How Children International is responding
to the coronavirus

Around the world, however and whenever possible, we are working hard to provide support to children and families in need



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.
Follow us on social to see daily updates from around the world.

Coronavirus reponse in action

Last updated: August 25, 2020

Country updates

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.

Colombia | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Guatemala | Honduras | India | Mexico | Philippines | Zambia | United States

Stay-at-home orders remain in place in Colombia, and overall reduced mobility has impacted our families dramatically. There are exceptions for errands related to health and grocery needs, and those can be done according to the last number on someone’s ID to prevent crowds. School remains virtual, but is difficult for some families who don’t have access to necessary equipment.


Due to the increase in cases and non-compliance with restrictions, the D.R. is again in a state of emergency and under curfew. Shops and all productive activities are open but most have a 50% capacity limit. There’s no date for the start of the new school year. Fear and anxiety about going out in public weigh heavily on families.


In Quito, a curfew is in place and public transportation is operating at 50% capacity. Most companies are prioritizing teleworking, and public sectors are operating at 25% capacity, which makes any paperwork particularly slow. Shopping centers are open with limited capacity, and the tourism sector remains practically paralyzed. It’s presumed school, which starts September 1, will be virtual.


Cases are still surging in Guatemala, with the communities we serve being under high alert. Local staff doesn’t expect cases to drop anytime soon. Public transportation is limited to 50% occupancy, masks are required in public and physical distancing guidelines are in effect. Schools will remain closed indefinitely. Daily life has become hostile and stressful for many Guatemalans.


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. It’s uncertain when in-person schooling will begin. In some areas, local television networks are helping provide virtual education. 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. The school year will begin virtually on August 24, with the government supporting education through local television channels. Common jobs among sponsored families are laborers, traders, and domestic employees – which have all seen job loss.



The Philippines is currently under “modified enhanced quarantine.” 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 starts August 24 and will be a hybrid model.


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. In-person classes are closed and no date has been set for re-opening.


There is no official stay-at-home order in place in Little Rock, but masks are required in public. We believe many of our families will opt for in-person learning over virtual.

Even though many community centers remain closed due to government shutdown orders, staff are constantly innovating and finding new ways to deliver vital programming and aid to our children. Your continued support makes this possible.


See how your support helps our children and families


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.

Want to give more?

Children International’s Emergency Community Fund provides a safety net when unexpected crises threaten to push already-struggling families even further into poverty.



Frequently asked questions during the coronavirus pandemic

How we're staying safe

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:

  • Keep Children International employees, volunteers, sponsored children and their families safe
  • Continue to serve our sponsored children and our supporters
  • Do our part to slow community spread of the virus

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.

Protecting our sponsors, supporters and partners

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.

Handwashing plays a role in ending poverty for good

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.

Children International: A global community

Connect with supporters, staff, sponsored children and youth around the world as they share stories and updates on social media.

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