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: October 20, 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 on October 1, movement became much less limited, with public transportation operating normally for the first time since March. The government assures the public these measures will be reexamined if a new outbreak appears. School remains virtual, but is difficult for some families who don’t have access to necessary equipment.
The country is in phase 4 of the de-escalation. Shops and all productive activities are open but most have a 50% capacity limit. Virtual classes will begin on November 2. Fear and anxiety about going out in public weigh heavily on families, but curfew restrictions are easing.
Curfews and other restrictions for leaving homes were lifted on September 13 in Guayaquil. Gyms and parks were also allowed to open at this time. Public transportation remains operational at 50% capacity. Students returned to classes virtually on September 1.
There appears to be some fatigue happening in Guatemala, with citizens becoming more lax about protective restrictions. Restaurant visits indicate that a slow process of commercial and social activation has begun. Public transportation is limited to 50% occupancy, masks are required in public and physical distancing guidelines are in effect. Schools will remain closed indefinitely.
With one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant economic impact on Honduran families. Public transportation is currently shut down, and there’s generally a poor adherence to social distancing guidelines. Children continue to receive virtual education, as in-person classes will not resume this year.
In both Delhi and Kolkata, COVID-19 cases continue to increase. Due in part to crowded spaces, community transmission is still a concern. Public transportation is operating in a limited capacity. Schooling remains virtual, and states have been instructed to decide after October 15 when they will open schools. In the communities we serve, the lockdowns have left nearly 80% of the population jobless – mostly daily-wage earners.
While public transportation and most areas of the economic sector are operational, a general sense of concern, stress and anxiety plagues much of the Mexican population. Schooling remains virtual, and the government is planning a scaled, progressive return which will prolong the re-entry phase. There is still no date for schools to open. Common jobs among sponsored families are laborers, traders, and domestic employees – which have all seen job loss.
The Philippines is currently under "general community quarantine” until October 31. Only public and private shuttles are allowed to transport frontline workers or those who work in allowed industries. This limits overall transportation greatly. Common jobs among our families are minimum wage earners who have been severely impacted. The new school year began virtually on October 5.
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.
Compliance for slowing the spread of the virus is low. Public transportation has continued despite bus operators refusing to reduce the number of passengers, fearing a loss of business. According to a recent study assessing the impact of the coronavirus, 71% of respondents indicated they were partially closed while 14% of businesses were totally closed. It was recently announced that all learning institutions will be re-opening in late September.
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.