On this page we report on the situation in the partner countries. What are people struggling with and how is their life changing? How does KOLPING help? Here an overview:
+++ May, 11: Call for support from India: “The situation in some states is horrendous”, wrote Fr Mari, National Director of Kolping India. “The hospitals are loaded with people, and there is a lack of oxygen and medication. Sick people are often left untreated and die outside of the hospitals in the arms of their desperate relatives.” In case of a strict curfew many people would be stranded on the pavement again, says Br. Mari. As happened last year, when Chennai and its environs were in the vulnerable red zone for months. “Then we will again extend help to the poorest with a warm meal a day so that they do not starve”, says Br. Mari. In addition, Kolping India wants to help in the hospitals with oxygen, facemasks and disinfectants.
+++ May, 3: Sri Lanka – Survival is possible thanks to donations deriving from the Corona Fund: “Your donations have helped the Kolping members during the lockdown lasting for many months “, Diocesan Director Rev. Fr. S. Emilianuspillai thanks in a video message. KOLPING was able to support about 1000 women, men and children in the regions of Mannar and Vavuniya in the north of the country. A total of 212 needy families received food, soap and protective masks as well as small loans to start their own business. Medical staff also received urgently needed hygiene kits and masks. Five women share how they managed to earn money for their families during the pandemic. With the money from the Corona Fund, they have managed to run a chicken farm or a kiosk, work as tailors or as small farmers. To the video
+++ April, 13: Tanzania – Kolping-Corona Awareness Team: For over a year, a group of Kolping members in Singida / Tanzania has been getting together under the name of “Kolping-Corona Awareness Team”. It informs the population about the dangers of a COVID-19 infection, distributes information brochures, soap and disinfectants. Their work focuses on a direct contact with the population, a direct approach, as Richard Assey explains: „First it only takes one person to change the word COVID-19 to be No-COVID-19 and that person is you, that person is u who spend the whole afternoon talking to people u even don’t know. Let’s keep fight and push harder… Awareness is still needed…” Photos
+++ March, 31: Togo – support for school schildren: In October 2020 Kolping Togo supported more than 700 school children from needy families. They received school backpacks, books, exercise books and pencils. The Association reports in a video about this relief action supported by the means of the Kolping Corona Fund.
+++ March, 9: Ukraine – Help for people with disabilities: With financial help taken from the Corona Fund, KOLPING is planning an online platform where caregivers in social centers can exchange information with experts. This will allow them to discuss their professional issues in online chats and receive help and information from specialists. KOLPING has also launched a social project in Ivano Frankivsk that employs people with disabilities: In the newly opened bakery “Chlib.Ko” (Chlib means “bread”) they work with immediate effect, get used to the daily work routine and earn their own money.
+++ March, 4: Brazil – At the end of January KOLPING Brazil started to provide food to needy senior citizens in Vila Belem. At the beginning they visited 45 people who urgently need help. The action will be continued. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation of the elderly who are in need of assistance. Where social services have broken away, KOLPING and other aid organizations have tried to step in and alleviate the need. Photos
+++ February, 24: Indonesia – vegetable gardens and crop houses against hunger: On the island of Sumba, five Kolping Families have planted vegetable gardens last year with funds taken from the Corona Fund to prevent famine. 120 people feed themselves with potatoes, spinach, carrots, tomatoes and onions from their own cultivation. At the moment it is the rainy season, which benefits the small farmers: the next harvest can be sown and has a good chance to grow. KOLPING Indonesia also plans to set up so-called crop houses, where the harvest is stored for the local market and sold at fair prices.
+++ February, 18: Ukraine: In Uzhgorod in the west of the country, KOLPING has helped internally displaced persons and war veterans to start a new existence through microcredits. Now families can start their own businesses and earn their own money by producing wooden pallets, their own sausages and furniture. A tractor makes work and harvesting easier for farmers in mountain villages.
+++ February, 10: Honduras – KOLPING provides material and psychological aid: Several hurricanes severely hit Honduras at the end of the year. Currently, the destroyed fields are being restored. The association provides psychological aid since the need is great.
