Sydeny, age 6, Zambia

How the coronavirus is affecting sponsored children

How the coronavirus is affecting sponsored children

How the coronavirus is affecting sponsored children

COVID-19 Sponsorship Updates

We’re living in an unprecedented time – the coronavirus pandemic impacts all of us and the situation is changing from hour to hour. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and out of control.

But now more than ever, we need to remember that we are not helpless. Each one of us has the power to care for and protect the people around us – and for those who are more vulnerable and less able to seek the help and care they need. Together we can turn the tide.

In each sponsorship community where we work, our staff and community partners are closely monitoring and updating us on the coronavirus situation. Below, you’ll find updates from each sponsorship country about how we are responding to keep children and families safe.

Armenia

The country of Armenia’s government has declared an emergency situation in response to the COVID-19 crisis and has closed schools and restricted people’s movement. World Vision has distributed food packages and hygiene supplies to vulnerable families and is partnering with the EU to support another 1,000 families. We are coordinating with the government and faith communities to provide social assistance for the most vulnerable children, including delivering services online, and we are working with the Ministry of Education to find ways to support remote learning for children. All of the communities we partner with in Armenia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Most WV Armenia staff are now working from home and programme activities, such as training and meetings, are being delivered virtually where possible to help keep kids and communities safe. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Bangladesh

*Bangladesh is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

More than 387,000 people in the country of Bangladesh have been affected by Cyclone Amphan which hit the region on 20 May, compounding the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. Bangladesh confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 7 March and the government imposed a national shutdown, restricting people’s movement across the country. The restrictions are making it very challenging to provide much needed assistance to communities struck by the cyclone. World Vision has reached over two million people, including one million children, through our COVID-19 emergency response. We have been working to limit the spread of COVID-19 by educating children, families and communities in prevention methods, with a special focus on refugees living in Cox’s Bazaar, which was also damaged by the cyclone. We have already reached over 703,000 people through COVID-19 awareness posters and social media messaging and have trained 1,200 faith leaders on how to share COVID-19 prevention messages in their own communities. We have provided more than 17,000 people with handwashing soap and buckets, set up 1,200 community handwashing facilities and we are also training community health workers, faith leaders and child protection workers on COVID-19 prevention, distributing food packs and cash vouchers, and providing vulnerable children with psychosocial support. All of the communities we partner with in Bangladesh are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Most WV Bangladesh staff are working from home. We have put planned learning events and gatherings on hold so we can adapt our programme to respond to COVID-19 and help keep kids and communities safe, but we are continuing to check on families and provide them with prevention information by contacting families by mobile phone. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

China

*China is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

The country of China was the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak and there are still restrictions in many parts of the country, including school closures and inter-province travel restrictions. World Vision is now preparing for early recovery activities and are conducting a needs assessment. Throughout the crisis, we have been working to limit the spread of the virus by providing families and schools with basic hygiene supplies, equipping families with information about sanitation and mental health, supporting health systems and workers through the provision of personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, and helping children impacted by COVID-19 by partnering with the national Institute of Psychology on improving the capacity of teachers, psychologists and welfare workers to address the emotional impact of the virus. Over 350,000 people have been reached through water, sanitation, hygiene and health interventions. All of the communities we partner with in China have experienced restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. However, if the current recovery phase continues, it is expected that restrictions will continue to lift and schools reopen. WV China staff continue to monitor sponsored children through community leaders and partners, via mobile phones and alternative methods. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Cambodia

The country of Cambodia has confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the government closed schools, cinemas and other public gatherings. Public transport was suspended, travel between provinces banned and land borders with Thailand and Vietnam closed. World Vision is working with community networks to promote COVID-19 awareness and prevention, provide more than 726,000 people with basic hygiene kits including soap and sanitizer, and provide medical facilities with hygiene and medical equipment like thermometers, gloves and hand towels. We are partnering with the World Food Programme and the local government to distribute emergency food supplies to more than 21,000 vulnerable children. We have also launched a positive parenting and home-based learning social media and radio campaign, and provided over 1,000 children with books, toys and pencils. And we are working with the government, UN and other humanitarian organisations to monitor the situation and coordinate the response. All of the communities we partner with in Cambodia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Cambodia staff are working from home where possible, or in our offices where necessary. We are working with community members to continue monitoring sponsored children’s wellbeing as they are able, as there is a risk of health and child protection issues increasing throughout the crisis. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Georgia

With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country of Georgia, the government has declared an emergency and schools are closed and all businesses except pharmacies and food markets have been ordered to close or work from home. World Vision has already distributed food and hygiene packages to over 1500 vulnerable families. We are focused on supporting children made vulnerable by COVID-19 and have developed educational programs to promote hygiene, security and education as well as resources that focus on the emotional and physical wellbeing of children and their parents during these challenging times when schools are closed. We are also working through our community networks and via mobile phone to continue to monitor the health, family financial situation and wellbeing of sponsored children. All of our World Vision communities in Georgia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Georgia staff are now working from home.

India

*India is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

Tens of thousands of people in eastern India have been affected by Cyclone Amphan which hit the region on 20 May, compounding the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. The country of India has thousands of confirmed cases of COVID-19. The government imposed a 40 day national lockdown on 24 March and only select activities like agriculture and health services were allowed to function. Several states have introduced laws against public gatherings, non-essential movement of people and to enforce social distancing. Railway, road transport and air services have suspended all passenger services. The restrictions are making it very challenging to provide much needed assistance to communities struck by the cyclone. World Vision is continuing our COVID-19 response, which has reached over one million people, including 300,000 children, while also providing emergency relief to 20,000 cyclone affected families in Kolkata, South Parganas and Sunderbans. We are working with the government, faith leaders and other community-based organisations to slow the spread of the virus by educating and equipping over 675,000 families with the knowledge and supplies they need to practice proper hygiene. We have trained more than 1,200 community volunteers to provide local services, distributed 34,600 handwashing kits and are broadcasting handwashing and child protection messages on radio. We are also strengthening local health workers by providing personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and thermometers, and supporting children affected by COVID-19 by providing over 10,600 vulnerable families with food rations, including 177,000 meals to provide for the nutritional needs of their children. All of the communities we partner with in India are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV India staff are now working from home but continue to meet online and connect with families via mobile phone to help keep kids and communities safe. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Indonesia

