Humanitarian Aid Organizations Respond to Covid-19

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Israeli nonprofits continue to help those in need despite the Covid-19 restrictions.

It seems like the peak of Covid-19 infections is behind us, nevertheless it will take quite some time for our society to find its footing. Life was put on hold, or so we felt, but in reality, life conditions have drastically deteriorated for many.

Unemployment in Israel has reached 25% and it may rise even further, as small businesses are closing down for good.

The country is facing the biggest economic crisis in its modern history. Most of the country will feel the repercussions of the Covid-19 lockdown for quite some time. Unsurprisingly, the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable will be affected the hardest and the longest.

The Israeli nonprofits, undeterred by the obstacles, decided to adjust and adapt. They customized their activities to meet the current needs. Even though their support is slightly sparser these days, they are using what they have to help those that need it most.

Here are just a few organizations that upped their game during the coronavirus pandemic:

VISION FOR ISRAEL

Vision for Israel has been operating an emergency assistance program since the Covid-19 outbreak caused shutdowns in Israel. The organization has been operating successfully for nearly three decades, so they were given clearance by the government to continue through the lockdown. Joining efforts with the Ministry of Welfare, city mayors and municipalities, they are now more active than ever.

In February and March, VISION FOR ISRAEL was reaching out to individuals and families in dire straits with pre-paid gift aid debit cards.

Each one was an equivalent of. $100-$200, depending on individual needs of the recipient. Because of the type of aid, these cards needed to be hand delivered by the staff wearing protective gloves and masks. Many of the aid recipients were Russian speakers, particularly amongst the elderly population.

In addition to the financial assistance, Vision for Israel is helping in the emergency medical area.

Whether it’s Holocaust Survivors, lone soldiers, victims of terror attacks, children at risk and single parent households – they have all been impacted by the pandemic greatly. Some are considered a group of higher risk, some grapple with fear or are responsible for other lives. The organization still has a list of a few hundred families waiting to be helped.

To learn more and show support, visit: https://firm.org.il/member/vision-for-israel/

JOSEPH PROJECT

As restrictions are slowly being reduced here in Israel, there’s a sense of hope rising, but the reality remains challenging.

At-risk individuals will need to remain sheltered for the perceivable future, while others cautiously return to work, schools and every day activities.

Like the previous organization, the Joseph Project has also been busier than ever during this season. So much so that they hired new staff and purchased a new vehicle to keep up with increased demand. Since the start of the crisis, Joseph Project has, among other things:

  1. Collected and distributed medical and hygiene items to medical centers and nursing homes.
  2. Delivered food baskets to families in financial distress.
  3. Supported refugees who struggle to get help at this time.
  4. Assisted with groceries for at-risk individuals unable to leave their homes.

    Israel’s senior citizens have felt most acutely the pain of social isolation.

    Many nursing homes and assisted living centers are underfunded, thus have no technological resources. Joseph Project partnered with other organizations to find a solution.

    A large hotel chain donated over a hundred large screen TVs for the nursing homes! Additionally, tablets were sponsored for the elderly to comfortably connect with their loved ones. All these have been delivered by Joseph Project with utmost care, to not put the vulnerable at greater risk of infection.

    To learn more and show support, visit: https://www.josephproject.org.il/

    HATIKVA PROJECT

    HaTikva Project, headquartered in Jerusalem, operates in three main areas: HaTikva Aid meets the needs of the poor, HaTikva Dental serves the greater community through free or low-cost dental care, and HaTikva Families empowers believers through fostering/adoption services.

During the Covid-19 crisis, HaTikva Project has shifted majority of their focus to Hatikva Aid.

With the shocking unemployment numbers, HaTikva has been helping families throughout Israel that have been affected financially. One area of support was providing assistance to single parents, who had to look after their children during school lockdowns. Single parents would not be able to maintain financial stability without help from organizations like Hatikva Aid.

In a tangible way, the organization has also been involved in emergency hands-on projects. One of them was installing a handicapped-accessible shower for a family with a special needs child near Jerusalem.

Despite many challenges caused by the nationwide shutdowns, HaTikva has been working on improving their dental services.

The clinic in Haifa recently reopened after a short hiatus, and the Jerusalem clinic was in great need of a new location. With great support from around the world, HaTikva was able to renovate a new location for the clinic and purchase new medical equipment.

To learn more and show support, visit: https://firm.org.il/member/hatikva-project/

ALL ISRAEL TOGETHER

Although the rate of infections due to Covid-19 continues to drop, there is a concern that it will rise again, now that people begin to leave their homes and return to public spaces.

We ask for your continuous prayers for the workers who are the most exposed.

Christians around the world have yet again shown great integrity by supporting humanitarian organizations like the ones mentioned above. We have this amazing opportunity to have influence and serve our communities with excellence. May it be done in the name of Jesus, for the sake of the Gospel.

This article originally appeared on FIRM, June 12, 2020, and reposted with permission.