+++ January, 13: India – KOLPING cares for victims after tempest: End of November the cyclone Nivar devastated the 130km long coastline between Chennai and Pondicherry in South India. Vast areas of the country were under water. The National Praeses Fr. Mari and his staff reacted immediately and provided the victims of the catastrophe at the Kolping headquarters in Chennai with 500 meals that were cooked in the mobile kitchens. Facemasks and disinfectants were also distributed. Photos
+++ January, 8: Bolivia – Kolping Health Centers save the lives of COVID-19 patients: Also in Bolivia, the Corona Pandemic COVID claims countless victims. By the end of 2020, the country with 11 million inhabitants officially counted 160,000 infected and almost 10,000 deaths. To help the sick, the largest of the five Kolping Health Centers, the Sacred Heart Hospital, opened a COVID 19 intensive care unit last year in July. The medical protective equipment for the staff (facemasks, protective glasses and virus protection suits) in the amount of 20,000 euro have been financed by the Kolping Corona Fund.
+++ November, 24: KOLPING Romania helps with founding of start-ups: With the help of KOLPING Romania, 45 small entrepreneurs managed to start their own business. Until January 2021 the Kolping team will monitor the twenty founded start-up companies in the fields of marketing, construction, furniture industry, service sector, car repair shop, embroidery, tailoring, hairdresser, child care etc., all of them located in three counties in the center of Romania. “These are not easy times for the small companies, but they are trying to hold on,” says project consultant Ingrid Arvay.
+++ November, 11: Sri Lanka – distribution of food: Most of the Kolping members in the diocese of Colombo work on tea and rubber plantations and due to the lockdown they have no work and no income. In order for the families to survive, KOLPING Sri Lanka distributes food (rice, sugar, tea, noodles, fish, cookies, and soap) financed from the resources of the Corona Fund. Also in the diocese of Batticaloa, 138 members from 8 Kolping Families have received food. Photos
+++ November, 5: Kenya – KOLPING vocational school open again: The KOLPING vocational training center in Kilimambogo has resumed its operations. The first IT courses have started and also the final exams were carried out. Further courses will follow. Although the number of infections is rising again in the cities, so that regionally tighter restrictions apply again. However, Kilimambogo is located in rural areas, so that classes can continue at least for the time being.
+++ November, 2: Argentina – utoring for schoolchildren and food expenditure for the needy: The region around Buenos Aires in particular is still in lockdown: here, students are still being taught online. KOLPING supports the families morally and quite concretely: In places where it is allowed to meet again there is a daily meal in the afternoon for needy ones. Once a week on top they have now created another food expenditure in the evening, since the number of families which are in emergency keeps growing. Some Kolping Families offer tutoring for school children: Often large gaps have arisen due to online teaching. KOLPING Argentina offers online meetings or, where it is permitted, also presence meetings in which Kolping members can exchange information on many topics. These meetings enable the members come to other thoughts, to talk about their concerns and to exchange ideas.
+++ October, 15: In Chile, people were already poor before the pandemic and because of Corona, even more people are now living in extreme poverty and are starving. KOLPING Chile has therefore distributed 300 food rations and helped 2,767 people in 18 dioceses in recent weeks. Pictures
+++ October, 13: Indonesia – Struggle against hunger and Coronavirus: In Indonesia, the Association distributed food, face masks, soap and educational brochures on the islands of Sumba, Flores and West Timor to protect the population from COVID-19. Photos
+++ October 7: Bolivia – Protective suits and masks for the Kolping Hospital in El Alto: KOLPING Bolivia, doctors and the nursing team of the Hospital Sagradeo Corazón de Jesus express their thanks in a short film for the donations from the Kolping Corona Fund. Thanks to this help they received the protective equipment to protect themselves and the patients from infection by Covid-19. View film
+++ October, 5: Photos from Tanzania – “Train the Trainer”: KOLPING has trained volunteers in Tanzania in seminars to warn the population about the dangers of the corona virus. To address as many people as possible, a play was performed in the villages and a music group warned in a song about COVID-19. Photos
+++ September, 24: Tanzania: “We hope that the pandemic will disappear soon in Tanzania”, writes Richard Assey, Regional Kolping Coordinator in Singida / Tanzania. We continue to produce soap and are happy that people can now again cope with their daily life.” In order to protect the population from COVID-19, Kolping Families in Tanzania produce soap and disinfectants. Photos
+++ September 21: Rwanda – Seeds against hunger: Many day laborers have lost their jobs in the cities due to the pandemic and have returned to their families in the countryside. For the extended families this means that they have to feed even more people. Out of necessity they have often already eaten the seeds that were actually intended for the next harvest. Therefore KOLPING Rwanda has distributed 21,253 kilos of beans to 546 households through donations taken from the Kolping Corona Fund. This made it possible to help 3,800 people and prevent a famine. Photo