*Indonesia is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

The country of Indonesia’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 2 March and thousands of cases have been confirmed since. The government declared an emergency response, appointing provincial task forces, restricting people’s movement between provinces, imposing a travel ban for countries with high case numbers and requiring other travellers to present a health certificate. World Vision is working to limit the spread of COVID-19 by educating communities about proper hygiene practices, installing handwashing facilities in high-traffic communities, providing soap to vulnerable families, providing personal protective equipment to health facilities in five communities, and training community health workers. We have also been supporting children affected by COVID-19 by providing families who have lost their source of income with access to food and nutritional support, and helping farming families to connect with online markets to sell their produce. We have partnered with the government to prepare educational materials and promote remote learning, and successfully advocated for the government to adopt community-based child protection and data reporting guidelines for the COVID-19 response. We are also partnering with a local university to help identify online/remote learning opportunities and develop online classes, especially for children with disabilities. All of the communities we partner with in Indonesia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Indonesia staff are now working from home. Our emergency response teams, who had been working on earthquake and tsunami responses, will now focus on COVID-19 to help keep kids and communities safe. We are working to support the government and our other partners with preventative measures and establishing a system of care for children whose families are confined by COVID-19. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Jerusalem and West Bank

The Palestinian Authority declared a State of Emergency over areas under their administration on 22 March and the Israeli Government has restricted all non-essential movement throughout the rest of the West Bank and Israel in response to COVID-19. In partnership with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, World Vision is distributing information materials promoting COVID-19 prevention measures. We are supporting health workers by providing medical equipment, hygiene products and protective equipment to village councils and providing face masks and toys to quarantine centres. And we are working with church groups to develop training for parents on positive discipline techniques to use during lockdown. All of the communities we partner with in this region are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Most WV staff in the region are now working from home, with the exception of some roles essential to the COVID-19 response. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Lebanon

*Lebanon is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

The country of Lebanon confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 21 February. The government has launched a COVID-19 National Response Plan, but the crisis is expected to exacerbate the country’s already tenuous socio-political and economic situation. Many families are struggling to meet their children’s daily needs, especially among the large refugee population, which represents one in four people in Lebanon. World Vision is continuing to monitor sponsored children and how COVID-19 is affecting them and their families. We have launched a national response to help prevent and limit the spread of the virus, which includes educating children, their families and communities on proper hygiene practices, especially proper handwashing, and equipping vulnerable families in refugee settlements with soap. We are also working with community leaders to disinfect public areas and have distributed sanitisers and personal protective equipment kits in nine locations.  We are also distributing emergency food supplies to families that need it most, and continuing our work to provide communities with water, sanitation and hygiene, desludging water sources and trucking in water when necessary. And have launched an online parenting support group to learn about positive parenting approaches and help parents manage the stress of lockdown situations. All of the communities we partner with in this region are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. All WV staff in the region are now working from home. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Myanmar

The country of Myanmar has confirmed cases of COVID-19. The government ordered people to stay at home and avoid travel between villages, imposed a curfew from 10pm to 4am each day, banned gatherings of more than five people and asked non-government organisations not to conduct activities in communities with infections. World Vision is now training more than 5,000 community group members on child protection during COVID-19, conducting child protection risk assessments in 35 towns, and advocating for the government to ensure child protection services and helplines for children. We are also training 50 frontline staff and service providers on psychological first aid for children facing stress. During the crisis, we have also partnered with the government to distribute personal protective equipment and medical supplies like masks, gloves, disinfectant, thermometers and sanitiser to health facilities, and provided internally displaced families with food supplies, cash, water purification tablets, soap, water buckets and COVID-19 information. We have developed education kits for children and online home schooling training for caregivers. Several of the communities we partner with in Myanmar are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Philippines

*Philippines is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

The country of the Philippines has recorded thousands of cases of COVID-19. The government imposed restrictions to contain the spread of the virus, including school closures. World Vision has been educating children, families and communities in prevention methods, especially focused on proper hygiene, using information materials, radio and TV, to reach 5.7 million people. We’ve also been strengthening health workers and systems by providing health facilities in vulnerable communities with disinfection kits and other medical supplies, and health workers with personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves. We have been supporting children affected by COVID-19 by helping ensure they have access to educational activities while schools are closed, providing almost 20,000 families and seven hospitals with fresh vegetables, giving cash transfers to families in 207 villages in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, distributing sanitation kits to more than 6,500 families, and ensuring families have access to low-cost insurance to address any health care or medical needs. All of the communities we partner with in in the Philippines are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Sri Lanka

The country of Sri Lanka has recorded cases of COVID-19 and some deaths. In response, the government imposed an island-wide curfew, prohibited movement between districts and asking all people to work from home. World Vision is focused on combatting the spread of the virus in Sri Lanka, working with the Government of Sri Lanka to educate communities on COVID-19 prevention. We have provided four mobile toilets and 1,500 water bottles in the quarantine centre in Chilaw. We have also distributed 650 dry ration packs in Batticaloa and provided masks to a COVID-19 testing lab in Sri Jayawardenapura hospital. We are also partnering with UNICEF to advocate for the government to develop online learning platforms so that children can continue learning and to provide psychosocial support for children. All of the communities we partner with in Sri Lanka are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Sri Lanka staff are now working from home. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Thailand

*Thailand is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

The country of Thailand has confirmed thousands of cases of COVID-19. The government has closed schools, universities and all business operations except food stores and pharmacies, restricted movement across national and provincial borders, and banned all public gatherings in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. World Vision is working to keep children safe by educating children, families and communities in how to prevent the virus and protect children’s mental, physical and social wellbeing through an online platform and social media, which will be rolled out nationally through school networks. We are also distributing hygiene kits and virus prevention information to vulnerable families and working closely with provincial health authorities to reach migrant workers from Myanmar with information about COVID-19 prevention. We have also trained 400 community health workers to provide community-based services. To comply with government restrictions, WV Thailand staff are working from home. All of the communities we partner with in Thailand are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. We are still monitoring sponsored children through our community leaders and partners, via mobile phones and alternative methods. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Vietnam

