N Jacob Krocha
Akumdong Humanity Fund
Thank you Good Friday 2020 for the unforgettable experience, a day well spent with a deep sense of gratitude, awakening, a life changing experience and a sense of total satisfaction.
2020 has been the most challenging year for many of us; the amount of pain, hardship and difficulty of this magnitude might have never been experienced before. As I recollect my Good Friday experience over the years, it is the time of the year when I would normally spend the day fasting, go to Church and dedicating the day in prayer. I got the opportunity to experience a different Good Friday this year and the experience has left me overwhelmed, overflowing with emotions which have never encountered before.
Having read in the daily newspapers and shared by different NGOs and government agencies of the difficulties faced by numerous people in the society, Akumdong Humanity Fund (AHF) made decision on Thursday to reach out to the neediest people in the society by providing some basic helping consisting of Rice, Pulses, Vegetables, Eggs and some cooking oil. Since, Akumdong Humanity Fund was a small organization with a limited budget for this event, we finalize our target to reach out to 15 families (provide enough food supply to last for a week).
We wanted to do our reach out program a little different; we shared the information on our FaceBook page, forwarded it to our contacts on WhatsApp, requested the receivers to recommended us the needy in their neighbourhood so we are able to reach out to people those who need it the most. As soon as we shared the information, calls and messages started pouring in late into the night. Someone has run out of food; some don’t have anything to feed the family struggling with two square meals a day for the last one week; some don’t have ration card to avail government benefits; some have run out of money and there’s no way their parents can send money. These are some of the many reasons cited by callers who wanted us to reach out to them. Our target was to reach out to 15 families but the number of calls and messages were many and the number of needy people had multiplied many folds.
On Good Friday we set to go out and distribute whatever we had. We sat together, finalized the areas we could cover, gave a courtesy call to some people whom we could not help and set out for the day. The streets were deserted unlike any other day. We saw lots of volunteers manning colony entrances and some people gave us curious stares. I got busy calling the people, asking for direction to their homes. Ms. Azungla Imsong, Vice Chairperson of AHF, together with two volunteers started distributing the stuffs to the needy. We are certain we gave to the right persons we had intended to - the daily wage earners, widows, students living on rent, the elderly and a few individuals who were jobless. I have never felt before the gratitude and thankful response of this kind. It was an emotional experience –meeting and listening to their plight. They thanked us for bringing what was required at a time when they had no one to turn to.
We could feel that God was with us throughout. We thought we would run out of things to be distributed - instead, we could reach out to few more families who weren’t on our list. By the time we had exhausted the stuffs available with us it was already dark - we dispersed to our homes with a deep sense of satisfaction and equally worried about what will happen to the families if the lockdown is extended, how long the food will last and a lot of other questions. I leave these human questions to God for he provides all our needs in his own time.
A few suggestions for consideration…
To the government and administration:
- Ensure timely delivery of relief materials meant for the needy, inclusive of students living on rent, widows, elderly people, daily wage earners, auto drivers and those dependent on daily earnings to support themselves and their families.
- Inform in local papers regarding exact amount of rice and other essentials to be distributed with list of beneficiaries – and on which day it will be distributed.
- Credible NGOs can be roped in by the administration whenever they require assistance
To those fortunate people who have stock enough ration for the next few weeks/months:
- Before you post pictures of your fancy meals on social media, think of your neighbour and spare a few of your supplies. There are hundreds of people in our own neighbourhood who goes to bed worried of what to feed the kids the next day.
- Give the little you have. Do not wait to give until you have in abundance.
And those who can’t give anything:
Whisper a prayer for the people going to bed hungry, the elderly, the poor widows, daily wage earners and needy students living on rent.
Keeping in mind the numerous requests received from needy people Akumdong Humanity Fund has started a fund drive. Anyone willing to help and donate can find details at www.akumdonghumanityfund.org