Being on the ground is a key area in humanitarian work. From the preparation of food aid packs, to distributing them to the doorsteps of our beneficiaries, being able to meet and speak to the people we’re helping is one of the most fulfilling moments for both volunteers and staff.
Due to the pandemic, people all over the world were unable to reunite with loved ones, travel or even celebrate the festive season like old times. For NGOs, however, the presence of restrictions and safety distancing measures also meant the absence of connecting with people in need, volunteers, and partners. As an NGO in Singapore, our team faced one of the toughest times trying to conduct needs assessments and conducting some of our in-person events like #GERKindnessDay or in-person fundraising events.
On top of the restrictions, our work on the ground was also hindered. Some of the estates who received our aid regularly were declared ‘cluster zones’, and we had to steer clear of those estates for a month or two. Amongst many new changes, our Project Managers had to navigate alternative delivery arrangements for those who would go hungry without the grocery packs delivered by our team.
GER’s aid reaches a wide range of households; orphaned families, parents who struggle in purchasing diapers for their babies, and of course, elders who have been left to fend for themselves alone. Apart from being high-risk patients, our elderly beneficiaries who were issued stay-home notices were unable to greet us at the door and many of us feared for their wellbeing at home alone. Our monthly visits to their homes not only allows us to deliver aid right to their doorstep, but also check in on them, have conversations and keep them company even if it’s just for ten minutes.
This year, we’re hoping that with the easing of restrictions, we’ll be able to visit our beneficiaries and spend a little more time getting to know them and any additional needs they might have. In conjunction with #WorldNGODay, we hope you’ll come on board as a volunteer or donor to lend a helping hand to those in need!