Christian World Service is appealing for donations to support Samoan families affected by the measles outbreak. Sadly 71 people, mostly babies under five months old have lost their lives. Nearly 5,000 people have now been infected with the virus.
Donations to the appeal will enable trained community carers to provide psychosocial support for families and they will also fund urgent relief items needed by people who are unwell.
CWS has made an initial grant of $5,000 to their colleagues and partners at the Family Centre, based in Lower Hutt and Samoa. Staff have prepared a preliminary budget of $20,000.
As well as supporting aiga (extended families) that need emotional support, the Family Centre will also provide assistance with basic items for families with members that are unwell.
Family Centre Samoa staff are purchasing bedding and mattresses, nappies, wipes, towels, soap and Vaseline for affected families as well as formula for mothers unable to provide breast milk because of stress. The need for such practical help will increase over the next few weeks three as experienced psychosocial teams head out to offer community-based care.
Many parents in Samoa have minimal income and cannot afford doctors or medical care.
“This is a very traumatic time for families and communities in Samoa. Working with the Family Centre, I know we are giving people the comfort and support they need in a very appropriate and Samoan way. Please support this appeal for relief supplies and transport and other costs for team members to reach more isolated communities,” says Trish Murray, International Programmes Coordinator at Christian World Service.
CWS has supported a number of disaster response programmes run by the Family Centre in previous years. This appeal is for a short term response to the latest outbreak.
Donations can be made:
- On line and by direct deposit to the Samoa Measles Appeal
- By Phone with a credit card: 0800 74 73 72
- By Post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140
CWS is a member of ACT Alliance a global coalition of 156 churches and church-related organisations working together on humanitarian, development and advocacy in over 120 countries.