June 2020: SIFAT Doctor in Your House provides food and medical care
Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version.
Written by Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator
Because of COVID-19, our international mission teams were forced to cancel all trips for 2020. SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto Contreras approached us with a plan that would let our team members and supporters still serve the people with whom we work, even during this time when we cannot physically be there. This idea became SIFAT Doctor in your House, a two-part approach to provide basic needs—food and medicine. (Click here to learn more about SIFAT Doctor in your House or to donate to this program)
When they can find work, most people in these communities have part-time jobs that are considered informal by the government, which means they have no access to benefits or unemployment. In the best of times, they are just scraping by. When the government began taking extreme measures to protect its citizens from spreading coronavirus, these jobs were immediately lost. Until early June, a curfew started at 2 p.m., public transportation was shut down and those with cars were only allowed to drive one day each week. The only time anyone was allowed in public was to go to pharmacies or grocery stores. Hunger became very real in
the neighborhoods where our projects are located.
You are responding! As of early June, our donors have given $28,255 to SIFAT Doctor in your House. This money is allowing our five main projects —Atucucho, Villaflora, Puengasi, Calderon and Aida Leon — to provide food and cleaning supplies to the neediest families in their churches and after-school programs. In Atucucho, Ledy is actually delivering hot meals to many elderly two days a week. The other four projects have already provided a month’s worth of rice for 320 families, an estimated 1,920 people that will now have something to eat!
Dr. Roberto started making virtual house calls on June 8 using teleconferencing. The first week, 25 patients had chronic medical conditions, such as epilepsy, hypertension and thyroid problems. Because they currently cannot find work, they have no money to buy the medicines that keep their conditions under control. The government programs they would normally use have no funding, since the government is directing all of its resources to fight the pandemic.
We want to share a few of the stories we have received so far from our SIFAT graduates who are on the frontlines in Quito. We will be posting more stories and pictures on our blog at www.sifat.org. You can also follow our social media (Facebook and Twitter) for news updates and announcements of blog posts. Please pray for these families and their neighbors, who are all facing similar situations.
From the Villaflora project:
Anthony is a 10-year-old boy with lymphatic cancer. He has been undergoing chemo for a year and a half. A recent relapse led to a week’s stay in ICU. Because his father lost his job as a bricklayer when construction was halted, Anthony’s access to socialized medicine is limited. He could only receive treatments through the end of May. Pastor Rafael and Anita are praying that they can provide groceries through SIFAT’s program at least once a month to keep Anthony well nourished as his body fights this disease.
From the Aida Leon project:
Galo, Paula and their two children are facing difficult times. Both Galo and Paula have lost their jobs, so they do not have money for food or medicine. Because of SIFAT’s contribution, Pastor Wilson and the church can help this family and others facing similar situations.
From the Atucucho project:
An elderly gentleman does not know his name or age. This man suffers from Alzheimer’s, but has no family to care for him. This is one of the harshest realities in the Atucucho neighborhood, where many are homeless or live alone. He is one of the many elderly to whom Ledy is providing hot meals each week.