+++ September 16: Argentina – KOLPING supports poor families: Volunteers from several Kolping Families have packed 100 food packages to distribute them to needy families and senior citizens. The donations come from the resources of the Kolping Corona Fund. Photos
+++ September 9: Brazil – survival aid for the starving: 1,320 food baskets were donated to Kolping Families in the following states from the Kolping Corona Fund: Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Pará, Pernambuco, Piauí, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Tocantins. In Espirito Santo, KOLPING distributed 1,200 meals to homeless people. Gallery
+++ September 3: Colombia – Help for those in need: 360 Kolping members have received urgently needed help: The Association brought food and hygiene kits to people in the regions of Boyacá, Meta, Tolima and Bogotá. The nose-mouth masks were sewn according to a model from the Diocesan Association of Cologne. Photos
+++ August 28: Mexico – Sign of hope: “For many people KOLPING Mexico is a sign and a space of hope”, says Managing Director Rafael Jacobo Zepeda. In July, the association resumed its work on the spot, the team works in turns on different days. Communication is carried out partly online, partly personally. The Kolping members’ willingness to use new structures of project work is great, e.g. when it comes to Zoom conferences. “We have accompanied the people during the pandemic and we will continue to do so, with due care, with respect for the pandemic, but with courage and decisiveness, to be a factor of change and improvement in the life of people.”
+++ August 26: Sri Lanka: In this video message, the Diocesan Praeses from Mannar, Fr. Emilianuspillai, expresses his gratitude for the support provided by the Kolping-Corona-Fund, from which 12 Kolping Families have benefited. They receive help in the form of small loans so that they can once again earn an income as farmers and fishermen and feed their families. Project photos are integrated into the film and give a first impression of how the Kolping Families live and work.
+++ August 25: Bolivia – Vocational training even in coronavirus times: In Bolivia, 40 young people are currently undergoing further training in the fields of bakery, hairdressing, manicure and handicrafts, naturally in compliance with the rules of distance and hygiene. These intensive courses take place daily for two months. They are intended to help young people to start their professional life. Thanks to the knowledge they acquire at KOLPING, it is easier for them to get a job or become self-employed to support their family. Gallery
+++ August 24: Cameroon – Aid campaign: In the struggle against Covid-19, KOLPING Cameroon visited its 1,000 members in 40 Kolping Families in July 2020 and distributed food and hygiene kits. The donations were financed by the Kolping Corona Fund. Gallery
Two Kolping members give their thanks for the donations and express how much this support helped them and their family.
+++ August 14: Dominican Republic: Great solidarity – hundreds of starving people receive foodstuff: Between June 7 and August 2, KOLPING distributed food and protective masks to needy members. The Association bought preferably the products that the Kolping members had grown or produced themselves, such as eggs, bananas, cassava, bread and pineapples. The rest was bought in addition, and the Association is happy about the great solidarity of the population: Some traders donated part of their goods or gave generous discounts, others donated fruit and vegetables from their own garden to the Association. A young tailor, who just finished his apprenticeship at KOLPING, sewed many face masks, which were also distributed. As many volunteers helped with the distribution action, KOLPING was able to distribute more aid packages than planned: 1,786 food rations reached the people all over the country, so that also residents of an old people’s and children’s home and patients of an addiction clinic were taken care of. Photos
+++ August 6: India – KOLPING is helping with cook shops and food packages: A 125 day curfew was in force throughout India until the end of June. KOLPING provided food to help its members to survive. Paramedics who often worked without sufficient protection, received face masks and disinfection spray through KOLPING. The association also distributed protection masks to the community. In five regions KOLPING India set up cook shops and volunteers cooked food and distributed it to people in need. A total of 9,850 food packages were distributed, and the food ensured the survival of many people. Photos
+++ August 4: Albania – Kolping distributes 8 tons of food to extremely poor families: During the last weeks Kolping Albania distributed food to families who face extremely economic problems. In total 350 families in the north of the country received this support. The newly established Kolping Family Koman also helped with the distribution. Many people live in the difficult mountainous terrain; some of them can only be reached by boat or on foot. A short film by KOLPING Albania reports about this support.
