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ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response by Country

Home > Learn More > Stories & News > ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response by Country

Posted on 9/24/2020

This page was updated on October 27, 2020

As you can imagine, the children and families we serve are exceptionally vulnerable to COVID-19 and its impacts. We are working hard, alongside local partners, authorities, and families and children themselves, to continue to make sure they have the food, water, health care, education and protection they need. As always, our response and activities vary from community to community, based on children’s needs. Learn how we’re responding in each of the countries where we work in the Americas, Africa and Asia below – and we’ll continue to update this page as our response progresses.

Thank you for your care, your support and your continued hope. Your kindness is the driving force behind every single thing we’re able to do for children, during this crisis and always.

If you’re a sponsor, you’ve probably noticed that one of the main aspects of sponsorship – exchanging letters – doesn’t look the same right now. Keeping kids safe is our top priority, so while it’s still important to keep physically distant in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, we’re often not able to deliver letters. But you can still write to your sponsored child! E-letters are the safest, fastest and most reliable way to make sure your messages and photos get delivered to your sponsored child. Log in or register for your account and sign up for e-writing in the “My Correspondence” section of your donor portal to start writing today! That way, your messages will be ready to go as soon as we can safely deliver them.

 

ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response in the Americas

Read an overview of each country’s response below, and check out the most recent emergency response report from the Americas, which includes photos and stories from children and families, as well.

 

Two boys in Guatemala sit outside wearing masks, coloring.

Young boys in Guatemala color in workbooks provided by ChildFund.

Bolivia

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Bolivia, though the Health Ministry confirmed in early October that 8 out of 9 regions were flattening the curve of new cases. Throughout Bolivia, movement remains restricted, with limitations varying based on locality. Schools remain closed through the end of the year, and incoming and outgoing child mail via post is still very restricted.

Most of our local partners in Bolivia are delivering program activities via radio, social media and text messages that focus on educational activities for young children and parenting support for caretakers who have been home daily since the onset of the pandemic. We continue to provide food baskets, and distributed 169 cash stipends to families in September.

Connect with ChildFund Bolivia on Facebook to see more updates.

Brazil

In Brazil, the growth of new cases has fallen dramatically. In the regions where ChildFund operates, case growth has either stabilized or slowed; however, local governments are still cautious about re-opening. Business reopening continues to follow a phased approach, while schools remain closed. Incoming and outgoing child mail via post is still highly limited.

Although ChildFund's normal program activities are on temporary hold, our local partner staff are connecting with families virtually, emphasizing care and compassion for caregivers who are now also educators at home. We continue to distribute our  “Neither Virus, nor Hunger Compassion Kit,” which reached 9,000 families in September. More than 8,000 families received our printed kits with information about prevention of child violence, continuing care and recreational activities for children.

Please visit ChildFund Brazil's COVID-19 response website for additional updates on the progress of their emergency response. 

Connect with ChildFund Brazil on Facebook to see more updates.

Ecuador

Ecuador's government's public self-awareness campaign continues to encourage personal safety measures as public restrictions are lifted. While there continue to be some limitations in mobility, most restrictions and enforcement by national police have ended. Schools remain closed with virtual classrooms ongoing. Limited pilot programs have begun for in-person classroom participation in some areas. Local postal service continues to experience delays, and incoming and outgoing mail via post is still very limited. 

Regular ChildFund program activities are on hold, but our local partner staff remains in close touch with families, providing education and support to help manage the stress, anxiety and emotional challenges of the pandemic.

In coordination with local and national authorities, ChildFund has distributed basic food and hygiene kits and helped 221 families with cash stipends in September. Since the beginning of our emergency response, 720 family gardens have been implemented and 457 families received chickens to contribute to family food security. To help children to continue learning, 400 educational kits were delivered and 100 children received support for internet connection. In coordination with health districts, PPE items were delivered to 17 health centers.

Connect with ChildFund Ecuador on Facebook to see more updates.

Guatemala

In Guatemala, the national state of emergency has been lifted as reopening continues. Schools will observe the normal end of the school year in October and November, with no definitive update on the status of classroom learning when classes resume next year. Incoming and outgoing mail remains a challenge.

Although ChildFund's normal activities are on temporary hold, our local partners are in touch with enrolled families, monitoring them for needs including access to hygiene supplies and clean water. An additional 200 families received hygiene kits in September, and we are providing information and instruction about hygiene, health safety and prevention of home violence, reaching more than 30,000 families. More than 1,200 families received cash stipends to purchase household essentials.

