the pandemic and two cyclones have left civilians reeling.

  • Some 640,000 homes sustained extreme or partial damage after cyclones Tauktae and Ana. Roads and other public infrastructures were also impacted. Because of your generosity, Convoy of Hope has secured funding to provide food baskets to approximately 1,200 families to eat for the next three months.

    “Convoy of Hope was generous in helping with food packs for the people whose crops were wiped out by those two cyclones. When we showed up with the food, there was great rejoicing and a lot of heartfelt thanks,” said one field partner.

 

  • Hundreds of thousands of Indians have died from COVID-19, and millions more continue to struggle with the disease. “We bought food packs for 30 families in one of the COVID lockdown containment zones,” said one Convoy of Hope partner. “Even on my way to deliver those food packs, we had people waving us down and begging for food.”

    Convoy has sent 70 concentrators and 2,000 oximeters to the region to help with the massive influx in COVID-19 cases.

Regardless of what dominates headlines, Convoy continues to offer long-term relief in many disaster areas. Resources flow in and out to those in dire situations on a daily basis. Thank you for partnering with us. To support our disaster responses, click here.

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Disaster Services / Program Updates

Convoy of Hope’s Global Response to COVID-19

More than 3.8 million people have died from COVID-19 to date, according to the World Health Organization. Many countries have begun to loosen restrictions, but the effects of the pandemic still make hope seem out of reach for many. That’s why Convoy of Hope continues to respond to COVID-19 in multiple countries worldwide.

“As many countries begin to see some relief from shutdowns and restrictions being lifted or new case counts continuing to go down, much of the world is seeing quite the opposite,” said Ryan Grabill of Convoy of Hope’s International Disaster Services team.

COVID-19 is a major cause for concern in many countries, including the Philippines, Nepal, and Suriname. Vaccines are hard to come by, poverty rates continue to increase, jobs are scarce, and food insecurity is a growing threat. In many countries, the head of the household commonly provides the family’s sole income, which increases the risk for financial strain during the pandemic. In other parts of the world, disruption of the global supply chain has crippled markets on both local and national scales.

“Masks are hard to find, and when you do find them, they are unaffordable,” one individual said while accepting help from Convoy of Hope in Venezuela.

Convoy of Hope is providing food for families in dire need, emergency provisions for those affected by shutdowns and quarantines, and personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essentials to assist with shortages.

“Beginning in February 2020 with our first shipment, the Disaster Services team continues to serve around the world,” said Ryan. “We will continue to address these needs and walk with communities back to restoration.”

“This project literally helped us save lives and keep families healthy in these difficult times,” a Convoy of Hope partner from Lebanon said in solidarity.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, Convoy of Hope is grateful for the volunteers, supporters, and partners who allow us to deliver help and hope to those who need it. To support Convoy of Hope, click here.

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Disaster Services

New statistics show great need but also opportunities for hope

For the first time in more than two decades, global extreme poverty rates rose in 2020. Unsurprisingly, the pandemic was a large factor in this change. Experts estimate that the number of those who live in extreme poverty, i.e., on less than $1.90 per day, may rise by as many as 150 million in 2021.

Though news about COVID-19 has taken a more optimistic turn in many parts of the world, the pandemic’s disruption of the global supply chain has continued to impact farmers who no longer have access to seeds for next year’s crops and others who lack access to the supplies necessary to stay in the workforce.

The pandemic also continues to have a harrowing effect on food insecurity. An estimated 820 million people are undernourished — 130 million of which became undernourished within the past year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The instability of the global supply chain creates many complexities and, often, unforeseen challenges,” said Heath Adamson, Convoy of Hope’s Vice President of Global Program. “Convoy of Hope is not backing down. We are as committed as ever to deliver hope in these times — to children, women, and families all over the world.”

Although needs are still prevalent on the global stage, other statistics show a more hopeful view of the big picture. On average, extreme poverty rates have decreased 75% in the last 30 years.

Despite disasters, humanitarian crises, COVID-19, and other seemingly hopeless situations, the work that you support through Convoy of Hope has a massive impact on millions of lives. Even in the face of insurmountable odds, together, we can feed the world and provide hope for those who need it most.

To support Convoy of Hope’s Feed the World Fund, click here.

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