Our kids’ safety comes first
Because of the radical spread of COVID-19 and the directions of governments of the countries we work in, all of our programs are taking a break so that children can stay at home with their families and avoid contamination. Schools, hostels, and child development centers will be closed for hopefully only a few weeks, however we are still working to care for these children and families. Our leaders and staff will be continuing to check in with the students and sponsored children through home visits when allowed, or through other remote means, and establishing distribution plans for food, hygiene kits, medications, and other necessities.
During a crisis time such as this there are always new needs in our countries, and we are working with our national leaders and field staff to meet these needs. One of the common issues in many of our countries is food inflation- because of the economic turmoil, food now costs three times as much as it did last week and for families with so little, they have no way to stock up on what they need. Many parents of our children earn money through casual labour, and because of this situation there are fewer of those jobs available. And similar to the issues we have faced here with coronavirus, countries like Cambodia and Ethiopia are now facing similar panic and concern but without the same infrastructure that we do to continue working from home, getting food, and staying healthy.
We are thankful for the training that has been taking part through ICCM in many of our countries such as Haiti- before our schools and centres were closed down by the government because of the pandemic, our resident nurses were able to train hundreds of children about the importance of hand-washing and other sanitary measures, to keep them protected not only COVID-19 but countless other diseases that kill people in the developing world every day. We are also working with our teachers and staff to create remote education plans so that our children will still be able to continue to learn and connect during this time of quarantine.
Let us remember other countries in our prayers as well- since COVID-19 is a global pandemic, everyone is affected and the countries we work in don’t have the same infrastructures to deal with such emergencies. Here are some specific requests:
- Some of our ICCM Alumni are doctors, nurses, military officers and others involved in the front line fight against this disease. We pray for their safety.
- There are many questions for our leaders and workers- how we can still be serving these children without risking the health of the kids or our workers. We pray for creative and constructive ideas to bless these communities.
- Food and job insecurity are rising everywhere, leading to hunger and fear.
- One of our national coordinators is grieving with his wife the loss of one of their newborn twins. We pray for their family for the loss of Hazel.