Connect with ChildFund Guatemala on Facebook to see more updates.

Honduras

In Honduras, COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Schools remain closed. Ability to move outside of the home is restricted with limited public transportation, although phase 1 reopening is underway. Incoming and outgoing mail via post is still very restricted.

Although ChildFund's normal programs are on temporary hold, our local partner organizations are keeping in touch with families and responding to the emergency. Cash stipends were delivered to 400 families in September, and food baskets were provided to an additional 1,400 families. Informational materials and messages on paper, social media, webinars and the radio are ongoing.

Connect with ChildFund Honduras on Facebook to see more updates.

Mexico

Mexico continues to rank in the top 10 countries globally with the most COVID-19 cases, and as flu season starts, authorities emphasize the importance of hygiene and vaccination. In our areas of intervention, movement restrictions have lifted and reopening continues. Schools continue virtually, with the hope that classrooms will reopen in January 2021. Public transportation is still operating at reduced capacity in rural areas and between some cities. Incoming and outgoing mail via post is still a challenge.

Although ChildFund's normal activities remain on hold, our local partners are actively following up with families to ensure they understand how to protect themselves from COVID-19. We're communicating through posters, videos, WhatsApp and SMS groups, reaching more than 12,300 youth and community members in September. ChildFund also continues to distribute hygiene supplies: reaching an additional 583 families and 5 local health clinics in September. More than 400 families participated in our cash stipend program for food and household essentials, and 98 new families were introduced to our family orchards program, in which they create family gardens to help with food security.

Connect with ChildFund Mexico on Facebook to see more updates.

United States

In all three areas of the U.S. where ChildFund works – in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, in Jackson, Mississippi, and in Richmond, Virginia – COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Schools in Texas and Mississippi are expected to remain virtual for the entire fall semester, and Richmond area schools remain virtual for the first 6-9 weeks of the year. Mail service continues with limited interruption, though safely visiting with families to deliver or collect messages continues to be a challenge.

Local partner organizations in Mississippi, Texas and Virginia are collaborating with schools and other groups to ensure that the most vulnerable families have access to food through local food banks, community distributions and school-sponsored curbside meal deliveries. As more COVID-19 testing sites are opening in our areas of operation, our staff are reaching out to families to share new options and requirements. We are also distributing backpacks and continuing to provide psychosocial support to children.

 

ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response in Africa

 

A girl stands outside in Sierra Leone washing her hands at ChildFund hand-washing station.

Alice, 10, washes her hands at a hand-washing station in her community in Sierra Leone.

Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, the government's efforts to address COVID-19 have been complicated by the difficulties of multiple humanitarian crises including a desert locust invasion, violent conflicts and severe flooding. Incoming and outgoing mail is still experiencing delays.

Although ChildFund's normal program activities are limited, we are keeping in touch with families and have been able to visit families in several areas. Following the decision to reopen schools, ChildFund and its local partners are working with local governments to support public awareness campaigns and the cleaning of schools before classes resume. In September, 1,600 families received food distributions and 850 families received cash stipends to purchase household essentials. More than 3,400 children received learning materials and an additional 260 students received reference books to help them continue their education during the pandemic.

Connect with ChildFund Ethiopia on Facebook to see more updates.

Guinea

Guinea schools have opened for intermediate-level classes beginning in September, following the successful completion of exam-level classes. Transportation between Conakry and other cities remains limited, and most passenger transportation is curtailed. Territorial borders are open only for cargo traffic, and the daily curfew has been reduced to midnight until 4:00 a.m. and remains in place only in the capital city area. Incoming and outgoing mail is still experiencing delays.

Although ChildFund’s normal programs are on temporary hold, we are still sharing key prevention messages about COVID-19 in the communities we serve, reaching more than 41,000 households so far. Cash stipends have reached more than 1,500 families to help them purchase household essentials. Youth-led programming is underway to share messages about how to keep children and youth safe both physically and emotionally. PPE items have been provided to the youth who help produce radio broadcasts.

Connect with ChildFund Guinea on Facebook to see more updates.

Kenya

COVID-19 has been reported in every one of Kenya's 47 counties and there are reported cases in every area where ChildFund operates. The government announced the reopening of schools starting October 12, and reopening will be phased, giving priority to students who are expected to sit for their examinations in March and April of 2021. The national curfew remains in effect in October, while other restrictions lessen. Group gathering sixes have increased and religious services may gather at one-third capacity. Incoming and outgoing mail will experience delays.