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country of Vietnam. The government closed all schools and banned large public gatherings in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. However, small gatherings are permitted and so some child sponsorship activities can continue, while others will be delayed. World Vision is now focused on planning early recovery activities and will conduct a needs assessment in June. Throughout the crisis, we have shared information on COVID-19 prevention and handwashing, and helping children cope with stress in the communities where we work. We have also been working with the government, health workers and police to establish incident reporting mechanisms in quarantine and isolation centres to help protect children and other vulnerable people. Most WV Vietnam staff are working from home. However, we have worked with our partners to adjust our operations to meet safety guidelines while maximising our programme’s effectiveness. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Burundi

There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country of Burundi. The country is at high risk as neighbouring countries Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo also have reported cases. Public places like schools, churches and markets were not closed, but handwashing is being encouraged and three hospitals have been designated for treating COVID-19 cases. Most WV Burundi staff are working from their homes, focused on increasing awareness about COVID-19 and educating children online, assessing the COVID-19 needs of health infrastructure and schools, training community health volunteers and faith leaders on psychosocial support, and sharing COVID-19 health messages in all churches across the country by working with faith leaders. We have partnered with faith leaders to plan and manage a strategic response to the crisis, and to develop a policy paper on responding to COVID-19 to present to the local government. We have also distributed cash transfers and hygiene kits to more than 5,000 vulnerable households in six provinces, and provided food, blankets, shelter and basic hygiene supplies to 545 displaced people. We have also provided medicine and personal protective equipment like masks and gloves to the Ministry of Health, and advocated for the Ministry of Health to allow cloth masks to be produced for community health workers as there is a shortage of disposable masks. All of the communities we partner with in Burundi are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, and some of our programmes and interventions have been affected by COVID-19. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Chad

The country of Chad has confirmed cases of COVID-19. The government closed the borders, schools, bars, restaurants, markets, churches and mosques, stopped public transport and banned public gatherings of more than 50 people. World Vision is deploying a COVID-19 response that includes sharing prevention information through door-to-door visits to 3,200 community members, local radio broadcasts, and training faith leaders to share COVID-19 information within their communities. We are also distributing handwashing kits, soap, bleach and face masks and have set up four public handwashing facilities to help keep kids and communities safe. We are also providing 1,300 students in quarantine with food assistance and 200 people in a quarantine centre with hygiene materials, and we are working with the government to help coordinate the national response. Now, we are advocating for the government to life some restrictions to allow humanitarian organisations to provide COVID-19 related assistance. All of the communities we partner with in Chad are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. All WV Chad staff are now working from home. However, we are continuing to work through community volunteers to reach vulnerable children and families while following the safety guidelines. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Democratic Republic of Congo

*The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

There are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The government imposed a national lockdown. World Vision is working to train health workers and volunteers on COVID-19 prevention, distribute local language COVID-19 information and disinfectant in communities, and build handwashing stations in public places. We have helped the government to develop a multisectoral provincial response plan and are supporting the government and the police to broadcast radio programming on COVID-19 prevention. We are also training community leaders on how COVID-19 spreads and how to stop it, and equipping them to share those messages with their communities. So far, we have trained more than 450 Christian and Muslim leaders, who is turn have reached over 50,000 people in their local communities with COVID-19 information through visits to families, including several pygmy communities who were displaced from their homes in the forest and are now living on the outskirts of Goma city. We have also provided 1,000 sponsored children and their families with emergency food supplies, play equipment and income generating kits. And we are advocating for the protection of children during the COVID-19 response by participating in various meetings and forums. All the communities we partner with in the Democratic Republic of Congo are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Democratic Republic of Congo staff are now working from home, many with limited access to electricity. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Eswatini

The country of Eswatini has recorded cases of COVID-19 and the government declared a State of Emergency. Schools were closed, gatherings of more than 20 people, non-essential travel and movement outside your home banned, workers in non-essential industries told to work from home and essential workers given one square metre of workspace per person. The army and police has enforced these rules. World Vision is providing face masks and medical supplies to help the government’s response and training soldiers who will help share COVID-19 information with communities. The Royal Eswatini Police has also signed an agreement to improve services for child and adult survivors of gender-based violence. We have trained more than 400 faith leaders to share COVID-19 and child protection information in their communities, with more than 350 church leaders now part of a COVID-19 WhatsApp group. We have distributed 500,000 factsheets on COVID-19 and are broadcasting a weekly radio programme with faith leaders on preventing the virus and gender-based violence to help keep children and families safe. We have also helped 1,200 households to build simple handwashing facilities and provided 15,700 people with access to water. We are partnering with other humanitarian agencies to advocate for better homeschooling resources and special COVID-19 information for children to be developed. And we have produced a documentary highlighting the impact of World Vision’s COVID-91 interventions in health facilities, which will be used to advocate for better service provision and resourcing for health facilities. All of the communities we partner with in Eswatini are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Ethiopia

The country of Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 13 March. The country is also managing cholera outbreaks in two regions. The government closed all land borders and introduced mandatory quarantine for all travellers arriving at airports. Schools have been closed and university campuses have restricted student entry. Public gatherings at sports venues and religious institutions were banned. The number of passengers on public transport was restricted. World Vision is assisting the government with COVID-19 prevention to help keep kids and communities safe, deploying health professionals to strengthen risk communication and work closely with the Ethiopian Public Health Institution and supporting broadcasting of COVID-19 and child protection messages on a children’s TV channel. We have established a network of local stakeholders to take joint action on COVID-19, like spreading prevention messages, and we are preparing a mobile phone SMS campaign to raise awareness about protecting children against child marriage and child trafficking during this period of heightened vulnerability. We have trained more than 3,000 faith leaders on prevention messages and partnered with two large church networks to translate messaging into local languages and share the messages with their communities and online, broadcast COVID-19 messaging to the Ethiopian Evangelical TV station’s five million viewers, and trained more than 3,000 faith leaders on prevention messages, so far reaching more than 45,000 people through the Evangelical Churches, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Muslim faith communities. We are also assessing the needs of health institutions and health workers as we plan our COVID-19 response for the health sector, and have distributed protective equipment to five health facilities. We have also distributed food to people in quarantine and 20 water tanks that will help more than 12,000 children and 8,000 adults with good hygiene. All of the communities we partner with in Ethiopia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Ghana

