Phnom Penh (Cambodia) With the growing concern and economic problems linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary Our Help Province of Cambodia-Myanmar (CMY) has taken up the challenge of responding to the needs of poor families of students of the Schools of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who are affected hard by the crisis. Due to the emergency situation, some factories where most of the parents work have been closed, creating a difficult situation for many families. Moreover, with the closure of the schools, the children, pupils of the Nursery and Primary School, who could benefit from a nutritious and free lunch distributed by the school, have lost this opportunity.
Another reality to which the FMA are responding is that of Yangon, Myanmar. Being the city with the largest number of inhabitants of Myanmar, with the closure of activities and the imposition of staying at home, many categories of workers, including the drivers of rickshaws (47 families) and some families who had been affected by the Cyclone Nargis in 2008 (the cyclone hit the villages of Wartaya and Leikon), have no money to buy food and what is necessary for daily sustenance.
Considering the situation, the FMA decided to take the initiative to help these families by distributing packages of food to sustain them for a few weeks during this difficult crisis.
Thanks to the generosity of some friends and benefactors of Singapore, Hong Kong, and India, the FMA of Phnom Penh managed to have the necessary funds to buy and distribute food to the neediest families. As soon as the first aid arrived, the Sisters of the Provincial House began to prepare the 10 kg food parcels with rice, oil, canned fish, sugar, pasta, and condensed milk for 200 families. The FMA project, which foresees support from Caritas (Singapore), consists of reaching around 1900 families in Cambodia and Myanmar with the distribution of food that would help them for a few weeks.
Another initiative taken by two FMA communities in Myanmar, the with Production Centers in Yangon and Anisakan, is the production of protective masks and gowns for healthcare workers, particularly for nurses who work with people affected by COVID 19. They are small gestures of kindness and solidarity which, put together, can be a source of hope for those in need in this moment of crisis.