Emergency support for families in Southeast Asia following the COVID-19 pandemic
Our aid project due to the consequences of the pandemic
Children of the Mekong is active in six Southeast Asian countries, which were all affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are already witnessing a great number of negative repercussions, especially for the poorest families: the main consequence is the price increase of raw materials (especially imported ones) and the loss of jobs. At the beginning of 2020, the price of rice in the world markets rose by 29.5%. This increase is very likely to have serious consequences for the families who eat it every day.
Children of the Mekong distributes to 10,000 families enough supplies to last 3 to 8 weeks, depending on their specific needs: rice, oil, hygiene products… With £45, we can feed a family of four for a whole month (as it is enough to buy 85kg of rice).
Our principles of support and discernment on the field are:
- 1 for 10: most of the needs come from children already sponsored by Children of the Mekong. If the family of a sponsored child is affected, we offer our help to their neighbourhood too.
- No duplicates: we make sure there is no other local help available in that area.
- Be sustainable: we figure out how to transform these aids into child sponsorships.
In Myanmar, food aid is a neccesity for the poorest
In Mandalay, Myanmar, the government provides food aid in a few areas. Unfortunately, once again, those most in need have been forgotten. Many food distributions (rice, oil, onions, potatoes, chili powder, and hygiene kits) have been set up by the COVID aid project. Here are a few heart-warming testimonies, by families who received aid:
“It was really difficult for me to buy food every day during this pandemic. I will never forget the help I received” Daw Thida Naing
“I can’t believe it! A bag full of rice! Now I feel at peace… until the rice runs out again.” Daw Ei Ei Chaw
“Last week, the city distributed groceries, but we couldn’t get any because we live in the shanty town. I don’t know how to say this. A huge thank you.” U Win Naing
We were able to help 4,568 families in Myanmar! A huge thank you to all our donors.
In the Philippines, everyone was helped
1,100 families benefited from emergency food aid in the Philippines. Sometimes, only a few pictures are necessary to see the happiness of families who just received food!
Here are a few pictures of the families benefiting from food distribution in the Inayawan shanty town:
In Thailand, not only local families benefited from our help but also refugees
In order to find work in Bangkok, many families had to enter the country illegally. Emergency COVID aid was vital to them. We were able to help 170 families in Thailand.
Mai Yee is part of the Hmong ethnic group and is one of 8 siblings. She is an illegal refugee in Bangkok, along with her mother. Her father was arrested 8 years ago and sent back to Vietnam, their country of origin, without being able to send news.
“We are grateful for the donors’ help. As we live here illegally and have had no revenues for the last 3 months, we couldn’t buy rice, pay our rent or afford the medicine our mother needs. This help is allowing us to survive. We can’t give anything back, so we simply say thank you.”
Lee is 11 and her family is also ethnically Hmong. She was born in the Petchabun refugee camp in Thailand and lived there for 7 years before her family was sent back to Laos. 3 years later, Lee and her mother illegally returned to Thailand. Her mother is working as a cleaning lady, as not being able to work for 3 months was very tough on the family.
“Thank to this extra help, I will finally be able to pay the rent. Our landlord was very understanding; however, I was living with the fear of being evicted”
Thavong and her family come from Vietnam. Forced to stay at home for the duration of the lockdown, the parents were not able to work.
“When the schools were open, the children were able to have lunch there. Now that there are no more schools, we make do with only one or two meals a day. Thanks to the help we received, we will be able to pay our rent and buy some rice and milk for the baby. A huge thank you to the donors.”
In Vietnam: 888 families helped!
In each village, the distribution is different, depending on what is best locally. Here, each family received 20kg of rice and the equivalent of £18 to buy various supplies.
In Cambodia, rice for 2,156 families!
Here, 50kg of rice were given to each family, everyone wore their masks and respected social distancing rules.