Although ChildFund’s normal programs are on temporary hold, our local partner staff and trained community health volunteers have focused on stopping the spread and ensuring children are fed, safe and can continue learning. To help prepare for school reopening, a rehabilitation project for water-piping was supported in a local primary school, and an additional 60 primary schools in our coverage area received handwashing stations. More than 980 families and 280 new mothers received cash stipends in September. Community awareness and sensitization campaigns about the prevention of domestic abuse are ongoing. More than 380 solar lanterns were distributed to help kids continue learning at home.

Connect with ChildFund Kenya on Facebook to see more updates.

Mozambique

In Mozambique, COVID-19 continues to spread, though the rate of infections is such that phased reopening continues to progress. Allowable gathering sizes have increased, beaches have reopened and travel has become less restricted. Most schools remain closed, though 12th grade students resumed in-class education starting October 1. Mail may experience delays.

We are collaborating with the government and local partners to share key prevention messages about COVID-19. Normal program activities have started to resume, paying careful attention to the safety of children and staff.

Connect with ChildFund Mozambique on Facebook to see more updates.

Senegal

In Senegal, while economic re-opening continues, large gatherings remain prohibited and strict mask and social distancing rules are in place. Universities are resuming classes. Mail continues to experience delays and we see service interruptions for international delivery.

Although most of our normal program activities are on temporary hold, ChildFund is focusing on our COVID-19 response. In September, community education efforts and distribution of food vouchers and food supplies have continued. Nearly 200 households were reached by projects in September to rehabilitate sanitary blocks and improve water supply connections. Plans are underway to pilot distance learning efforts in two of our supported communities to help exam-level and vocational students. 

Connect with ChildFund Senegal on Facebook to see more updates.

Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, the government has continued to relax restrictions, opening sporting and athletic activities in the country. The new school term began in October with the government's announcement of a Free Quality Education Programme to support primary and secondary education nationwide. Movement restrictions have lessened, but personal protection measures such as wearing masks in public places remain in effect. Mail continues to experience delays.

In support of the reopening of schools in September, ChildFund donated more than 3,600 cartons of textbooks to the Sierra Leone Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education. Cash stipends have reached 6,400 households since the start of our response effort. 

Connect with ChildFund Sierra Leone on Facebook to see more updates.

The Gambia

In The Gambia, 80 percent of reported cases are from the West Coast region of the country, where ChildFund is the only international nonprofit organization in operation. We continue to partner with the government ministries in the fight against COVID-19, and schools are in the process of reopening. Postal services are closed, making incoming and outgoing mail a challenge.

While ChildFund’s normal programs remain largely on hold, ChildFund is partnering with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and other actors to provide support to schools as they prepare for reopening in October. Working with the country's Ministry of Health, ChildFund helped obtain a second large medical gift in kind (GIK) that will help families, children and schools during COVID-19.

Connect with ChildFund The Gambia on Facebook to see more updates.

Uganda

In Uganda, while overall cases of COVID-19 are relatively low, continued vigilance in following the Ministry of Health guidelines remains critical to minimize the spread of the disease. Reopening continues with travel restrictions on border districts lifted, and some classes and final-year students are beginning to go back to school. Mail may still experience delays, though recent reopening certain international flights has allowed our courier to send long-awaited child messages to our office for processing. 

We have also facilitated multiple radio lessons for young learners, focusing on children in grades four to seven and reaching more than 1,000 families in September. Families facing the dual challenges of the pandemic and flooding in the Busia district received cash assistance for purchasing seeds and rebuilding family farms. We supported 27 health centers in September with handwashing facilities and materials for raising community awareness of recommended hygiene practices. 

Connect with ChildFund Uganda on Facebook to see more updates.

Zambia

In Zambia, COVID-19 response continues. Large gatherings are still banned, though local establishments and entertainment venues are open. Schools are opened for all ages and grade levels. Mail may still experience delays.

ChildFund Zambia and its six local partner organizations continue their efforts to educate people about the symptoms and prevention of COVID-19 using mobile public address systems and community radio stations in ten of our operational districts. We've reached 682,000 people with information about signs and symptoms, prevention and response to COVID-19. In addition, 40,400 water purifying sachets and 155 handwashing buckets have been distributed. More than 2,000 households received cash stipends in September.

Connect with ChildFund Zambia on Facebook to see more updates.

