Vaccination campaigns have started all over the world. They do not only bring us hope that 2021 will become a better year but in some countries KOLPING is gradually resuming its association and project work.
Supplying people with food remains our first priority. At the end of the year, donations to the Corona Fund were used to buy and distribute seeds and many families were able to use the winter rainfalls to till their fields. Now they can soon harvest their crops and feed their children.
Here is another example: The KOLPING vocational training centers in Muramba/Rwanda and in Kilimambogo/Kenya are located in the countryside where infection numbers were low enough again by the end of the year that the schools could open their doors again. Hundreds of young people can now continue their training while observing the coronavirus safety rules, some of them could also sit for their final exams and graduate. This also gives hope that they will soon be able to earn their own living.
Education is a major area to support children: They receive school books and digital tools to benefit from distance learning and follow class from their homes. Many Kolping Families are also contacted by students who are lagging behind – they are given private lessons to make sure that they are not left behind.
However, there are also some new challenges: In India, people living on the coast in the southeast of the country were affected very badly by cyclone Navi. Here, KOLPING provided disaster relief and distributed food among hundreds of people who had lost their homes.
In addition, Kolping organizations all over the world distribute personal hygiene products to protect the local population from a COVID-19 infection. In El Alto, Bolivia we were able to supply the medical and nursing staff at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Hospital with face masks and protective clothes. At this hospital KOLPING had set up an intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients. Thanks to protective measures the number of healthcare workers who infected themselves remained very low.
This and many other initiatives were financed from the KOLPING Corona Fund which had grown to almost one million euros by the end of 2020. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all donors for their solidarity.