+++ August 3: Domincan Republic: Photos from the Dominican Republic, where KOLPING distributes food and protective masks
+++ July 30: Kamerun: In the fight against Covid-19 KOLPING Cameroon visited its 40 Kolping Families and distributed hygiene kits: The members received soap, disinfectants, mouth and nose protection. In addition, the helpers explained the importance of complying the hygiene rules to contain the pandemic. The measures were aimed at 1,000 members in 9 dioceses. To the image gallery
+++ July 7: Myanmar – Covid-19 Prevention Awareness Campaign: KOLPING board members and volunteers in Myanmar are currently traveling to Loikaw and Pekhon dioceses to educate KOLPING members about the risks of infection and protective measures against corona virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the association has been tireless in its efforts to help its members and has the goal of visiting all 750 members in 50 Kolping Families. In addition to the information campaign, KOLPING also distributes basic food, as many people have nothing to eat due to the curfew. Photos
+++ July 6: Bolivia – KOLPING distributes food: KOLPING Bolivia distributes food to vulnerable families throughout the country. The gratitude is great, because many people have no income due to the Corona restrictions and are starving. Photos
+++ June 26: Rwanda: Despite Corona and drought, the members of the Kolping Family Kibwa (diocese Ruhengeri) will soon be able to bring in a good potato harvest, thanks to the Kolping agriculture training. “Our members cultivate their fields with modern cultivation methods, also now during the restrictions”, says Dancille Mujuwamariya, Managing Director of KOLPING Ruanda. “Many Kolping members live in rural areas and can provide for themselves also during curfews.” Therefore, many city dwellers fled to their relatives in the villages. But the Kolping members in the cities fight for their existence, too. “Far fewer customers come to the shops and often shops have to close and have no revenues at all”, says Dancille Mujuwamariya worried. Photo
+++ June 25: Earthquake in Mexico – No Kolping members injured, Kolping House slightly damaged: A heavy earthquake of magnitude 7.5 struck the south of Mexico yesterday. The state of Oaxaca was affected. “This was a great shock during the pandemic that does not cease but is getting worse every day. The earthquake reached us during a video conference. Lukily the Early Warning System worked and so we had almost two minutes to leave the building”, reports Rafael Jacobo Zepada. The Kolping House has cracks but the Kolping members are not injured. “Thank God we got away with the shock.” The heavy earthquake that hit the country in September 2017 remains unforgotten.
+++ June 24: Costa Rica – Increase in infections, hard everyday life for the Kolping Families: The government has withdrawn the planned relaxation of the regulations, as new Covid-19 diseases have increasingly appeared. “Our Kolping Families have a hard time making ends meet, most of them come from the country and there they have something to eat, but they have to pay other bills such as water and electricity and insurance. Children and young people are given virtual lessons whenever possible. Social inequality has never been more evident than now, when those with fewer resources are left behind.” Katia Fernández Mena, KOLPING Costa Rica
+++ June 23: Myanmar: KOLPING is now distributing packages to 270 Kolping members in the diocese of Pyay. They include: soap, face mask, electrolytes, information leaflet as well as food like pasta, oil and sugar. The boxes have a value of goods of 10 Euros and are financed by donations from the Kolping Corona Fund. The Association is currently visiting all Kolping Families in the country and distributes the packages to all 749 members. Photos
+++ June 16: Ecuador – Solidarity Campaign: „What we have been organizing and implementing is the Solidarity Campaign supported by Kolping International. I think we have done a very good job of finding, selecting and acquiring the food for about 1,500 kits. We have included as part of the security kits to prevent COVID19: alcohol, masks, information on prevention measures. All this in a cloth bag with the logo of the Campaign: Kolping Solidarity in Action We are just delivering the kits since last Thursday. People are extremely grateful to Kolping International for this help.“ Jeanette Calvachi, Managing Director KOLPING Ecuador.
+++ June 15: India – KOLPING resumes its acitivities: The NGOs played a vital role in taking care of the poor families and migrant workers. Several NGOs including KOLPING India and partner organisations had provided food, water and transport facilities to affected people during the difficult time of pandemic. With the partial relaxation of the lockdown, Kolping India and many of the Kolping India partner organizations have resumed partially their regular project activities within the scope of activities permitted by the local government. Kolping India National Office has partially resumed its activities since 1st June and started discussions with implementing partners of ways and means to restart the Kolping projects.
