In the areas where GFA workers serve, widows—who are frequently rejected by others and left in precarious living situations under normal circumstances—have faced increased vulnerability during the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. Suddenly losing their jobs, many of these widows lack the savings or resources necessary to sustain themselves and have struggled to survive. 1 GFA workers have continued their ongoing efforts to care for these dear women, who have no buffer to manage the financial impact of such crises.
GFA pastor Saverio noticed the struggle of widows in his community. Food insecurity, a common problem for widows, threatened to devolve into starvation. 2 Desiring to reach out to them and offer timely help, he and a team from his church distributed vegetables and other food items—including rice, flour, salt, beans and oil—to several elderly widows nearby.
In another area, a team led by GFA worker Jahson partnered with the local government and conducted a relief program specifically for widows and other needy women. Local official Mr. Delroy, a special guest at the distribution, addressed the group.
“I am so happy to be part of this good work of the church that is organized for social welfare,” Mr. Delroy said. “It is too inspiring to see the church contributing and coming ahead to help the needy and poor.”
Approximately 130 women received food kits that included rice, beans, oil and salt. Some participants also received face masks. Workers encouraged recipients to trust God for a happy and peaceful life. The gifts, which demonstrated to these ladies that God always loves them and looks after them, filled recipients with gratitude and joy.
“I am happy and thankful to the church for giving us the dry ration for free,” said Janea, a 65-year-old woman. “I thank the church for remembering us and extending help to us.”
Forty-eight-year-old Rasheeda also received aid.
“It is heartwarming to see the church continually helping the needy people since the lockdown period began,” Rasheeda said.
Though widows are ostracized by some, GFA workers continue to provide compassionate care and aid to this vulnerable group of women in difficult times that threaten their survival.
- Onofrio, Jack and Heather Ibrahim-Leathers. “COVID-19 & Widowhood: The Virus’ Invisible Victim.” https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5fce889a3c0f6e35f56692ce/5fce889a3c0f6e0e0f669306_COVID-and-Widowhood-MAY-2020.pdf. May 2020.