Slum dwellers in Asia, already financially destitute, have suffered severely during the pandemic-related lockdown. But GFA Sisters of Compassion, such as Phaedra, have found ways to continually help them, providing food and other essentials as well as raising awareness of the virus and its prevention.
Warm Clothes for Slum Children
Though worship services in the slum where Sister Phaedra serves were discontinued because of the lockdown, she and other GFA Sisters of Compassion resumed visiting families once restrictions relaxed, bringing encouragement and help.
Serving in a colder climate in Asia, these Sisters noticed children in the slum lacked warm clothing to protect themselves from the oncoming winter. Already battling the pandemic, the Sisters knew enduring the cold without proper clothing would add to the children’s struggles.
Filled with compassion, the Sisters collected warm clothing from the local church and returned to the slum. They went house to house, distributing the clothes and praying with families. Their visit brought warmth to both body and soul.
Clarie, a child living in the slums, received warm clothes from the Sisters.
“You helped us with our needs,” Clarie said. “With the help of these warm clothes, we can protect ourselves from the cold weather.”
Like many during the pandemic, Raanan has struggled to feed his children.
“I am thankful to the Church,” Raanan said, “[which] is helping us to [survive] in every situation.”
The Sisters also recognized the rise of coronavirus cases and took initiative to bring awareness among the slum residents, knowing that many had not yet heard of the negative effects of the virus and were not taking the necessary precautions to avoid exposure. Keeping within government restrictions, the team gathered small groups of women to teach them about the virus, its effects and preventing its spread. Sister Batya shared about proper hygiene, such as sanitizing their hands regularly, and other precautions one should take to safeguard themselves and their families from the virus.
“We have heard about the virus, but we are not aware that the virus is harmful to us,” said one participant. “I thank the Sisters for helping us to understand about coronavirus.”
In the midst of a pandemic, GFA Sisters of Compassion continue helping the downtrodden, showing love and care to people others may have overlooked.