+++ June 10: Dominican Republic – Distribution of foodstuffs: In the Puerto Plata area KOLPING has started to distribute food and masks to the needy. The National Office serves as a collection point where the goods are packed and loaded. The team is supported by many volunteers. The relief action will be extended to other regions in the coming days and weeks. Fotos
+++ June 9: Albania – Kolping Youth helps poor families: KOLPING Albania supports poor families, disabled or disadvantaged people with monthly food packages. There are 64 families that Albanian Kolping provides this support in the northern part of Albania as this is the poorest region. The preparation, packing, transport and distribution is done by youth group of Albanian Kolping. Photos
+++ June 8: South Africa: “It has not been easy with the pandemic in South Africa. Most of our disadvantaged communities have been left with no work and no food. Our Kolping Training and Development Department is still working from home and will slowly be returning to office as from 15 June. For now, we are looking at ways to how we can continue our work. During our lockdown we have remained in contact with some of our SPARK mothers and Work Opportunity Program (WOP) youth to keep them motivated and send food parcels. We are now on level 3 lockdown restrictions, certain work sectors can return to work but to strictly maintain social distancing and wearing a mask is compulsory. We hope and pray that the situation will soon improve and look forward to connect with our groups again.” Laurian Kleinhans, Kolping Society of South Africa
+++ June 5: Dominican Republic: – KOLPING coordinates aid delivery and vocational training courses: Since 1st June, the complete staff at KOLPING in the Dominican Republic is working again and coordinating the solidarity help during the coronavirus crisis. “We are working hard, together with the National Board of Directors, the Foundation and a team of volunteers, to start distributing food rations to Kolping members to pass on the solidary aid received from KOLPING INTERNATIONAL and the Diocese of Paderborn to fight against Covid-19. We are currently buying and packing food. The first delivery will take place next weekend in the area of Puerto Plata”, writes Managing Director Yudy García. The food will be distributed in recycled bags that can be reused. Furthermore, three virtual training courses in accounting, food processing and preservation will start next week.
+++ June 2: Bolivia: KOLPING Bolivia has published a recipe book, which contains simple and tasty baking recipes that can be prepared with only a few basic ingredients. Just right for the quarantine period. The baking book as PDF for download.
+++ June 1: Myanmar: Members of the National Board Myanmar distribute foodstuff to members of the Kolping Family Faustina in the Archdiocese of Taunggyi. On May 10, a storm and heavy rainfalls destroyed 11 houses of members of the Kolping Family.
Volunteers continue to visit all Kolping Families in the country to distribute donations and to inform about the infection of Covid 19. In a second phase, all members who are farmers and are not able to sell their harvest in times of coronavirus, will receive small credits with no interests. This is important so that they can cultivate their fields in time, because due to the loss of their income on local markets they no longer have money for new seeds. Photos
+++ May 28: Romania – Bedtime stories for children as podcast: The news from the Regional KOLPING Association Moldova are inspiring: After the successful idea to present bedtime stories via Facebook, other podcasts are made available in order to be connected with the people in and around Oituz also in times of Corona. In “interviews at coffee time” people from Oituz and their stories take centre stage. “Die Welt des Grünlings” (The world of the Greenling) ins a broadcast by children for children. The brief broadcasts can be seen and heard if you visit the Facebook page of Kolping Oitz Podcasts.“We hope that this project idea will be well received and can be an alternative form of “approaching” children and adults in and around the community of Oituz”, says Corneliu Bulai from the Regional Association.
+++ May 26: Tanzania – Kolping shop provides people with disinfectants: The Kolping Family Singida runs its own shop and sells soap and hygienic spray to the population for protection against the coronavirus disease.
+++ May 24: Myanmar – Help for people in quarantine: Last Saturday members of the Kolping Family Taunggoke in Rakhine State collected money and food in their group. The donations were distributed to persons with corona suspected symptoms who are in quarantine. The Kolping Family Taunggoke responded with this action to a nationwide call by Kolping Myanmar to render active help on the spot during the coronavirus pandemic.
+++ May 22: Argentina – Online training: Due to the ban on assembly, the Association offers online courses in computer science, folklore dance, healthy cooking and many other fields. The courses already have some participants and some are starting today. In this video you can find instructions for sewing face masks https://youtu.be/vUAo7kRRXFg, here a pizza is baked https://youtu.be/9LPo_VOboi0.
