The human impact of the coronavirus: faces and stories

Caritas International Belgium The human impact of the coronavirus: faces and stories

© Caritas - Haider is an Iraqi refugee from one of our reception facilities. Due to his medical problems, he strictly complies with quarantine measures. Our teams visit him regularly so that he is not completely isolated and lonely.

© Caritas - Haider is an Iraqi refugee from one of our reception facilities. Due to his medical problems, he strictly complies with quarantine measures. Our teams visit him regularly so that he is not completely isolated and lonely.

27/04/2020

The coronavirus has changed our daily lives. It also affects the lives of people supported by Caritas and our teams. How do they experience this unprecedented situation and how do they deal with it? Here are some of their stories.

On March 14, Belgium and many countries around the world implemented quarantine measures. Overnight schools closed, physical distancing to be respected in supermarkets and everyone confined to home. These measures create fear and uncertainty, but also solidarity and innovation.

MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM VICTORIN

“During confinement, my days are completely turned upside down,” explains Victorin, a young minor who arrived alone in Belgium. “I can no longer go to school, soccer or see my friends… But I adapt and find ways to exercise at home. In less than three months, the virus will probably have affected half the world. It is normal to worry but I remain optimistic. Science evolves from day to day!” Despite his already difficult journey, Victorin remains positive and continues his transition to self-sufficiency.

 

CARITAS TEAM CONTRIBUTES TO THE SOCIAL EMERGENCY NUMBER IN BRUSSELS

The free social emergency number has been activated in Brussels. At the other end of the line, you will be able to count on the attentive ear of eight members of Caritas International’s team of social workers. “We received about 30 calls in four hours,” says Melissa following her shift at 0800 35 243. Maureen, her colleague, adds: “You can feel the need is there. Many different questions are asked on a wide variety of topics such as food aid, homeless shelters, unemployment laws or health issues.”

>>I DONATE TO CARITAS CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY FUND

IN ITALY, CARITAS LODI SUPPORTS VULNERABLE PEOPLE

© Caritas Lodi

The Italian city of Lodi is located in the north of Lombardy, the epicenter of the coronavirus. Despite confinement, Caritas Lodi continues to work there on behalf of the most vulnerable people. ”Where do homeless people go when the government forces everyone to stay at home?”, asks the organization. “We continue to provide them with soup and the opportunity to shower. Good hygiene is essential in preventing the epidemic.”

CREATIVITY AT THE LOGIS DE LOUVRANGES

Ina and Bou, two single mothers from our reception facility for applicants for international protection in Louvranges, support and encourage each other in this period of confinement. To change their ideas and not sink into fear, they embarked on a creative project: the creation of pompons. “It’s more fun to learn new things than to wait and do nothing,” says Bou

>>ALSO READ: Coronavirus: Innovating to continue to offer support, despite the pandemic.

MANOU SUPPORTS AN AFGHAN FAMILY

Moving during confinement is a very complicated task. Manou Ballyn, one of Caritas’s tutors says: “After six years of a particularly long and arduous procedure, the mother and the four brothers and sisters of one of my former wards arrived in Belgium. In the midst of the pandemic, the search for housing was not only difficult, but also for furniture… All non-essential businesses are closed. Fortunately, we found a house and offered some mattresses, a table, chairs and other indispensable utensils. The whole family is now well established and can start their life together in Belgium.” Corona or not, access to decent housing remains an essential step towards integration. We continue!

JWAN JABO TALKS ABOUT HIS ANXIETIES

“Corona changed everything!” states Jwan Jabo, a resident of our International Protection Center. “Everything seems different. I am now afraid to just go out when before I had no problem with it. Before every outing, I now have to think about what I know and what I can do. It’s very scary.”

ONE OBJECTIVE: TO BE THERE FOR VICTIMS OF THE PANDEMIC

Caritas International makes every effort to offer social support and protection to people within our reception facilities, and in particular of the most vulnerable among them. The Caritas network is active in the fight against the spread of the virus in some 50 countries. In DR Congo, Syria, Zimbabwe, Venezuela or, closer to home in Italy, where mobile teams help with screening, organize emergency reception, food distribution, etc.

Join the Caritas rescue team! No need to leave home, support the Coronavirus Emergency Fund via our online donation platform or on account BE88 0000 4141 with the communication “Coronavirus 005.”

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