COVID-19 Sponsor Update
August 19th, 2020 - Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, Horizons Academy and the Child Development Unit (HACDU) has been closed since Monday, March 16, 2020. We are grateful that our Christian Horizons Global team has been able to remain active in providing needed nutritional and educational resources. The monthly support stipend given to families has been doubled since March, using the savings from canceled programs. This extra stipend has been helping families buy needed medications and supplies in a time of inflation and food shortages.
In addition to our support for sponsored children and their families, the local government and Christian Horizons Ethiopia have identified an additional 674 families who are in urgent need in the region. All of these families either have at least one member of the family with a disability, one member of the family who is HIV positive and/or are families of single mothers or elderly caregivers. Through generous donations to our Nutrition fund (and matching funds from a partner organization), our Ethiopian team has been able to give nutritional support to an additional 215 families.
Our team in Guatemala has been working tirelessly to deliver supports, food and health supplies to families in rural and urban communities. Funding through the sponsorship program has allowed them to meet the needs of families that have children sponsored. Each family has essential food and supplies. Some form of schoolwork and even some distanced tutoring have also been provided.
The needs our team has witnessed in these communities is great. Shelter in place rules are being strongly enforced in Guatemala. Our team is able to get into these closed communities due to their connections and permissions from the ministry of health. As they travel about, they pass houses that have white flags flying outside. This is the system being used in Guatemala to let others know there is a need for food in that household. In the communities where our sponsorship program is operating, we have local leaders who can help prioritize the needs. They know which families are most in need and are in a position to follow up. The team in Guatemala is thankful that they have been able to provide for an additional 50 families so far due to generous donations.
Despite their attempts to close their borders, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout Haiti. The health care system is poorly equipped with limited respirators and PPE. Another challenge has been mistrust and stigmatization of people with COVID-19. Many didn’t believe that it would come to Haiti and initially acted out in violence against hospitals and mobile testing units.
Our staff continues to work to provide education and awareness and nutritional support through our partner schools and churches. The food supply is very uncertain right now. For many children, the nutritional support we provide will be their only stable meals. Our partner schools and churches in Haiti have changed their nutrition programs to be drop-ins where families can come and take basic food and supplies home. The rocketing food prices in the community, as well as the increased demand, mean that schools and churches that offered food have changed to sending food packages to the families’ homes with non-perishable staples. Thanks to extra gifts, we have been able to expand the weekly nutrition programs in Archacia, Delmas and Site Soliel.
The Nicaraguan government is currently not taking emergency measures to contain the virus. Daily life continues much the same as before despite food shortages and climbing COVID-19 cases. Our school programs have been suspended and children are getting worksheets delivered to their homes. Our team members continue to work to provide hope and support during these uncertain times. Nutritional support programs continue to be run through partner schools and churches. To date, there has been one death of a caregiver (mother) of one of the sponsored children due to COVID-19. Sadly, daily reports of secret burials are in the newspapers. We are happy that the support you are providing limits the need for families to work and be in the marketplace. This reduces their chance of exposure.Make a Donation