+++ May 20: Tanzania – Sanitation Awareness Campaign: “I am Richard Assey From Kolping Tanzania Singida, a Coodinator for Central zone. In my zone we try to teach Kolping members here to make hand sanitizer for Kolping members but also to sell in good price for every one and we try to pass more than five Districts in our Region to teach people how to take pricosion like wash hands with runing water and soap, keep destance, wearing masks (Barakoa) but also we find most people they don’t have soap so we try to teach them also to make soap. Here there also lot of rain so in coming day I think there must be a problem of food so we start also prepare cassava in keep it in and also teach them to plant crop which take short time like catoffe (potatoe).”
+++ May 18: Myanmar – Start oft he Home-Awareness-Campaign: „After the COVID-19 prevention training for trainer by Video Conferencing, we start “Home Awareness Campaign” on this week. On this campaign we had explained about Corona Virus Disease to protect themselves. We had planed for this campaign in monthly to reach all our members, our community and our church. On this month we had done the covid-19 awareness campaign to 120 members in 4 dioceses, Pyay, Loikaw, Pekhon and Taunggyi.“ LeiLei Win, National Secretary KOLPING Myanmar. To the gallery
+++ May 16, Burundi: The children in Burundi are instructed to observe rules of distance and hygiene measures. An animated explanatory film especially for children.
+++ May 14: Uganda – First help for the farmers: Uganda is gradually easing the lockdown measures. The National Association has also partially returned to work in the office, in compliance with safety regulations. As soon as the government regulations allow, one of the first measures will be to support the families who have lost their harvest due to the locust plague. Thanks to donors’ great willingness to help, it is possible to distribute seeds in the near future so that the farmers can harvest again soon and will not be hungry.
+++ May 13: Indonesia – Lockdown: From Indonesia we receive the news that the number cases with positive Covid 19 is increasing rapidly. “The situation is really scary. People are forced to stay at home, but at the same time they need to have an income to survive,” writes Paulce Parera from the KOLPING National Association in Weetebula. The schools are closed until at least the beginning of June.
+++ May 11: Bolivia – First support received: “Thank you for the prompt transfer of the first donations. Today we have finally returned to work in the office following two extensions of the quarantine”, reports Carlos Mattos, Managing Director of KOLPING Bolivia. However, for the time being there is only a cautious relaxation of the curfew. The government has defined three risk levels, which are checked weekly by each municipality and adapted to the local conditions. The schools and training courses are still closed, and lessons take place online at KOLPING, too. Schools might start reopening after the winter holidays, but there will be restrictions that are currently being worked out by Kolping. “We are expecting to receive the permission in July”, says Carlos Mattos. The contact to the Kolping members takes place on a digital basis and is well received.
+++ May 8: Myanmar: The first hygienic protection packages have been distributed in Myanmar. Staff and volunteers went from door to door and distributed the donations. “People were happy about the protective material and about being visited because many of them feel alone at home and are unhappy. The visit by KOLPING encouraged them. They are proud to be a member of Kolping Myanmar” says the National Secretary LeiLei Win. “They asked me to say many thanks to the donators!”
+++ March – April +++
Bolivia: In its health care centres Kolping helps people who cannot afford a doctor. At the moment infusion pumps, respirators and monitors are urgently needed. There is a curfew – but of course the clinic staff of the Kolping Hospital in La Paz is allowed to pass, as you can see here: https://youtu.be/eLI2-1H7uOQ. Here you can watch a short video from the clinic: Soy Kolpinista! To the image gallery
Brazil: To a great extent, public life has also come to a standstill in Brazil. Kolping programs and projects have been suspended, meetings of Kolping Families have currently been cancelled, because everyone has to stay at home. Many Kolping members who work as domestic workers or craftsmen without an employment contract have become unemployed from one moment to another and have to get along without state support. Their families do not know how to survive.
The population in the state of Tocantins is also threatened by floods – rivers burst their banks and many people became homeless. KOLPING takes boats to the families and supports them with food. To the image gallery
Chile: Since the beginning of March, the activities are no longer implemented. As a measure against the coronavirus each Kolping Family received fabric, elastic strap and threads from the National Association for the own production of masks. In a big solidarity campaign Kolping Families all over the country are sewing face masks to help the population. They distribute the face masks in centres for senior citizens, but also to collection points where day labourers offer their labour. To the image gallery. Moreover, the association supports its members with foodstuff, because many members currently have no income.
Colombia: School lessons in the Colegio Técnico Adolfo Kolping in Mariquita are now held online due to the national curfew.
