Thanks to you, during the hardest days of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, we could help vulnerable people who were most at risk of falling through the cracks and missing out on support, like Jacques* and his children Henry, 15, Ben, 12, Royal, 9, and Angel, 7. They had settled in Newcastle as refugees just before the pandemic began. When the borders closed, Jacques’ wife and youngest children were stuck in Kenya.
They were dealing with the pain of the separation of their family, along with countless other worries. And as NSW grappled with rising cases of COVID-19, their challenges only grew. For the children, doing home school in English – without all the equipment they needed – was incredibly difficult. Their education and mental health was suffering. Jacques struggled to keep food on the table.
Having connected with Kath, our Humanitarian Youth and Family worker, when the toughest times came they had a helping hand. Kath organised grocery vouchers, and fruit and veggie boxes each fortnight through lockdown for them and many other families experiencing hardship. She provided mental health support for the children and also linked them with funding for desks, computers, headsets and tutoring sessions to support their online learning.
“We had needs for food and groceries, and the children needed every kind of help with study and school,” Jacques says. “I can’t say how grateful I was for Wesley Mission’s help. We all sat down and thanked God for all the help that we were getting and we were very happy for the support.”
*Names and images changed for privacy.