Update from Payatas

April 2020

Dear Friends,
What can I say except thank you, thank you, thank you and thanks most especially to God!
I have been astonished at the flood of love, heroism and sacrifice that has been unleashed in response to the suffering and pain caused by the COVID pandemic. There has been so much confusion, fear, and panic. There has been so much pain and suffering. One of our PNA trustees, a beloved friend, died a few days ago. The father of one of my religious brothers died just yesterday. Vast numbers of people are sick, have lost their jobs and so many are hungry. Here in Payatas there are hundreds of thousands of people and the majority of them have been going hungry in these last three weeks.
But so many people have been quick to respond, with care, compassion and commitment. I want to thank all of you who have joined in this tidal wave of love, generosity, sacrifice, and service that has been unleashed in this present crisis. We here in Payatas have found ourselves under this tidal wave - and how we need this flood of practical action when tens of thousands of families, hundreds of thousands of people, are hungry - many of them desperately hungry.
Through the generosity of our friends , we in Puso Ng Ama (PNA) started to feed people who were desperate with fear and hunger. Three weeks ago we gave food packs to just over two hundred families, two weeks ago we gave food packs to three hundred families. Then as the situation worsened, as more and more and more people became more and more hungry, we reached out for more help and you responded so readily in spite of the fact that many of you have also been so badly affected by this crisis. Many you are short of money, some of you have lost your jobs and other sources of income, and yet you have continued to give. Thank you!
Your giving has not only provided physical nourishment to people going hungry. It has also provided hope and encouragement to people who feel they have been forgotten and neglected.
Through your help, we have now given a weeks worth of rice to around two and half thousand families and we have given slightly more substantial food packs to over one thousand families. Through your generosity we have now fed around three and half thousand families in Payatas. However, it has now been announced that the lock down will continue until at least April 30th. I would not be surprised if it goes on longer. This means that the hunger will increase. With such vast numbers of people to feed, the government has not been able to cope with the great need and this need will now increase. We cannot simply leave it to them. We in PNA have therefore decided to step up our efforts even more. At 4am yesterday I felt we should aim to feed 10,000 families. I started messaging some people to tell them this belief at around 5am. Throughout the day I asked people people to pray that we would be able to feed 10,000 families. Then yesterday evening 10,000 cans of sardines arrived at our door step!!!! This to me was a sign and confirmation from God that we are indeed being called to step up our efforts even more.
And so I would ask you all, my dear friends old and new, to continue to support us. Please pray for us, pray for the people of Payatas, pray that we in PNA might feed ten thousand families and more. Pray also that when this crisis is over we may continue to help with the work of rehabilitation and development. Please also ask others to consider supporting us . And, if you are able , please continue to give financially and /or to give rice and other non-perishable foodstuffs. Even very small donations are a great help.
On our part, we in PNA commit ourselves to provide relief to many thousands of families during this crisis and then to help as many as possible afterwards though the work of rehabilitation and development.
Once again THANK YOU my dear friends. Please be assured of my prayers for you. May GOD BLESS YOU in his love, mercy and grace.

Fr. Paul Uwemedimo MGL
(PNA Chariman)

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