You will have no doubt been disturbed and saddened with the recent news coverage of how India and Nepal have been impacted by the fourth wave of Covid-19.
Our primary focus throughout the crisis has been to ensure that we have mitigated the risks to our sponsored children, their families, and communities. Unfortunately, because this virulent strain of the Indian virus, what that looks like for many is now extended and amplified with many schools being closed and communities going back into lockdown.
We are encouraged by the fact that Partners have been able to respond quickly. Through the current surge of Covid-cases and enforced lockdowns, our Partners have worked to ensure both online and hard-copy learning resources are available for many students across our program, with over 75% of high school students provided with the necessary resources to resume study. In addition, many of our community-based programs are also continuing to operate in a Covid-safe way.
In Bangladesh, the cases remain under control but we remain poised to continue to provide additional support as and when it is needed.
Throughout this year, and with your support, we will continue to provide additional funding for our schools and communities that go beyond our traditional sponsorship. This will be channelled through a new Covid-19 Relief Fund. This will drive the following activities:
No Child Left Behind: Additional study support for those children who are struggling to learn at home. This also will include support for students who are in limbo; as they have been unable to do their final exams or are awaiting university placements and are currently not undertaking study but will be once Covid-19 restrictions left and schools reopen.
Family Food Fund: We will be providing additional support for food relief to ensure those children and their families do not go hungry whilst at home.
Child Safety: We will continue to provide further resources so welfare checks can be completed on children at home through in-home visits and phone calls. Additionally, we will provide health assistance as needed.
Back at School: We will further invest in infrastructure at our schools and in our communities so that children will have an enhanced experience when they return to the in-school experience.
In this challenging time, I would ask for you to join us and pray for the continued safety of our Partner staff, the sponsored children, their families and the communities in which we work.
Our aim remains to ensure all vulnerable children and their families not only have the opportunity of education and improved financial circumstance but also to grow in faith despite the challenges they face.
Thank you for your ongoing support,
Paul Esau – CEO