ASIA/INDONESIA - Catholic volunteers at work to fight the "infodemic"

Wednesday, 27 May 2020 coronavirus   civil society   local churches   mass media   social communications   society   voluntary work  


Lampung (Agenzia Fides) - Catholic volunteers on the island of Sumatra are at the forefront to provide correct information, awareness and concrete support to local populations, to defend themselves from the spread of the coronavirus: as reported by Fides the "Commission for Peace and pastoral justice of migrant nomads" of the diocese of Tanjungkarang, on the island of Sumatra, local communities have made and distributed over 50 thousand face masks to combat the spread of Covid-19 free of charge.
"We have created a movement that intends to be active and take care of people in Lampung province", Commission official Yuli Nugrahani tells Fides. Hundreds of volunteers are committed to explaining and educating people, in different parts of Lampung province, on the preventive measures to be taken during this global health crisis. "We tell people to respect the basic rules. If we all observe them, we will win this challenge", observes Nugrahani. Volunteers also distribute food to the poorest and offer vegetable seeds so that they can plant and grow them, providing for their livelihood.
Bishop Yohanes Harun Yuwono, at the head of the diocese of Tanjungkarang, also wrote and released messages "to all men and women of good will", urging everyone to collaborate, without any difference of faith or culture, in the fight against the insiduous virus.
Catholics are also busy tackling the equally widespread and harmful "infodemic" that the World Health Organization (WHO) has described as "an overabundance of information, some accurate and some not, which makes it difficult for people to find reliable sources and reliable guidance in times of need".
In Indonesia, the "CekFakta" organization is at the forefront of demystifying false information about the virus, including the myths that it can be treated by drinking boiled garlic in water. The collective project of verification and control of the facts, used by the Catholic community, is in collaboration with the Indonesian Association of IT media, the Indonesian Society against slander and the Alliance of Independent Journalists.
In the nation, social distancing measures will remain in force until at least June 4, including restrictions on travel and pilgrimages regarding Muslim holidays. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 27/5/2020)


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