As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a global impact, we are committed to keeping our teams and supporters as informed and connected as possible. History has shown crises like these usually hit the poor first and worst – with low- and middle-income countries prone to weaker health systems.
This page will feature regular updates, stories from our teams in the field, and ways you can help. In many cases, our teams are working around the clock to continually shift our approach to address our children and families’ greatest needs.
Connect with our Care Team for more information.
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Last updated: December 22, 2020
All of the countries where we work are experiencing their own unique set of challenges and circumstances. In all cases, we are working with local governments to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus through limited public gatherings or quarantines. Below, you can find the most up-to-date reports from those countries, and how the new guidelines are affecting Children International programming.
The restrictions on movement in Colombia have been gradually decreasing and public transportation is operating at normal capacity. The government assures the public these measures will be reexamined if a new outbreak appears. Children completed their school year through virtual classes. In January 2021, local government will assess the pandemic curve with schools and parent representatives to make decisions about returning to in-person classes.
The country is in phase 4 of the de-escalation. Shops and all productive activities are open but most have a 50% capacity limit. 2.8 million students continue studying remotely. Classes are broadcast on TV channels and radio.
Due to an increase in cases, the local government has increased restrictions in public spaces. Public transportation remains operational at 50% capacity. In October, the local government in Guayaquil also approved additional public education support for vulnerable communities with no access to virtual learning.
All curfews have been lifted, but many communities are still in high alert areas. Public transportation is limited to 50% occupancy, masks are required in public and physical distancing guidelines are in effect. Schools will remain closed indefinitely. Thousands of Guatemalans have also been affected by the recent hurricanes that swept through the region.
While the pandemic is still greatly impacting families, businesses and communities, the recent hurricanes have made things much worse for Hondurans. Both storms affected thousands of sponsored families, destroying homes and causing severe damage to at least one community center.
In both Delhi and Kolkata, experts believe COVID-19 cases have plateaued for the time being, but the mortality rate is on the rise. Public transportation is operating in a limited capacity. Schooling is a mix of in-person and virtual learning. In the communities we serve, the lockdowns have left nearly 80% of the population jobless – mostly daily-wage earners.
The city of Jalisco recently had a two week emergency activation which reduces activities due to a surge in cases. The state department of education has presented a plan to return to normal school activities in January. However, the federal secretary of education is not considering this possibility until the middle of 2021.
The Philippines is currently under “general community quarantine” which is set to expire at the end of November, but local government is recommending an extension through the end of the year. Public transportation is still limited. Schools are still conducting distanced learning sessions.
There is no official stay-at-home order in place in Little Rock, but masks are required in public. Public transportation is running but with special accommodations for senior citizens. Families are still struggling with a lack of employment and the need for food has increased.
Even though the death and recovery rate remain low, there’s been a spike in the number of infections in Lusaka. The government is expected to tighten restrictions through the end of the year. Public transportation has continued despite bus operators refusing to reduce the number of passengers, fearing a loss of business. All primary and secondary schools are currently operating normally.
We’re coordinating with local partners to provide as much aid as possible. Your support of the Emergency Community Fund will help provide more assistance to children and families.
Your support is helping provide telehealth services to sponsored families. Doctors are meeting over the phone, then providing referrals to health care providers.
With most community centers closed, thanks to you, we’re finding new methods to deliver value to sponsored children and youth, like digital learning sessions.
Through videos, posters and text messages, you’re helping to amplify how important handwashing is to preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Children International’s Emergency Community Fund provides a safety net when unexpected crises threaten to push already-struggling families even further into poverty.
Children International staff is working closely with local governments to support efforts to contain the virus and keep children and families healthy. At our headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, a team has been assembled that operates under three guiding principles:
Approximately 90% of our staff is working from home to support social distancing guidelines. Around 10-15 employees unable to do their jobs from home remain in the building, which we now consider a low-risk environment.
We are committed to putting the needs of our community first, and we are socially distancing as much as possible. All sponsor and donor visits have been suspended, and no new visits are being scheduled at this time. We are closely following the national guidelines pertaining to large group events. Events are being cancelled as new guidelines are released. We anticipate the number of children waiting for a sponsor to increase because of this, as well as the economic effects of COVID-19.
We believe that practicing healthy behaviors, like handwashing, is one of the most important steps toward ending poverty. We have a long history of teaching our children and youth essential health habits like proper handwashing, which can help prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19.
Connect with supporters, staff, sponsored children and youth around the world as they share stories and updates on social media.