The most impoverished areas in West Africa (Nigeria, Benin, and Togo) and Latin America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) are being severely affected by COVID-19, with entire villages lacking the resources to feed their families. Due to COVID-19, several of these countries' borders are in lockdown, closed for travel, and the cost of food has tripled. Our 501(c)3 organization has been serving many communities in these regions for 20+ years through medical care, water wells, medical clinics, Hope Centers, food distribution, and micro-financing. Though we have already purchased $36,000 in life-saving food, the borders will remain in lockdown at least through August. SOS Ministries’ (www.sosHope.org) desire is to continue to share the love of God by meeting their physical needs. We would love for you to join us in the trenches of poverty and hunger to provide food and help to those in critical need. One hundred percent (100%) of all proceeds will go directly to this endeavor.
The situation in West Africa and Latin America is desperate. Many of the people receive minimal to zero government support and provision. Gbenga, SOS’s director of West Africa, earnestly responded to our inquiry for their wellbeing, saying: “Today too many people have come to me for help. Many need food and have no means to buy any food. Sorry Sirs, West Africa people deeply need help and support now. Please pray for me and West Africa’s people and SOS African leaders to help the lesser people, which are too many.”
The economic situation in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo is severely dire. The cost of rice and beans and other common food for Africans has more than tripled recently, so what would normally feed a family of 10 living on $25 a week is now costing $75 a week. In addition to the price hikes, many have lost their very low-paying jobs and their means of providing for their families. Children are starving, mothers are in need, and fathers have no place to turn. Kidnappings and robbery have also increased drastically and rapidly. Gbenga said, “We have trained ourselves and now must sleep with one eye open and one eye closed.”
El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are also hurting deeply during this pandemic. Alex, SOS’s director of Latin America, reported that the lockdown there has caused desperation and paranoia to be very strong, and medical workers like himself are now on-call 24 hours a day. Like in Africa, there is little to no means of dealing with COVID-19 and people are struggling now simply to survive until the next day.
Our goal is to feed entire villages by distributing “Relief Bags” to as many communities as possible. These relief bags contain beans, rice, flour, cooking oil, and bread. Through this method, it only takes about $1 to supply one person’s food for a day, $30 to feed 4 people for a week, $75 to feed 10 people for a week, $300 to feed 10 people for a month, and $6,000 to feed an entire village of 200 for a month. While we have already dispensed $36,000 in Relief Bags, we are currently seeking $72,000 to continue our food distribution. As long as the COVID-19 crisis lingers on, so must the life-saving support press on as well!
We have already seen the impact our Relief Bags have made. Christians in West Africa receiving relief aid from SOS are saying, “It is like receiving kindness from Jesus Himself.” They are very grateful.
Others who have received relief aid have said, “The government nor anyone else has provided anything for us, how is it that the Church of Jesus has remembered us, even when we do not go to the Hope Center or any church?! Thank you! We will remember the favor shown to us in our time of need.” Those in Latin America also send their greetings along with “Thank You” messages from the people who have received food donations. Because of the generosity many have shown, we have been able to feed over 1,200 people in Latin America over the past month.
May God bless you during the hard days of this pandemic.
The SOS Team