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country of Ghana. The government closed all land, sea and air borders, banned public gatherings and closed schools and universities. World Vision is supporting the government to keep kids and communities safe by assisting the government to coordinate the national COVID-19 response, helping hospitals and clinics prepare to respond, and providing the Ministry of Health with COVID-19 prevention information materials and protective equipment. We have already distributed information to the communities where we work, and are broadcasting messages about the effects of COVID-19 on health, education and child protection through community radio. We have partnered with a local television station to raise awareness about the heightened risks of child marriage and violence against children during the crisis and work with a school-based child parliament to produce a drama on child protection that was broadcast live on television and Facebook. We have also mobilised 500 faith leaders to share information on COVID-19 prevention with their communities through online platforms, and are providing these faith leaders with additional virtual training on safe funeral protocols during COVID-19 and how to provide psychosocial support. We are also providing counselling and psychosocial support to families and helping our church partners to develop special messaging on caring for children during COVID-19. And we are advocating to the government to increase water and sanitation services across the country, and to put measures in place to address the poverty gaps that will be created by the pandemic. All of the communities we partner with in Ghana are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. However, we have been able to continue to work with communities in small groups, following safety guidelines. Some WV Ghana staff are now working from home. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Kenya

*Kenya is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

The country of Kenya has confirmed COVID-19 cases. The government stopped international flights, banned public gatherings, introduced a night-time curfew, and closed schools, churches and other places of worship, and some markets and industries. World Vision is part of a government-led sub-group working with faith leaders to educate families and communities on ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as using proper hygiene practices, through COVID-19 information packs and social media. We have mobilised more than 730 faith leaders to share messages on COVID-19 prevention and child protection, and are training more than 800 faith leaders in psychological first aid. We have also helped the government to develop COVID-19 health services guidelines for health volunteers, advocated for child protection to be included in COVID-19 Standard Operation Procedures, and provided more than 11,400 personal protection equipment kits for use in isolation and quarantine centres. We are also part of an alliance of international non-government organisation in Kenya advocating to the government to ensure that essential health services for children such as immunisation and malaria prevention are continued during COVID-19. In communities, we are installing handwashing facilities in high-traffic areas, such as markets and health facilities, promoting handwashing and distributing soap to vulnerable families. We are strengthening health systems by providing personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, and training to health facilities and community health workers. We are also equipping community health workers with the knowledge and supplies they need to identify, refer and monitor COVID-19 cases in their communities. We are identifying and supporting vulnerable children affected by COVID-19 with access to food and nutrition support and water purifiers. We are also equipping frontline staff, volunteers, faith leaders and teachers with tools to address trauma caused by this crisis and to bring hope to their communities. 90% of the communities we partner with in Kenya are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Most WV Kenya staff are working from home, but some essential staff are still working out of our offices. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Lesotho

Cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the country of Lesotho in May. The government had already declared a national lockdown, including closing schools and banning all community gatherings except small funerals. We are helping the government to screen people at district emergency operation centres and in communities near the border with South Africa and have provided health authorities with 1,000 face masks. We are also helping to raise awareness about COVID-19 prevention, training more than 1,600 faith leaders to spread information in their communities, working with District Disaster Management Teams to disseminate prevention messages in seven districts, and arranging for Her Majesty the Queen to broadcast a message about child protection during COVID-19 on television and other media. We are also working with UNFPA to provide more than 200 people with emergency food packs, providing dignity kits to children in the Mpharane area, and continuing our work to deliver clean water to health facilities. All of the communities we partner with in Lesotho are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Malawi

The country of Malawi has confirmed cases of COVID-19. The government declared a State of Disaster, closing schools, banning public gatherings and restricting the number of people on public transport. World Vision has provided health facilities with gloves, face masks, theatre gowns, soap, chlorine and buckets, trained health workers on COVID-19 and provided personal protective equipment and handwashing kits for airport staff. We have also trained staff, community volunteers, local leaders and more than 2,100 faith leaders on sharing COVID-19 prevention measures with their communities, and have so far reached over 7,400 people. We are producing COVID-19 radio programming for national and community radio stations, supporting the government activities to reach communities with COVID-19 information, and advocating for the government to create safe spaces for children during the COVID-19 crisis.  We are also working with UNICEF and other humanitarian organisations to help the government develop COVID-19 policies that protect children’s rights. All of the communities we partner with in Malawi are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Malawi staff are now working from home and we have suspended all visits to communities. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Mali

The country of Mali confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 24 March and the government introduced lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including closing borders and schools. World Vision is working with local health services to plan to coordinate the response and spread information about COVID-19 through a partnership with health centres, regional health authorities, and community committees, volunteers and leaders. We have also provided health authorities and four health centres with US$25,000 of personal protective equipment and distributed more than 2,700 handwashing kits and 6,700 soap packs to sponsored children’s families. We are broadcasting information about the virus through six radio stations, and working through community volunteers to contact sponsored children’s families with information via mobile phone. We are training Christian and Muslim faith leaders to share information in their local communities, including partnering with pastors and imams to develop faith-based messages about COVID-19 that will be translated into seven languages then recorded and broadcast to help keep children safe. We are also partnering with other humanitarian organisations to advocate to the government for stronger child protection. All of the communities we partner with in Mali are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. However, we have adapted our programmes so we can continue to carry out child sponsorship activities in a way that meets safety guidelines. Some WV Mali staff are now working from home. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Mauritania

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the country of Mauritania on 13 March. In response, the government closed all land and river borders and airports, imposed a 14-day quarantine for travellers returning from highly affected areas, closed schools and universities, banned all public gatherings and imposed a curfew from 6pm to 8am each day. COVID-19 is exacerbating an already critical humanitarian situation, especially in rural areas, caused by a lack of rainfall last year. World Vision is participating in national COVID-19 response coordination meetings, providing the Ministry of Health with medical equipment and 10 health centres with hygiene kits, and conducting assessments and providing recommendations to improve the COVID-19 response at local hospitals. We are also distributing water, sanitation and hygiene kits and information posters in communities and have provided more than 350 highly vulnerable Talibre children in six Koranic schools with food supplies. We are now preparing to conduct research into the community’s understanding of COVID-19 and any gaps, as well as to train 80 faith leaders on COVID-19 so that they can share information with their communities. All of the communities we partner with in Mauritania are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. However, we continue to monitor sponsored children and to work with their families through home visits by community volunteers and partners. WV Mauritania staff are now working from home. Our COVID-19 team is meeting online to ensure our response to keep kids and communities safe. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Mozambique

