On March 15, 2020, in response to the growing numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths around the world, the government of Indonesia asked all of its citizens to limit activities outside of their homes in an effort to contain the virus.
Personal protection equipment is scarce and the health system would be unable to cope with an unchecked pandemic.
However, faced with certain starvation or potential infection, many Indonesians have chosen to continue working.
Many street vendors are elderly people whose food kiosks support their families. The income they earn may only be enough to support their family for the day. They struggle at the best of times.
Most of the traditional markets are unhygienic. Proper sanitation facilities such as toilets and handwashing areas are limited. These high traffic areas are at increased risk of potential transmission and infection.
Mrs. Daratolona is over 70 years old. Together with her husband, she lives in a remote village more than 20 kilometres from the market where she sells the young rattan her husband gathers from the forest near their home.
Rattan is the common name given to many species of climbing palms that are used to make furniture in Indonesia.
On a normal market day, Mrs. Daratolona will sell two bundles of rattan. Each bundle costs 25,000 or $2.30 CAD. Since the market is only open twice a week, her family’s income is only about $9.20 CAD per week. Without any outside support, isolating at home would not be an option.
ADRA is responding in Indonesia with a project that has enabled vulnerable elderly people such as Mrs. Daratolona to stay home during this time of crisis.
When ADRA approached Mrs. Daratolona in the marketplace she had not heard of COVID-19. She was grateful that ADRA was working to protect her and others from this illness.
ADRA is providing cash assistance so that those at risk can safely avoid spending their days tending their kiosks. We are also providing information to the community on how to safeguard their families from infection.
We are grateful for the support of our generous donors. You are helping communities cope during this time.