Cash Assistance for Struggling Families like Maricel’sOctober 6, 2020
Since 16 March, the Philippines has been under varying levels of community quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because of this, all of the planned project activities of INA’s Filipino partner, Vineyard, had to stop. The Vineyard team has worked hard to keep in touch with communities via social media, sharing information about the pandemic and helping
communities understand how to separate reliable news sources from “fake news”.
This time has been difficult on the communities they work with. Around 85% of families rely on limited savings and irregular, daily-wage labour jobs, which have been closed down during quarantine. Although Local Government Units (equivalent to a local council) have provided rations for poor families, the amount and quality of the rations varied by area and has been inadequate for many families.
In partnership with the Baxter Foundation, INA and Vineyard were able to implement cash transfer packages to provide basic support for vulnerable households in our project target area. The first of three cash assistance of Php 500.00 per family (roughly $14AUD) was distributed along with three kilos of rice from locally-raised funds for COVID Response.
A Cash Assistance recipient
This was done by Vineyard’s active volunteer leaders, who received the cash transfers for the families in their neighbourhood, then managed the distribution to families, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. This minimised the need for Vineyard staff to travel and interact with too many households.
The cash allowed families to choose what was most important to them at that moment. Families could buy grocery items like rice, milk, biscuits, canned goods, noodles, fruits, bread, eggs, condiments, soaps, dishwashing liquid, etc. Others bought medicines for fever, cough and colds as handy supplies/emergency medicines if needed.
A Cash Assistance recipient
Maricel, the mother of a family who benefitted, was very thankful that people gave moral, financial
and spiritual support. Maricel is a Community Managed Savings and Credit Association (COMSCA) member, and her group shareout during the lockdown really helped to provide a vital cash boost. Maricel continues to participate in COMSCA and is trying to save despite the pandemic. She has
been encouraging her neighbours to do the same, so that they will also have savings and a loan facility to turn to during emergencies.
Your support continues to enable this kind of assistance across all of INA’s projects and countries, helping thousands of struggling communities.
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