A United Front
Our global response to the COVID-19 emergency in India.
“As you are aware, India is facing the second wave of COVID-19, which is more dangerous than the first wave. People are dying every day. The medical system and the entire administration system are collapsing. It is survival of the fittest; only the strong and rich will survive. There’s a shortage of oxygen in the country as we are overpopulated. Community transmission has been spreading like wildfire. We are not sure what will happen next. Keep us in your prayers. We too, assure you of our prayers.”
– Sr Monica Suchiang IBVM, Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre (KMWSC), India –
As India continues to battle tragically high numbers of COVID-19, our Province network in Australia, and those who form part of our global community have come together, in the true spirit of Mary Ward, to support those working on the frontlines and those who are suffering sickness or loss.
“Sr Monica’s is not the only message I have received from a Sister working with local communities on the ground in India, or, most tragically, word of a Sister who has died from COVID-19. Many of our schools in India have been forced to close campuses and postpone exams. They have received news of the deaths of staff, parents, and even students… there is pain and heartbreak all around.”
– Sr Wendy Hildebrand IBVM –
The Loreto Sisters and Mary Ward International Australia (MWIA) have established a COVID-19 emergency fund for Indian individuals and families in India most in need. As our Sisters live and work in the communities directly impacted, they can ensure medical support and emergency relief reaches those who need it quickly, save lives, and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Our Sisters around the world postponed appointments and meetings scheduled for May to focus on emergency relief. They searched for ways to respond to the calls and needs at any given hour – together, they aim to:
- Purchase oxygen concentrators for the communities of Darjeeling, Champasari, Shillong, Ranchi and Kolkata.
- Deliver medical and educational support to 200 families through the Darjeeling Mary Ward Social Centre (DMWSC).
- Deliver medical and educational support to 250 Rainbow home children in Kolkata.
- Provide 43 students at the Loreto Entally School with the means to continue their schooling online.
- Provide the Loreto Entally and Sealdah Schools with fee relief for 140 students.
- Support 91 migrant workers/families from the Panighatta tea estate by supplying them with food items and other daily necessities.
- Provide food relief for 272 families through DMWSC.
- Provide food relief for 180 families in Thakur Pukur.
- Deliver COVID-19 awareness training and protection measure to communities.
Our Sisters in Australia are endeavouring to contact past pupils of Indian background and those with family members still living in India to set up a network of support.
Our schools have shown their support in a number of ways. The Loreto Kirribilli P&F held their inaugural second-hand uniform sale in support of the MWIA India Appeal. The whole school community contributed to this event by donating or assisting with the sales or purchases of uniforms. Those involved said they were humbled that they could support the appeal for India in a small way.
Loreto Coorparoo held their school Mission Day on 18 June with the focus on the MWIA India Appeal. Students led with creativity and joy in promoting the work of MWIA. Loreto Toorak’s upcoming Feast Day in September will also raise funds for India, the current appeal and the Landing Pad project.
Each of our schools has promoted the MWIA India appeal in their newsletters, through Principal addresses and social media, reaching out to our network across the Province. Many school representatives, past and current pupils attended the MWIA Webinar Roadmap to a Just World, where the focus on the urgent needs in India inspired all participants.
Each one of us in Australia knows of someone, whether they be family, friends, colleagues or neighbours, who is directly affected by this tragedy that is consuming India.
Sr Monica reminds us that at times like this, we must look outward, draw on our common humanity, and do all that we can to help the poor and most vulnerable. Is there a time when this rings truer than now?
Join us in helping those most in need in India – donate now.