COVID-19: Kassynder's Story

In the face of the COVID-19 crisis our ministry partners are continuing to show God’s love to the outcast and forgotten in their communities.

The most vulnerable like Kassynder.

Kassynder is currently under lockdown with his 86-year-old grandmother in their makeshift squatter home in Manila, Philippines.

Like many squatter families in metro Manila, Kassynder and his grandmother were already living hand-to-mouth before the COVID-19 crisis. The Philippines is under a very strict, and violently enforced, lockdown, which has people terrified of leaving their homes. As a result, millions of people, like Kassynder’s grandmother who sells local food at a street stand, have lost any means of providing for their family. Restricted movement between districts has also led to dramatic shortages and skyrocketing prices of food and other essentials. All of this means there are genuine concerns for the survival of families like Kassynder’s.

Even if they survive until the lockdown is lowered, Kassynder’s grandmother, his provider and only family, is at the highest risk of COVID-19 infection. 

All of this comes just as Kassynder was beginning to find hope again.

Only a week after he was born, Kassynder’s parents separated and his father moved away. Shortly afterwards his mother moved in with another man and, at his insistence, she left Kassynder with his grandmother and moved away herself.

For five years Kassynder’s grandmother cared for him and worked selling local food at a street stand to support the two of them. She was able to put food on the table each night and meet most of their basic needs but as the years went on, and Kassynder approached school age, his grandmother was becoming increasingly anxious as she knew she couldn’t afford for him to get an education.

By the grace of God, shortly after his fifth birthday, a member of their church introduced them to Philippine Missionary Fellowship (PMF) and Kassynder was promptly welcomed into their child sponsorship program and began attending kindergarten. 

Finally, for the first time in years, Kassynder was beginning to have hope for a brighter future.  

 

While Kassynder’s story of abandonment and struggle is heartbreaking in many ways, sadly thousands of children in the Philippines share similar stories of hardship.

PMF has been serving these vulnerable communities and sharing Jesus’ love with them for years through educational opportunities, financial support and evangelism. Now with COVID-19, they are just trying to ensure that these vulnerable people have a future at all.

The Philippines is under one of the strictest, and most violently enforced, lockdowns in the world. The fear this has created along with restricted movement between districts has led to dramatic shortages and skyrocketing prices of food and other essentials.

Most of the families in squatter communities and rural villages were already surviving hand-to-mouth and relied heavily on day labour to support their basic needs. Thousands of these families are at risk of starvation during lockdown.

Despite the strict lockdown, PMF has been doing everything they can to continue supporting vulnerable families. They are sending emergency funds to families at risk of starvation like Kassynder’s, so they can purchase food and other essentials. They are also providing emotional support via phone, as well as COVID-19 related updates to remote families and families who cannot afford internet or phone data.

In this time of suffering and great need, will you give what you can to help those who are most at risk, the outcast and forgotten?