Costa Rica: For weeks, the population has been called upon to stay at home. Many work in home offices. There are some staff members in the Kolping office and they keep in touch with the Kolping Families via WhatsApp. The association tries to find solutions for those members who cannot pay back their small loan due to the economic situation caused by the Corona crisis. “We promote security and solidarity measures and motivate people to prefer products and services of the local market – especially those offered by Kolping members. In this way we try to minimize the economic effects. Because many families make a living from what they produce every day”, writes Katia Fernández Mena, KOLPING coordinator.
The Association supports its members in questions concerning the pandemic and assists families to apply for help from the state or the community. This is proving difficult, however, as social assistance is not distributed nationwide and the applications from many people are not considered.
Dominican Republic: There is a strict curfew between 5 pm and 6 am. Only supermarkets and pharmacies are open. The Kolping team works from home. The two “weltwärts“ (“Out into the world“) volunteers from Germany had to return home.
Ecuador: The curfew prevents the Kolping members from earning money. Many families are now destitute and have hardly any money to pay bills or to raise money for food. This is aggravated by the fact that the prices for food have risen. There are also members who have been infected with the virus, but so far no serious diseases are known. The situation in the country is further aggravated by the fact that the government does not provide funds for the Ministry of Health.
Honduras: Many Kolping members are farmers and have a small harvest due to climate change. Now the situation is aggravating, because they are day labourers without income. They have no money to buy food and in addition the shops in the villages are no longer supplied.
Thanks to the first donations from Germany, KOLPING buys food like beans or corn for the population. Farmers in the mountains sell their grain at moderate prices, and also in the city KOLPING has found suppliers who sell grain at cost prices. The Army helps KOLPING with the loading and unloading and secures the roads to prevent robberies. KOLPING also procures masks and disinfectants for the population and helps a regional hospital with the procurement of protective suits which are in short supply there. To the image gallery
Mexico: The Kolping Education Center in Mexico City had to close. The situation is tense.
In Uruguay, the association tries to maintain contact with its members by virtual means. The government has asked Kolping Uruguay to make the Kolping House, in case of need, available as a refuge for elderly homeless people.
In Kenya and Rwanda all schools and educational institutions are closed. The Kenyan government urges its citizens to work from home if possible, to avoid meetings and events. Rwanda has, amongst others, banned public religious ceremonies and church services, and also all other major events should currently not be held.
This has implications for the work of our partner associations there. For the moment, the Kolping association of Rwanda and the Kolping association of Kenya have to shut down their vocational training centres in Muramba and Kilimambogo.
South Africa: Also Kolping South Africa had to shut down its project work to a large extent. The WOP trainings cannot be realized. Many trainees are desperate because their vocational training has been stopped, they cannot do a job and have no money for food. KOLPING is engaged in making sure that the youth receive food from other organizations, since governmental aid does not reach people everywhere. The KOLPING staff is in contact with its members and inform about protective measures against the coronavirus and against the rising domestic violence. Pictures from South Africa
In Tanzania all schools and universities are closed, also the Kolping work is restricted.
Togo: Assemblies of 20 or more people are prohibited in the country. The Kolping office is still occupied and at present staff members continue to carry out training courses with the necessary hygiene measures and safety distance.
Uganda: All hotels and schools had to close nationwide. The Kolping training courses in Kampala are also affected by this. All Kolping hotels are currently closed. All employees work from home as far as this is possible. Educational measures cannot be carried out at the moment. Food prices have more than doubled. The situation is tense, as many families have no savings and are are not earning money at the moment. They may work in the fields as long as they follow social distancing rules. Kolping encourages the farmers to grow more crops than usual so that they can build up a stock. The government has started distributing food in and around the capital Kampala. However, many people are left empty-handed. Pictures from Uganda
India: The strict curfew has been prolonged until May 17. The national office in Chennai had to be shut down and meetings of Kolping Families are not possible. The Federal State Tamil Nadu is one of the Federal States with the highest number of cases. Chennai where the National Office is situated is a so-called “red zone”. 80 % of the people work in the informal sector and do no longer have an income. They are hungry. Only a minority can afford masks and other protective clothing.
Indonesia: Kolping distributes educational material and provides water for the general public. Thanks to the help of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL, the association can duplicate the information flyers on Corona and buy and distribute direct aids such as masks, disinfectants and wash basins.
A family lives next to Kolping Chapel in Melolo-Minggi Timbi /Sumba and was doing a silent praying. They prayed daily during Holy Week to stop the spread of the coronavirus. https://youtu.be/5dHAfhonDOU
Graduates of the housekeeping courses in the KOLPING asrama have started producing face masks.
