Our Continuing Response to COVID-19
During these challenging times, we are so grateful to each person who has continued to support CHW and we are proud of the amazing way that our partner organisations have been responding to the crisis caused by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns around the world.
We have received so many requests for assistance for the children and young people at the projects we support. We have seen three needs in particular that came up since the pandemic started, with a fourth that is now emerging:
1. Assistance for organisations offering shelter to children
We have been asked for more help from our partner organisations that offer shelter to babies, children and teenagers. This has been from centres where children are taken to temporarily, if they have had to be removed from their families due to abuse or neglect, and also from residential centres for children and teenagers who cannot be fostered or adopted for various reasons.
The needs of the children at these centres have remained the same, but donations, in general, have dropped. Social distancing measures have also meant the cancellation of fundraising events and these centres have turned to us for help. Our supporters have made it possible to help a couple of centres in Argentina and Romania.
2. New programmes helping with food and other basic needs
Some of our partner organisations in Ghana and South Africa have asked us for support for new food distribution programmes they had set up. Some of these programmes also give out other needed items, such as personal hygiene products and masks. These programmes address the immediate needs arising from the increase of poverty caused by the lockdowns. We are trying to help as much as we can and we are thankful to each person who has contributed towards these programmes.
Thanks to our supporters, an existing food distribution programme that we were assisting in Romania was also able to continue throughout the pandemic, helping families in need.
3. Delivering education programmes online
Some of our partner organisations in China and South Africa adapted their usual education programmes and moved their resources online, or gave online classes. The digital divide has become very apparent during the pandemic and costs of accessing the internet can create barriers for those who are disadvantaged. One of our partner organisations in South Africa supported its beneficiaries with routers and data, so they could continue to learn.
4. Costs of equipment needed to safely reopen schools and education centres
As the lockdown restrictions are easing in some of the countries where we work, a few of our partner schools and education centres need help to be able to comply with all the new rules so that they can safely open again. Our supporters have helped an Early Childhood Development Centre in South Africa with donations for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that was needed, to be able to reopen. Some items, such as the increased amounts of bleach and hand sanitiser, will be ongoing costs that must be budgeted for.
One of our partner schools in Ghana has asked us for help with new desks and chairs, so that classrooms can be properly set up with enough spacing in between the desks. The school is supposed to reopen in September. More about the school can be found here.
The situation continues to be complicated and many of the above issues are ongoing. These are uncertain times and we are so grateful to all who have helped, as the needs have risen so steeply and so quickly.
If you would like to help and make a contribution, you can do so here. Any support will make such a difference right now and will be so greatly appreciated.
A massive thank you to all who are helping the children, especially during this incredibly difficult time.
With thanks to Anne (The Future Factory, South Africa), Derrick (New Life, Ghana) and Felicia (Casa Mea, Romania) for the photos.