The global pandemic affected Sri Lanka, which led to an island-wide curfew and left many in vulnerable situations. The daily wage and low-income earner, the disabled and the elderly were amongst the worst affected by this crisis. Losing their means of income left them destitute with no means to purchase essential provisions such as food and medication needed for themselves and their families.
The NCEASL and its relief and development arm, the Alliance Development Trust, the Religious Liberty Commission, Missions Commission and the Youth Wing spurred to action to ease the devastating impacts of COVID-19 in the country. We worked tirelessly serving communities through our networks and reached out with financial support and essential relief packs.
Providing Relief to those who need it
Through its networks, the NCEASL distributed essential relief packs to families in Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Hambantota, Galle, Kalutara, Colombo and Gampaha. The relief packs contained red rice, dhal, canned fish, onions, salt, flour, potatoes, soya meat, samaposha, cream crackers, tea, coriander seeds and Panadol. The relief packs were distributed amongst pastors and marginalised communities in lock-down whilst also reaching out to a community of 271 people affected with leprosy and supporting them with vouchers for three months.
Further, the NCEASL launched a sustainable initiative to educate and equip pastors on home gardening. The pastors were encouraged to share these resources with their church communities and initiate home gardening practices. The NCEASL supported them with a variety of vegetable seeds which were initially distributed to over 2000 families through the pastors.
who need it.
The NCEASL produced COVID-19 awareness material and multi-media content on a wide range of topics that addressed different parts of society.
The ADT, in consultation with the Health Promotion Bureau and input from the WHO, developed a series of COVID-19 health awareness messages and guidelines for faith leaders. These messages reached a record number of 117,000 people by the end of 2020.
The NCEASL produced a publication addressing the responsibility of faith leaders and the Church's role in the context of the pandemic. The document also addresses health and safety guidelines for faith communities.
The Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) published a booklet regarding the laws governing COVID-19 in English, Sinhala and Tamil, which was circulated amongst churches and civil society groups. The RLC also produced a publication addressing the responsibility of faith leaders and the church's role in the context of the pandemic. the document also addresses health and safety guidelines for faith communities.
The Missions strengthened pastors and leaders by creating awareness on safety measures for COVID-19 by circulating trilingual digital booklets among them whilst also initiating online prayer meetings with the national prayer team and the members of the General Council, soliciting prayers during this period.
The Youth Evangelical Alliance (YEA) initiated a mental health campaign through its blog 'Paan Kade' to encourage practices that help build and maintain mental health during the crisis. Further, to equip and mobilise Christian youth to respond to the crisis, the YEA produced a trilingual toolkit themed 'Following Christ in the Crisis'. The toolkit aims to encourage young people to get involved with issues that have emerged amid the pandemic.
The YEA also held online discussions on its forum "X-Change" via its social media platform Facebook and hosted several audio and video podcasts and live worship/prayer sessions; they also published short video messages addressing youth and Christian communities across the nation during this time of crisis.
The ADT conducted meetings with interfaith leaders and Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) on raising awareness on Covid-19. The ADT distributed hand sanitizers, face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Interfaith leaders from Galle, Mannar, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla and Colombo.