Close

For such a time as this

Urban Mosaic's Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

In a time when fear and widespread panic are rampant, what does it look like to respond in faith in the midst of this crisis? How can we respond in love for our neighbors both practically and theologically?

 

“The pandemic will hit the most vulnerable people hardest, many of them living in urban slums and informal settlements.” -UN Habitat

 

Join Urban Mosaic as we respond alongside our local leaders, churches and community members, applying the knowledge, lessons learned, and expertise for such a time as this.

What we’ve done in Phase 1 of the Pandemic

Over the past weeks we have worked hard to prepare ourselves and develop a preventative response.

-We formed people into small organized units, including in virtual form using WhatsApp, via our health clubs, youth clubs, citizen committees and faith communities. 

 

-Together we handed out close to 20,000 flyers and 11,000 soaps, directly speaking to over 3,000 families, encouraging people to take COVID-19 seriously, and identifying homes with people with preexisting conditions and older than 65. 

 

-We ran short workshops for kids, youth and mothers, in the streets of our communities, in small groups of 10 or less, with all protective measures that the WHO recommended for phase 1 (workshops ended as soon as we entered phase 2).

-We equipped a total of 62 churches (between Mexico and Colombia), to make a transition from public services to start small home groups and home churches.

-As of now a total of 181 “Shalom Groups” have already been established, with a total of 2,000 participants.

-Finally, dozens of pastors/community leaders have already shown signs of severe economic distress, which has compelled to give away food baskets to 100 distressed leaders and pastors for one month.

 

What we’ve been doing in Phase 2 of the Pandemic

We recognize the impact of this pandemic will affect people’s health, economy, social interactions, and spiritual connections and so our response must be holistic. As an initial response, we are seeking to raise $158,000 USD to continue our work in the following areas:

 

Access to Water - $16,000 USD

We have installed 100 large water tanks and hand-washing stations which will help 7,500 vulnerable families have access to water for hand-washing and basic personal hygiene. 

 

Increasing Food Security - $62,500 USD

The economic impact of the pandemic will be devastating for many residents, including our community leaders, who will or are already losing work, and many church pastors who are already having a hard time receiving tithes and offerings. To mitigate this devastating impact for leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to their communities, we hope to distribute for the first 2-3 months monthly food baskets to 250 community leaders and their families. In May, we will support an additional 325 leaders with a variety of productive units (laying hens, rabbits, vegetable garden, etc.) which will be fully producing two-three months from now. Once the laying hens, rabbit units, chicken farms, community gardens, fish hatchery and farmland start producing, we expect that up to 500 leaders and their families in our network will benefit within three months. 

Access to Health Care - $16,500 USD

In the last week, we donated personal protection equipment (400 high security masks and 8,000 face masks), surface disinfectant (35 liters) and antibacterial gel (500 liters) to six hospitals, health centers and communities in the eastern region of Mexico City, which had received almost no protective materials from the government. In addition, our small health center in one of our communities is the only health care provider in an area of over 15,000 people. While we will not be able to provide extensive health care during the upcoming health crisis, we are working very hard to complete construction of our fairly large community/health center (putting in windows, doors, indoor plumbing, toilets etc.). to offer it during the contingency as a possible shelter alternative or community health center. We are in the process of stocking the community/health center with basic medicines and prevention supplies, in order to attend to our vulnerable population when needed.

 

Video Production and Online Platform for "Houses of Peace", Health Clubs and Citizen Committees - $3,000 USD

In this difficult time, we need to provide hope-filled leadership and messaging, based in sound theology, to the churches we serve in Mexico and Colombia. We will develop an online platform where our 60+ local churches and partners can access practical multimedia and written content that will teach them how to develop a “culture of Shalom”, based in the love of God, love of others, love of self. Through this online platform, we’ve also launched a prayer campaign, where by now 25 organizations from 7 countries with over 400 churches are actively participating to pray Psalm 91 during 91 days.

 
 

 

What will be doing in Phase 3 of the Pandemic

We recognize the impact of this pandemic will affect people’s health, economy, social interactions, and spiritual connections and so our response must be holistic. As an initial response, we are seeking to raise $150,000 USD to work in the following areas:

 

MICRO-BUSINESSES TO ACTIVATE THE LOCAL ECONOMY - $25,000 USD

We are in the process of elaborating business plans for 5-10 types of micro-businesses that will function during this time of pandemic, with the purpose of creating franchise-type businesses that can be carried out in different locations of the urban poor communities were we work. Our goal is to help launch a minimum of 75 micro-businesses, providing seed capital, to reactivate the local economy, while training and helping the micro-businesses in these vulnerable areas to run their businesses efficiently and creatively. The seed capital is not a donation but an interest-free loan that has to be returned after 6 months to start 75 more businesses.

HOUSING CONSTRUCTION: $15,000 USD

We have just signed a collaboration agreement with Habitat for Humanity A.C. for the construction and improvement of 150 housing units in the municipalities of Chalco, Los Reyes la Paz and Texcoco, on Mexico City’s east side. Habitat will be in charge of the financing and technical assistance for the construction of the houses, while Urban Mosaic will focus on the social organization and (self)-construction process of these 150 houses. The goal is not only to support 150 families in vulnerable conditions to obtain a home, but also to reactivate the local economy by hiring almost 500 construction workers, who will have a job and will be able to feed their families.

 
 

And all of this would not be possible without investment in staff, training, supervision and infrastructure for this time which will cost another $20,00 USD.

 

Thank you for joining hands with us to provide these essential goods to people during this critical time. Thank you for your prayers as we seek to be salt and light and bearers of hope in our fragile cities in Mexico and Colombia.