 

ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response in Asia

 

Mother and daughter in India holding a bag of food given by ChildFund staff member.

A young girl and her mom receive a food packet at a ChildFund distribution in India.

Cambodia

In Cambodia, incidence of new COVID-19 cases remains low. Public schools opened in September for grades 9-12 and travel restrictions have been lifted. Government attention has been heightened in the wake of severe flooding affecting the Battambang province in the southern part of the country. Social distancing rules continue to be in effect, and mail may continue to experience delays.

Most traditional ChildFund programs are operational at the local partner level, with limitations on the number of participants in any gatherings and events to allow for adequate social distancing. ChildFund Cambodia is assisting with emergency response efforts in the Battambang province in partnership with local authorities.

You can find more information on ChildFund Cambodia’s website.

India

The number of COVID-19 cases in India is among the the highest 3 countries in the world. Gradual re-opening continues, with only designated containment zones maintaining lockdown procedures. As of mid-October, venues such as cinemas will be allowed to open at half capacity. Schools will also be allowed to reopen with decisions made at a state level.

Our normal programming is also gradually re-opening where possible, limiting group sizes and following strict safety guidelines. Local partner organizations also monitor families through phone calls, texts and safe home visits where possible. Incoming and outgoing mail via post is still a challenge.

ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response Plan in India has reached more than 304,500 children and family members to date, exceeding our impact target. We continue to distribute hygiene kits and food baskets to families, providing more than 63,000 total support kits so far. We've also been working with more than 5,600 families on livelihood protection and agriculture through the promotion of Khariff crops. ChildFund India has also distributed kits for more than 2,000 government frontline staff as well as community groups and influencers to promote healthy practices.

Read India’s most recent COVID-19 response newsletter for more detailed information and connect with ChildFund India on Facebook.

Indonesia

In Jakarta, large-scale social restrictions have once again been relaxed by the governor. Some schools in low-risk areas or smaller islands began reopening in mid-July with the start of the new school year. In most areas, distance learning via TV continues. ChildFund's normal programs are on temporary hold, and incoming and outgoing mail continues to experience delays.

While normal programming has been slowed or put on hold, ChildFund is working to help children and families through our COVID-19 response. Communication and education about the risks and prevention of COVID-19 is ongoing in our supported communities, including information exchanges among community youth. In September and October, a 5-part webinar series is underway for learning and support.

Connect with ChildFund Indonesia on Facebook to see more updates.

Philippines

The Philippines remains in stage 2 of their transition framework. Most of our operational areas are in "modified general community quarantine," and the pandemic's impact on livelihoods in our program communities is intensifying. Schools opened in a blended learning environment beginning October 5, with a mix of modular and online lessons. Incoming and outgoing mail remains a challenge and will experience delays. 

We continue the implementation of our Family Disaster Resilience programs to help families prepare for the dual dangers of the pandemic and the typhoon season. Many of our program areas are especially vulnerable to the ravages of these storms. We continue to provide counseling and support for partners, staff and families through these challenging times.

Connect with ChildFund Philippines on Facebook to see more updates.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, following what seemed to be successful control of a first wave of COVID-19 cases, new clusters of cases have been discovered, which health authorities are concerned indicate a challenging second wave. However, reopening continues, and schools have reopened for all grades. Mail may still experience delays.

ChildFund’s normal programs have resumed with strict safety measures in place to protect children and staff. We have reinforced protocols with our community partners and are diligently following health regulations in our activities.

Connect with ChildFund Sri Lanka on Facebook to see more updates.

Thailand

Although regular ChildFund activities are on temporary hold in some communities, our local partners in Thailand are in touch with enrolled families, monitoring them for needs including access to food, health care, hygiene supplies and clean water. Mail may experience delays.

We are coordinating with local and national authorities and continually working to help protect children and families from the effects of the pandemic, and to ensure they have better access to the food and other essentials.

Vietnam

In Vietnam, new cases emerging over the summer have created a second wave of awareness and renewed vigor in social distancing and self-protection efforts. Non-essential services such as bars, karaoke and gyms remain closed, and large group gatherings remain limited. Schools resumed in September. Mail delivery has improved but may still experience delays.  

We distributed water bottles for students across all of our coverage areas as classes resumed in September. We have resumed most normal programming, but continue to conduct planning and preparedness activities in case we encounter a new wave.

Connect with ChildFund Vietnam on Facebook to see more updates.