All of our project areas are impacted to one degree or another with the fallout of the pandemic. We have been working with each of our partners to determine the best way to support our communities through these trying times. Here are some examples:
GUATEMALA: In Guatemala, people have been ordered to stay home. For people who live hand-to-mouth, like our mining children and street children, how can they earn money to eat??? So we are distributing rice and beans for the duration of the lockdown.
PERU: Quechua communities in Peru are panicking – not because of fear of the virus, but fear of the complete and indefinite shutdown of tourist activity on which their livelihoods depend. Even if the government lifts travel restrictions, it is unlikely tourists will flock to Peru this summer. We are therefore preparing an emergency fund to help families in our communities survive through these trying times.
MOROCCO: Amal has closed down most of their operations, like the restaurant that serves as their training center. They are making plans to use it, instead, to prepare food for hospital workers and those who are sick, if coronavirus cases spike in Marrakech as they have elsewhere.
INDIA: We are expanding our nursing staff to spread Covid-19 awareness in 160 villages. Our nurses already visit each village regularly, and they are known and trusted. They are working with the women’s self-help groups in each village to roll out an awareness campaign using information sessions, pamphlets, and bulletin boards. Their primary focus is teaching proper hygiene practices and nutrition. Our rural villagers often suffer from anemia, low blood pressure, intestinal worms, and diabetes, so strengthening their baseline health is important to strengthen their immune systems. This educational campaign is not coronavirus-specific – it will help the villagers stay healthy no matter what disease threatens their communities in the future.
NEPAL: Nepal is a country highly dependent on tourist dollars. With the borders closed indefinitely, this will hit villagers hard economically. We will be initiating a school reconstruction (damaged by the 2015 earthquake) earlier than planned to provide alternate jobs to out-of-work villagers.
As always, we take NOTHING out for administrative and fundraising expenses, so 100% of the money donated goes to the projects. And, as always, we will triple public donations (our match goes where most needed). Together let’s take the sting out of this pandemic for the most vulnerable communities we serve!