The country of Mozambique confirmed its first cases of COVID-19 at the end of March. The government closed all schools, restricted gatherings to less than 50 people, closed most borders and stopped most international flights. The health system is under pressure and public hospitals have only been attending to emergencies, pregnant women and chronically ill patients. World Vision has been recognised as an “essential service” allowed to provide support to communities during COVID-19. We are working with the local government to plan a COVID-19 response and training police to work with vulnerable groups like children during the state of emergency. We have joined with other civil society organisations to make recommendations for the government’s 2020 economic and social plan, focusing on a COVID-19 response. We have also supported the Ministry of Health to set up isolation wards for COVID-19 across the country and provided more than 50 women and girls who lost their income because of the lockdown with emergency food supplies. We are also sharing information about COVID-19 prevention by producing radio programs for children, and partnering with the Islamic Council to have local mosques spread COVID-19 information at local mosques’ call to prayer time. After we trained 150 faith leaders from local churches and mosques via mobile phone, faith leaders in Gaza province shared COVID-19 prevention messages on local radio. We also conducted training for the Council of Religions of Mozambique, and in turn, the Council has held training sessions for 300 faith leaders in other provinces. All of the communities we partner with in Mozambique are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Niger

The country of Niger has confirmed COVID-19 cases. With more than 450,000 displaced persons in Niger, COVID-19 is a big risk to many people. The government banned all public gatherings, introduced a lockdown from 7pm to 6am each day and restricted travel to and within the country. World Vision is working with health authorities, the World Health Organisation and the police to raise awareness about COVID-19 prevention. We are also broadcasting information about the virus through 22 radio stations with a reach of 2.9 million people, and training faith leaders and 1,700 community volunteers, savings group members, and young adult sponsored children to share information in their local communities and through the media. We have distributed handwashing supplies to communities and healthcare facilities, including 1,200 sponsored children’s families, to help stay healthy. We are also drilling seven new boreholes in Maradi region to give more than 6,000 people access to clean water – an essential resource to help them fight COVID-19. All of the communities we partner with in Niger are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Some WV Niger staff are now working from home. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Rwanda

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the country of Rwanda on 14 March. The government introduced a total lockdown, with both national and district borders closed, schools closed, and all employees told to work from home. World Vision is working with the government to spread information about how to prevent and protect against COVID-19, to complete five essential water systems to supply communities with clean water, to construct handwashing facilities at schools, hospitals and refugee camps, to set up radio-based school programmes to facilitate remote learning for children, and to register vulnerable families, including sponsored children’s families, in a cash transfer programme to ensure they can continue to buy food. We have been part of 47 live talk shows on Radio Rwanda to raise awareness about child protection during COVID-19, and are running a media campaign encouraging communities to protect children against child labour and sexual abuse, sharing positive parenting and child protection messages on radio, television and YouTube channels with a combined audience of more than five million people, in collaboration with local faith leaders. We have also been providing protective equipment for workers distributing food to children through schools – all to help keep kids and communities safe. All of the communities we partner with in Rwanda are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Senegal

*Senegal is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country of Senegal. The government declared a State of Emergency, closing schools and universities, banning public gatherings, including church and mosque services, prohibiting movement between regions, closing some markets, and imposing a curfew from 8pm to 6am each day. World Vision is partnering with UN agencies, the World Bank and the government to help coordinate the national COVID-19 response in Senegal. We are working to limit the spread of COVID-19 by providing 11,500 people with information about COVID-19 prevention through home visits from trained community health workers, providing personal protective equipment to defence forces on the border, and training faith leaders including priests, pastors and imams on sharing COVID-19 information with their communities. We are strengthening health facilities by providing face masks, hand sanitiser, soap, blankets, mosquito nets and mats in health centres treating COVID-19 patients, training health district managers on COVID-19 prevention and management, and producing a community health worker guide for COVID-19 management that will be distributed to 30,000 health workers. We are also supporting children who have been impacted by COVID-19 by distributing hygiene kits and providing nutritional support for families who are especially vulnerable or who are not able to provide for the nutritional requirements of their children. We are collaborating with other humanitarian organisations to broadcast television programming to highlight the importance of child protection and children’s rights throughout the COVID-19 response, and advocating for the government, UN agencies and other organisations to include concrete action to protect children’s wellbeing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also participating in a global partnership focused on ending child marriage, which is a particular risk for girls during the instability of this period. And we are assisting the National Group for the Protection of Children to monitor the situation of street children and develop plans to provide them with care. All of the communities we partner with in Senegal are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Most WV Senegal staff are now working from home and our community volunteers have paused house visits to meet government requirements. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Sierra Leone

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country of Sierra Leone. The government declared a State of Emergency for 12 months, closed borders and schools, and imposed a national lockdown. World Vision has given 155,000 community members information about how to prevent COVID-19 by distributing information sheets to communities and health facilities and training 50 faith leaders to share information on COVID-19 and child protection in their local communities. We have partnered with the Inter Religious Council to plan a three-month radio, TV and community information campaign to provide people with messages about child protection and COVID-19 awareness. We have trained 600 health workers on COVID-19, providing health facilities with protective equipment, such as face masks and gloves, and have supported COVID-19 infection, prevention and control in health facilities. We have also connected social workers with 150 children to provide them with psychosocial support. We are distributing handwashing supplies to schools, churches, mosques and hospitals, working with communities to build or upgrade simple handwashing taps made of sticks and bottles, and partnering with the Inter Religious Council to provide support to communities and families with patients in quarantine, isolation and treatment centres. We are continuing to train social workers on child protection in emergencies and we are working with the Ministry of Education to support radio programmes for remote learning for children as well as distributing solar powered radio sets so that children can participate in the lessons. And we are advocating for the government to maintain essential health service delivery for children and women and equip frontline health workers with personal protective equipment and training. All of the communities we partner with in Sierra Leone are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

South Africa

*South Africa is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

Thousands of cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country of South Africa. The government imposed a national lockdown so no one could leave their homes except to provide essential services. Because South Africa has high levels of HIV/AIDs and active tuberculosis, many people are at high risk from COVID-19. At the same time, South Africa doesn’t have the capacity to test widely for the virus. World Vision is distributing information about COVID-19 prevention and has trained more than 500 faith leaders on prevention measures via WhatsApp so that they can share information with their communities. We are also partnering with shopping centres to broadcast hygiene messages through their public address system, distributing COVID-19 information brochures and posters, and broadcasting a radio programme about COVID-19, child protection, positive parenting and gender-based violence prevention on 10 radio stations. We have conducted household campaigns to demonstrate good hygiene and are planning to provide food packs to vulnerable families who are no longer receiving meals through our school programmes because of school closures. We are also working with the government to train new community health care workers on COVID-19 screening and have contributed to the government’s research on children’s experience of COVID-19 and the lockdown with submissions from children with disabilities, staff and parents. And we are advocating with other humanitarian organisations for the government to strengthen protection against sexual and gender-based violence and increase child support grants for households in response to COVID-19, including the opening of local social security offices to process grant applications. All of the communities we partner with in South Africa are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. All WV South African staff are now working from home. Our COVID-19 team is meeting online each day to update our response to help keep kids and communities safe. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Tanzania

There are confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country of Tanzania. The government closed all schools and universities and restricted public gatherings and international travel. WV Tanzania staff are deploying a COVID-19 preparedness, prevention and response plan. We are supporting the government to respond in areas with confirmed cases, and continuing to distribute food in refugee settlements as an essential service to help keep kids and communities safe. We are distributing brochures, posters and banners, setting up public handwashing and other sanitation facilities, providing health centres with disinfectant kits, and training 700 more community health workers. We are also collaborating with the government to monitor how COVID-19 messages are being delivered to communities, and to help regional authorities connect with faith leaders to share COVID-19 messages. We have held a virtual meeting with Christian Based Organisations to discuss how they can prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as child abuse, child marriage and early pregnancy during this period of, and are continuing to equip faith leaders to raise awareness about COVID-19. All of the communities we partner with in Tanzania are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Uganda

There are confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country of Uganda and the government introduced lockdowns and restrictions. World Vision has launched a $US1 million COVID-19 response, working closely with the government to prioritise food distribution to children in vulnerable families and to raise awareness about the new education guidelines for online and home learning. We are supporting the Ministry of Health to plan and coordinate the COVID-19 response and have successfully advocated for the local government to prioritise repairing safe water sources and transportation of expectant mothers to access health facilities. We have also advocated for child protection and gender-based violence prevention and response to be integrated into the government’s district taskforce teams. We have trained 5,200 community health workers, provided health facilities with personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, and medical supplies, and set up public handwashing facilities. We are also spreading information about COVID-19 by training village health volunteers and 1,200 faith leaders, who are sharing prevention messages on radio talk shows, and distributing flyers and special information for children. And we are working with faith leaders to develop a plan to document gender-based violence and counselling needs among families in their community. All of the communities we partner with in Uganda are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Zambia

The country of Zambia recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 18 March. In response, the government closed schools, restricted public gatherings, including church services, and imposed quarantines of people arriving from high-risk areas. World Vision is partnering with UNICEF to equip health facilities and isolation centres with chlorinators, hygiene supplies, face masks, gloves and safe water, and to strengthen sanitation and hygiene, as well as infection prevention and control measures. We are also assisting 134 health facilities to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene and infection and control measures, and have donated 40,000 masks and 20,000 gloves. We are training faith leaders on COVID-19 prevention measures so that they can share information with their communities and via community radio programmes, and we have shared messages about COVID-19 and the importance of protecting children during the crisis through social media and a district child justice forum, which reached 2,500 people. We are also documenting the voices of community members who are speaking out to end violence against children, especially during COVID-19, and will use these messages to create an online movement advocating for policy changes. All of the communities we partner with in Zambia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. We are continuing our work to support vulnerable communities but have adapted our activities to meet the government guidelines, including restricting international and domestic travel. Some activities are being carried out in small groups and others are now taking place virtually. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Zimbabwe

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the country of Zimbabwe’s government imposed a national lockdown. World Vision is partnering with the World Food Programme to distribute food assistance and mobile cash transfers to more than 1.4 million people, including the families of 69,000 sponsored children. We have also partnered with local churches, business, professional bodies and civic organisations to provide communities in five areas with food and water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. We have provided personal protective equipment, including gowns, gloves and respirators, and information materials to provincial health facilities. We are raising awareness about COVID-19 by helping to produce a local radio programme, which includes messages about child protection that are recorded by church leaders and broadcast nationally, as well as a children’s television programme about COVID-19, child protection and child participation, which reached more than 18,000 people, including 15,000 children. We have also trained more than 1,400 faith leaders to share COVID-19 information in their communities, connecting them through 21 WhatsApp groups through which we provide COVID-19 messages. We are also training these faith partners to monitor domestic violence reports and provide counselling to help protect children and other vulnerable people. And we are supporting the government to plan its COVID-19 response, advocating for strong child protection through radio interviews, television discussion panels, meetings and policy guides. All of the communities we partner with in Zimbabwe are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Zimbabwe offices are now closed. Key staff are working from home, using WhatsApp and similar communications channels to help keep kids and communities safe. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Albania

The country of Albania has confirmed cases of COVID-19. To contain the spread of the virus, the government has closed schools and universities, stopped public gatherings and restricted people from leaving their home for any non-essential reasons. World Vision has adjusted our programmes to meet these restrictions and we are delivering some activities virtually. We are raising awareness about COVID-19 prevention to help keep kids and communities safe, distributing information leaflets to more than 1,000 families and sharing messages through the media, social media and YouTube. We have started producing a podcast series on building resilience and addressing mental health with children and families, and we have published awareness and prevention measures on COVID-19 in multiple online publications. Over 2,000 families have received food packages, hygiene kits, medication and livelihoods assistance. Innovative virtual programmes are providing adults and children with online mental health, speech therapy and psychosocial support, including to families with children with disabilities. We have also launched nine online podcasts about building resilience and mental health, and an online platform with daily family activities to support families during lockdowns. All of the communities we partner with in Albania are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Bosnia

The country of Bosnia has confirmed cases of COVID-19. The government has imposed a curfew from 6pm to 5am each day and children and people over 65 are not allowed to leave their homes for any reason. Schools, shopping centers, restaurants and cinemas are closed, and public transport has stopped. World Vision is part of a key state COVID-19 response coordination body and are focused on promoting preventive measures, supporting health systems and workers, and supporting children made vulnerable by COVID-19. Some of these responses include producing prevention posters and leaflets, providing protective equipment, hygiene and disinfecting products for health workers and local government institutions, and distributing food and emergency packages to most vulnerable families. All of our World Vision communities in Bosnia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Bosnia staff are now working from home but we are working through our community networks to continue to monitor sponsored children and assess the needs of the most vulnerable families in the communities we work in.

Kosovo

Active cases of COVID-19 continue to be on the rise in Kosovo. The government has enforced weekend curfews to slow the spread of the virus. World Vision is responding by distributing food packages and hygiene kits, as well as continuing to raise awareness on proper handwashing, social distancing and other preventative measures.

Romania

Thousands of COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the country of Romania. World Vision is focused on promoting prevention of COVID-19. We have distributed information about protective measures, social distancing, government recommendations, and parenting during this crisis to children, families, communities, staff and local authorities. We have also distributed food, education and hygiene supplies to vulnerable families. We are supporting teachers to provide online education using existing platforms, and we supporting children and parents to receive online psychological counselling from psychologies, social workers and educators. We are continuing to assess the needs for safety equipment, food, hygiene supplies and other essentials across the communities where we work, and are advocating for the Authority for Child Protection to closely monitor the status of domestic violence and violence against children at this time. All of the communities we partner with in Romania are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. However, WV Romania has adapted our programmes to respond to COVID-19 and keep kids safe. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has confirmed many COVID-19 cases and several deaths. The government has halted all commercial activity and advised people to stay at home, imposing a curfew from 6pm to 5am each day. Public transport has been limited and the streets and public spaces are being fumigated. World Vision is working to spread information on how to prevent COVID-19 through a public media campaign that has reached over 90,000 people. We are distributing emergency supplies to 27,000 children and their families in 15 provinces. We are also encouraging companies to donate hygiene supplies like soap and disinfectant so that we can distribute them to families who need help the most and have already distributed over 12,000 hygiene kits. All of the communities we partner with in the Dominican Republic are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Dominican Republic staff are now working from home to plan an emergency response within our programmes. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

El Salvador

The country of El Salvador confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 18 March and the government has declared an Estate of Exception in response. This includes mandatory quarantine until 16 May and restrictions on public assembly, transit and business operations, with only food, pharmacy and goods supply stores allowed to open, and all non-essential workers are required to work from home or to be given leave. World Vision is currently focused on communication and advocacy initiatives to reach families and communities with information about child protection, children’s rights, COVID-19 prevention, and safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices, to help keep kids and communities safe. We are working with faith leaders to raise awareness about COVID-19 prevention and working with the government to develop processes for child protection in quarantine shelters. We have also provided 20,400 caregivers and health workers with personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. Government restrictions have affected usual operations in all of our programmes and will cause operational delays. All WV El Salvador staff are now working from home. However, we are continuing to monitor sponsored children through our community networks of local volunteers, leaders, churches and government, using social media, phone messaging and apps like WhatsApp. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Guatemala

The country of Guatemala’s first case of COVID-19 was reported on 13 March and the government has declared a State of Public Calamity. World Vision is working with the government and local churches to continue to protect vulnerable children and their families, and to adapt our operations plan to help keep kids and communities safe. We have distributed food supplies for over 29,000 vulnerable people and partnered with a local church to provide an additional 2,000 food kits for households. We are also developing a campaign to prevent domestic violence, which has increased during the lockdown. All of the communities we partner with in Guatemala are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Haiti

*Haiti is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

The country of Haiti’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 19 March.. The government has closed schools and universities, factories, churches, airports and seaports, banned gatherings of more than 10 people and imposed a curfew from 8pm to 5am each day to control the spread of the virus. However, there is great concern because of the weak public health system and the economic impacts of the measures, and there has been civil unrest and violence. World Vision is working to educate families on preventative measures, including social distancing, handwashing and isolation, using trucks with loud speakers, TV and radio, and working with church leaders to spread information. We have distributed food supplies to over 5,600 children and their families and handwashing buckets to more than 3,000 people by partnering with churches and health facilities. We are also providing communities with handwashing supplies and home schooling guidance. All of the communities we partner with in Haiti are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. The majority of WV Haiti staff are now working from home, with some essential staff still working from our offices. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Honduras

The country of Honduras confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 11 March. The government declared a State of Sanitary Emergency the following day, including mobility restrictions, curfews and quarantine and isolation. Civil protests have been held in several major cities calling for government food aid, and the government has responded with a programme to provide 3.2 million people with food. World Vision is working to support the government’s response and is leading coordination of humanitarian aid throughout the COVID-19 crisis. We have delivered more than 13,000 family hygiene kits, provided emergency food supplies for 2,200 families and partnered with UNHCR to deliver hygiene kits to returned migrants. We are also supporting the national health system with biosecurity equipment for health facilities, and training and personal protective equipment for health workers. And we are working with the Ministry of Labour to promote sanitary measures to protect workers and prevent the spread of the virus. All of the communities we partner with in Honduras are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. WV Honduras staff are now working from home. However, we continue to monitor sponsored children’s wellbeing through our community volunteers, via online apps, and we are adapting our operations plan to respond to the emergency. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Mexico

The country of Mexico has confirmed thousands of cases of COVID-19. Schools are closed and there is a lockdown in place that restricts all non-essential activities. The government has now installed respiratory care clinics in border cities to help manage virus cases. World Vision is coordinating with the government and working with children and community members to educate them on how to protect against the virus, including providing handwashing training and hygiene kits, to help keep kids and communities safe. We have already reached more than 111,000 people in eight states and 61 cities with COVID-19 prevention information. We are also providing health centres with medical and hygiene supplies like masks and goggles, and delivering basic hygiene kits to emergency shelters in the border states. All of the communities we partner with in Mexico are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. The majority of WV Mexico staff are now working from home, but we are continuing to monitor the most vulnerable children in the communities we work in, and are providing activities for children and parents to do together. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Nicaragua

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the country of Nicaragua. Private schools are closed but public schools are still operating. People are taking their own preventative measures and many companies have asked their employees to work from home. World Vision is focused on delivering hygiene kits to communities, teaching people about handwashing, and training health workers on COVID-19 prevention to help keep kids and communities safe. We have partnered with other organisations to produce prevention information in Miskito-language, and will distribute these materials in the Caribbean coast. We are also working with other humanitarian organisations to advocate for child protection. Most WV Nicaragua staff are now working from home, with only essential workers operating out of our offices. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Bolivia

The country of Bolivia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 10 March. The government has declared a national emergency and a national lockdown, including school closures. World Vision is working with the government to support the national response to COVID-19 and has provided 20 isolation chambers for treating COVID-19 patients as well as hygiene kits for families and health centres. We have launched a media campaign to promote hygiene and prevention and are sharing educational material about how to prevent the spread of the virus to keep kids and communities safe. We are also training 89 church leaders on how to share COVID-19 and child protection messages with their local communities. All of the communities we partner with in Bolivia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. The majority of WV Bolivia staff are now working from home. However, community volunteers are continuing to monitor the wellbeing of sponsored children and reporting risks and updates to staff using communications methods like WhatsApp. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Brazil

*Brazil is one of 28 countries that World Vision is targeting with an increased multi-million-dollar emergency response that will reach at least 72 million people, half of them children.

