As the Covid-19 outbreak left under-prepared European Union (EU) governments reeling, Muslim non-governmental organizations (NGO) stepped in to make sure Germany’s most vulnerable receive essential goods, earning praise and conquering hearts as they tackle misconceptions and stereotypes head-on.
“We harbored wrong ideas about you for dozens of years, we didn’t know you were like that. We are sorry,” said an elderly German man in Wiesbaden as he choked back tears after receiving aid from a Turkish NGO.
Upon receiving groceries from Turkish youth, the tearful man asked NGO members if they had “come from the mosque.”
According to NGO member Osman Bilgili, he and his team were surprised upon seeing the emotional reaction of his neighbors.
“Most of the people are very pleased with our work, and they are surprised; they had the wrong idea about us. Some Germans wrote letters thanking us. Also, during this crisis, we sent gift packages to the employees of Paulinen Hospital who worked diligently in our city.”
Muslim youths in Germany’s Wiesbaden had launched a campaign called “Help Your Neighbor” in a bid to provide aid to the elderly amid the ongoing health crisis.
Since appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 184 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 1.3 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the global death toll topping 70,700, and over 271,000 recoveries.