With global resources stretched, this is the time to draw on our Baptist values of locally-led, activist communities. Asia Pacific Baptist Aid (APBAid) has developed a toolkit as a resource to support conventions, unions and churches seeking to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The possible practical actions provided in this toolkit can be replicated and adapted for local church responses to the outbreak of COVID-19 in their respective regions.
This toolkit aligns with the global Baptist COVID-19 response plan to “Strengthen, Lead, Respond, Defend, and Advance.”
These five dimensions clearly merge with the three United Nations (UN) strategies and activity outputs of Containment, Reducing Deterioration and Protecting, and Assisting and Advocating for the most vulnerable. It is designed with the understanding that churches, communities, and families are key in this response. In aligning ourselves with these global priorities, we also meet global standards and present ourselves as a good model of best practices in such a time as this. To conform to global humanitarian standards, the overarching framework of response is based upon the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP) 1 and articulates three strategic priorities:
- Contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and decrease morbidity and mortality.
- Decrease the deterioration of human assets and rights, social cohesion, and livelihoods.
- Protect, assist, and advocate for refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), migrants, and host communities particularly vulnerable to the pandemic.
USING THE TOOLKIT
This resource toolkit (accessible at http://bit.ly/APBAidToolkit) is intended to provide churches and conventions with a pool of resources and ideas of responses and best practices drawn from around the region that may be replicated and utilized. The responses are presented as a “menu” that each implementing body can choose according to context, need, and capacity – serving as a guide to formulate their individual responses within their nations.
It then provides a segmentation of activity output phases for each priority according to Prevention, Emergency, and Recovery as pictured in the table below. It includes both psychosocial wellbeing tools, in addition to a section of resources for theological reflection and a guide for online worship as well as a wide variety of program resources. The toolkit is collated under three main sections of Church, Family, and Community responses and program ideas for each UN priority. All the above resources are uploaded on an accessible drive (see link below) in three folders named:
The matrix below captures how the above framework has been arranged as well as provides a few examples. This framework is an example of how you as a church or convention may align your activities with the global priorities. The activities are broadly categorized as Prevention, Emergency, and Recovery. An example is given under each section. It is also presented as a framework to design a plan of action that would include either one or more of the UN Global Humanitarian priorities, be focused on particular activity outputs or multiple outputs, and address needs by targeting church action, families, or community.
We suggest that as you look at your program of activities, ensure it is carried out by:
- Reviewing local needs.
- Reviewing available resources.
- Designing an appropriate response.
To make the most of this toolkit, we recommend that you look through it all and then return for specific resources as you develop your overall response. The toolkit brings together resources from around the world to provide ideas, guidelines, and reflections on the new reality we find ourselves in.
NOTE: The resources may be adapted to each local context as appropriate. Please give due credit and acknowledgment to sources when translating.
All of the resources, over 150 of them, are available online in a separate drive. To guide you to what is available, two indices are linked below and available for download: