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COVID-19 Response Fund: Chile

As the emergent impacts of the coronavirus mount across our communities, Senior Melton Fellow May Garces, and team, are currently raising funds to support vulnerable families in Temuco and Santiago, Chile. Their COVID-19 Response Fund aims to provide immediate resources to the vulnerable population in Chile. We ask that you join hands in this endeavor and make a donation today! :)

Melton Fellows in Chile, led by Senior Melton Fellow May Garces from Temuco, Chile are raising money to provide care packages for vulnerable families during the 2020 COVID19 pandemic. 100% of your donation will go directly to vulnerable communities. Donate now! Here’s an appeal from May Garces –

How can you help those in need?

“We recognize that as the coronavirus pandemic continues to intensify locally, it will have vastly disproportionate health, economic, and social impacts on communities of color—especially older adults, immigrants, people with compromised immune systems, low-wage workers, and people who are unhoused.” 

Through consultation with our community partners, we have gathered information about how to most effectively provide immediate support across Temuco & Santiago, with the understanding that the impacts of COVID-19 will be long-lasting and recovery for many will be a difficult process.        

As a first step, we are issuing grants to 2 front-line service and advocacy organizations in Santiago and Temuco that provide lifelines for vulnerable populations, meal delivery and daily living needs for homebound neighbors, support for low-wage workers who may experience food insecurity, loss of wages, and limited access to healthcare and paid sick leave, as well as other emerging needs. We ask you to help us bring assistance to at-risk families in vulnerable sectors of Temuco and Santiago, in this time of quarantine. 

Through this campaign, we will develop and deliver care packages for at-risk families, and we will give you the possibility of being safely generous and release some of your anxiety by doing something to help less privileged people in these times.

Details on our Partners joining us for this cause:

We have partnered with two organizations that deal with specific cases of people affected by these situations: Coordinadora de Tomas, Campamentos y Asentamientos (Temuco), and Aliwen Anay (Santiago). 

  • Coordinadora de Tomas, Campamentos y Asentamientos (Temuco): Gathers 32 informal housing camps that do not have the minimum conditions to face the humanitarian crisis (water access and essential services).
  • Aliwen Anay (Santiago): Aliwen Anay is a well-connected organization working in Cerrillos and Lo Espejo, led by Freddy Lara Aravena who has several years of experience in managing diverse communities in disaster relief. They have already done a campaign where they delivered food items to 17 families that had urgent cases to solve.

UPDATE (29 June 2020) –>

“Recently, in Cerrillos, 150 people arrived at the communal pot. To the surprise of the team of the Aliwenanay Foundation that served them, families even came in cars, from middle-class neighborhoods, to look for food. They said they had been fired from their jobs, that they only had money to pay the bills, etc. Near that place, two young Venezuelan couples with a baby were selling sweets and we’re asking for money. The Alien Anay Foundation team brought them lunch and they devoured it! They were about to run out of money, they said. In these times, each situation is unique, unstable and so imminently dangerous. More than 200 people came and we are just beginning the winter. Let’s practice taking care of ourselves, our physical and mental health; and may this include considering looking for solutions to the difficult realities of others. Please help us by sharing or donating to this campaign.” – May Garces, Melton Fellow

Freddy Lara– Leader of Aliwen Anay – Cerrilos, Santiago de Chile 7 de Junio, shares with us: 

It has been a very hard time, not because Chile doesn’t know about tragedies or catastrophes – after all, we are a land of earthquakes, floods, tidal waves, storms, and others – but today we face an invisible adversary and only when this giant “wave” that is hitting us today passes, will we see the real magnitude of this catastrophe, which will be unfortunately in human lives.

Buildings are rebuilt or repaired, cracks are plugged, water dries up, but hunger or loneliness is not remedied with stucco. In the last 3 months, I have visited more than 25 Families and 40 houses. 

When countries are developed or developing, one of the most complex situations that occur is that poverty becomes less visible, or rather: greater development, brings greater invisible vulnerability.

I have visited beautiful houses, solid constructions, but in their interior 90-year-olds live alone because their children live in their own houses. Sometimes their children are present and help them, but others don’t visit or care for them and they drift waiting for some help from neighbors or the state.

In those places, the hardship is not easily visible, this phenomenon occurs a lot in Chile.

In Cerrillos, a neighborhood in Santiago, Lucy, an 82-year-old retired teacher, takes care of her 80-year-old husband who lost both legs to diabetes. Even though they live with a daughter, she has been unemployed for 6 months and they only live with their pension.  On Friday, July 5, I learned that some neighbor friends, a family of 7 people are infected. They live in a house of 90 square meters, and the low temperatures are already here. Yesterday, Saturday 6th, we arrived with a stove and blankets at this house. And although yesterday we did not defeat the coronavirus, yesterday we warmed up the will to fight of a family.

Last year, as a result of the social uprising, people coined the following phrase: “Until Dignity becomes a habit”, today in the face of this human-social pandemic, that phrase must be rewritten to say: “Until helping becomes a habit”.

Temuco and Santiago are among the cities with the worst quality of air in Latinamerica and this risk factor for the mortality of COVID-19 will be intensified in the next winter months. Again, the most vulnerable will suffer the most and we have the opportunity to help them survive by supporting their daily subsistence and mental health. 

We need to raise the following amounts of money to meet the needs of the at-risk communities:

  • 3200 USD approx. (2.500.000 clp) USD: Basic expenses. 
  • 5000 USD: Stretch goal (to provide electric heaters to vulnerable families).

Each Care package has a cost of $17.000 clp approx.

  1. Food and Daily Hygiene products. 
  2. Masks: $1000 clp each i.e approx. 1.3 USD
  3. Booklet: $3000 clp each i.e approx 3.8 USD
  4. 17000 x 100 families = 1.700.000 (50 families en Temuco y 50 en Stgo. $850.000 clp each) = 1993 USD + 500 USD for masks and booklets + 700 USD for administration costs, bringing the total to 3200USD. 

The Melton Foundation is also committed to the fundraiser and has pledged to unlock a matching 250USD in funds, once the equivalent has been raised by our team of motivated Fellows.  The basic goal for the campaign will be $3200 USD. We hope that you, too, will consider making a donation today to help our neighbors in need. 100% of your donation will go directly to vulnerable communities. 

Click here to Donate Now, and help us help those in need!