Kolping Families in Katiku Loku (Sumba) und Kumba-Ruteng (Flores) are currently distributing food supplies, face masks and information about Covid 19. To the gallery
Myanmar: The association uses mobile phones and video conferencing to hold meetings and exchange information. Most members are temporarily in domestic quarantine.
Kolping has created posters describing concrete rules of conduct to protect against Covid-19. The Association displays these posters in public places to reach as many people as possible. In addition, two employees start visiting the individual families and informing them about the dangers. In the diocese of Taunggyi Kolping helps distributing protection materials. To the image gallery
Under the guidance of a trained tailor members are producing face masks. Thanks to the first donations, KOLPING in Myanmar was able to put together a package of health material for 260 members in 16 Kolping Families. It contains a mouth and face protection, soap, vitamin C tablets and information material about COVID 19. The packages are now distributed in Yangun, Pyay, Thandwe and Taunggy.
At the same time, the association is currently training trainers, who in turn train volunteers to keep in touch with members via phone and video conferencing to educate them about the protective measures against the coronavirus.
Philippines: Here there is a complete lockdown, therefore Kolping members cannot work in the office, everyone has to stay at home. The food distributed by the authorities is scarce, the association fears that many people will starve.
Sri Lanka: Five Kolping Families are in quarantine, because a foreign pastor with whom they met was tested positive. In the country there is a general curfew which is only partially suspended so that people can go shopping. The diocese of Mannar is asking for financial support to buy food. The day labourers have no income anymore. Kolping supports the locals by buying food and hygiene articles.
Timor-Leste: Association activities are suspended due to a curfew in the country. Many people suffer from hunger because due to the curfew they can neither bring in their harvest nor sell their goods. Moreover, there is a great drought since April. Fortunately, it starts to rain now so that corn can grow again on the fields. KOLPING provides its members with food like rice so that they have something to eat. A brief film about the KOLPING activities in Baucau.
Vietnam: KOLPING helps the population in the diocese of Long Xuyen and distributes food.
Central and Eastern Europe
Albania: Already at the beginning of March, the Kolping House in Shkoder had to close on official order. Some employees are working from home. The Kolping association does no longer generate any income.
Czech Republic: The National Office of KOLPING is still in operation. Some KOLPING centres and schools are closed. The women’s shelter in Prague is still open with restrictions. Project work does not currently take place.
In Lithuania there is a curfew since mid-March, only the food shops and pharmacies are open. Lessons at the Kolping Primary School and Kolping University take place online. The employees work in home office. Project work and seminars are suspended.
Poland: The staff members of KOLPING Poland work mostly in home office. Vocational guidance is still carried out by telephone or online without great restrictions. Some educational measures are held online.
Hungary: Staff members work in home office and are in close contact with Kolping members. Many turn to KOLPING with their concerns and receive comfort and encouragement. Lessons in the KOLPING schools continue to take place digitally, pupils participate in online courses.
The Kolping Hotel in Alsópáhok is closed. Programs of Kolping Families and all other events have been indefinitely postponed.
Romania: The Kolping Hotel in Brasov has been closed for three weeks now. Thus the income for the association has been lost. The staff members of the national Kolping office work from home and try to keep up the contact with the Kolping members.
In Oituz, the association has started to provide food to those in need. To the image gallery
Serbia: Part of staff members work from home, and they are staying connected by daily skype conferences. As KOLPING Serbia is active in domestic elderly and nursery care on a professional basis. Therefore the management is very busy at the moment, organising protective clothing and adapting care to the current circumstances. Many Kolping Families sew mouth protection masks and distribute them. The Kolping youth helps the elderly and does the shopping for them.
Slovakia: The Association is focused on the production of facemasks which can be ordered here: http://www.kolping.sk/mundschutz/.
Slovenia: The educational work is currently suspended. The international peace hike was postponed to May 2021.
Ukraine: The team of Kolping Ukraine works in the home office and has digital contact to the Kolping Families. At present the project work is suspended. The situation is especially difficult for people with disabilities who are normally looked after in the Kolping institutions and who now have to stay at home. “We are trying to organize the consultations and courses online”, reports Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of Kolping Ukraine, from Chernivtsi.
The Kolping Family Ivano-Frankivsk has produced and distributed the first 1,200 protective face masks, and the Kolping Family in Chernivtsi collects food for the needy.