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MSC Jamaica Update

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Darcy Tulloch-Williams, Executive Director of MSC Jamaica, shares an update on how Mustard Seed Communities is faring through the Coronavirus pandemic as cases have spiked in Jamaica recently.

Filmed on April 1, 2021


Greetings. My name is Darcy Tulloch-Williams, I'm part of the leadership of Mustard Seed Communities. And I'm taking this opportunity to reach out to you, our volunteers and our well wishers. To give you an update in terms of what has been going on with a Mustard Seed over the last year. When we spoke, I think it was May last year, we spoke about the conditions that were impacting Mustard Seed based on the virus. But if I were to give you an update right now, to tell you what's going on, in our country, we have had over 38,000 persons being impacted by the virus. And we have had a death toll of close to 500 so far. It may seem a small amount is some, but in our context, a population of 2.9 million, it's a large number, number of persons who have passed on because of the virus.

Now its impact on our organization has been dire in the sense that it has reduced the social interaction that our children usually have with our volunteers. And for them, I'm feeling as if they're having cabin fever, because they have not been able to see your wonderful faces, to enjoy the interaction. And of course, when you get down to nuts and bolts, it has been impactful in terms of just a dollar value also in terms of, you know, the care we provide for our children.

So for us, it has been a very trying year, because we have had to keep all volunteers, local volunteers as well as foreign volunteers out of all our homes. So you can imagine that that has been difficult. Over the last three weekends, for instance, the government has been looking at stricter measures in terms of curtailing the spike of the virus. Last weekend, we had a major lockdown. The next two weekends we'll be having another set of lockdowns, which has been particularly tight on our staffing because we have had our staff having to stay on property. But I can tell you, it's kudos to those caregivers who have been coming out or been turning up or leaving their own families to be with our families and to provide the care that is required.

And I just want to to Jamaica and say big them up at this point in time because they have been essential in terms of what we have been able to do. Now we have been also blessed it has not all been doom and gloom, because we have been blessed in the sense that just for this year alone, we have only had one child, thank God, one child who has been impacted by the virus. And she's out of the hospital as we speak. She was in for a week and she's out now in isolation. And we've had about three caregivers across the board who have been impacted in terms of them and their families. They're on isolation. And so we have to give a lot of thanks. And you know, for these mercies, and particularly as we go into Holy Week.

Another update that I'd want to share with you is that the vaccines are in Jamaica, and we're looking forward to having our population vaccinated. Widow's Mite last week, they were contacted, and we had five caregivers, led by Mrs. Howell, who is the administrator there who went and got her vaccination. She was just delighted ,she led the charge. And I think again this week, we'll have another two. Gift of Hope has been approached by the government and they will be vaccinated in another two weeks. We're now awaiting confirmation for the rest of our population to be vaccinated. And we're hoping that that will be sooner than later. So I just want to take this opportunity to thank you so much of volunteers who continue to be our support, who continue to love us, who continue to be a part of who we are. And to wish you all the best for this Holy season. And when we see on the other side, Happy Easter and have a blessed Holy Week.

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