In February, the country of Brazil was the first country in Latin America to record a case of COVID-19. The government has declared a State of Public Calamity and social isolation has been imposed, including the shutdown of schools. However, a number of states are now loosening the restrictions. World Vision has launched preventative measures to slow the spread of the virus, providing people in 12 cities in eight states with COVID-19 information, handwashing supplies and hygiene kits. We are providing educational kits for parents to work through with their children, and basic food baskets for families with the greatest needs. We are training 300 church leaders to share COVID-19 and child protection messages with their communities. We are also partnering with 69 other organisation on a Together for Children initiative that will reach another 15,000 children. We have provided health workers and health facilities with personal protective equipment like face masks and gloves and training on COVID-19 isolation, detection and management – especially in vulnerable communities – to help keep kids and communities safe. On the Venezuelan border specifically, we are working to limit the spread of COVID-19 by teaching children and their families how they can protect themselves through proper hygiene and social distancing measures and providing them with basic sanitation items. All of the communities we partner with in Brazil are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Colombia

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country of Colombia. The government has imposed mandatory preventative isolation, which includes school closures and travel restrictions, until 11 May. The borders are closed and all air travel is suspended. World Vision is working to educate families on how to prevent the virus by producing and sharing materials to help keep kids and communities safe, especially in rural areas and in areas with migrant and refugee populations. We have distributed 18 tons of food as well as some hygiene kits, cash vouchers and teaching guides to help the most vulnerable families. All of the communities we partner with in Colombia are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Ecuador

Many cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country of Ecuador. The government declared a State of Emergency on 16 March, which has stopped all daily operations in the country except for health, food stores and other essential services. World Vision has distributed food and hygiene supplies, reaching over 36,000 children including local and migrant vulnerable populations. We have also trained more than 250 faith leaders to share COVID-91 prevention and child protection information with their local communities. All the communities we partner with in Ecuador are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. However, our community networks are continuing to monitor sponsored children and are reporting updates to WV Ecuador staff online. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Peru

The country of Peru has confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the government has declared a National Health Emergency, with closures and restrictions of ports, airports, land borders, schools, public transport, public spaces and all work centres. World Vision has distributed hygiene kits to more than 15,000 people and shared prevention information with more than 797,000 people through media and digital campaigns. We have also provided 1,300 sponsored children’s families with cash vouchers for food and essential supplies and are preparing hygiene kits and tents to distribute to isolation centres when needed. We are continuing to monitor sponsored children’s wellbeing through our community-based volunteers and are also training these volunteers in COVID-19 prevention and how to communicate with migrant and refugee populations. All of the communities we partner with in Peru are experiencing restrictions due to safety measures, which will likely cause some operational delays. Thank you for your vital support – we will continue to update you on how we are best supporting sponsored children and their communities at this challenging time.

Right now, there are four things every child sponsor can do

Right now, there are four things every child sponsor can do

Let your sponsored child know that you care

Children everywhere are no doubt feeling afraid as the world around them swirls with uncertainty about the coronavirus. They are listening to conversation of friends, parents and teachers and for some, witnessing sickness and tragedy first-hand. Write a letter or message to your sponsored child to reassure them that even in uncertain times, you’re thinking of them or and praying for them. There might be delays with letters in some affected areas but a message to show you care, even if it takes some time to get there, is powerful.

Let your sponsored child know that you care

Children everywhere are no doubt feeling afraid as the world around them swirls with uncertainty about the coronavirus. They are listening to conversation of friends, parents and teachers and for some, witnessing sickness and tragedy first-hand. Write a letter or message to your sponsored child to reassure them that even in uncertain times, you’re thinking of them or and praying for them. There might be delays with letters in some affected areas but a message to show you care, even if it takes some time to get there, is powerful.

Speak up for the most vulnerable

Responding to this global crisis is a challenge for most countries, but in places where health systems are weak, the situation is even more desperate. Write to your government representatives and get on social media – ask your country to support nations where the world’s most vulnerable live to combat the spread of coronavirus. Encourage your social media network to do the same. If you like, you could also pray for the leaders of these nations and for the health and safety of people living in affected areas.

Speak up for the most vulnerable

Responding to this global crisis is a challenge for most countries, but in places where health systems are weak, the situation is even more desperate. Write to your government representatives and get on social media – ask your country to support nations where the world’s most vulnerable live to combat the spread of coronavirus. Encourage your social media network to do the same. If you like, you could also pray for the leaders of these nations and for the health and safety of people living in affected areas.

Support the Global Health Emergency Response

We need to take fast, informed and united action to protect the world’s most vulnerable children from the impact of coronavirus. We are on the cusp of a catastrophe. World Vision’s Global Health Emergency Response has launched a multi-million-dollar response in 17 countries. Give today and help fund this vital work in the places that need it most.

Support the Global Health Emergency Response

We need to take fast, informed and united action to protect the world’s most vulnerable children from the impact of coronavirus. We are on the cusp of a catastrophe. World Vision’s Global Health Emergency Response has launched a multi-million-dollar response in 17 countries. Give today and help fund this vital work in the places that need it most.

Stay informed

Each one of us can help to stop the spread of the coronavirus by doing what we can to stay healthy. Wash your hands, respect restrictions in your country, stick to social distancing rules and keep up to date on the latest information – visit the World Health Organization for the latest health recommendations or visit wvi.org for regular updates on what World Vision is doing to keep your sponsored child and their community safe.

Stay informed

Each one of us can help to stop the spread of the coronavirus by doing what we can to stay healthy. Wash your hands, respect restrictions in your country, stick to social distancing rules and keep up to date on the latest information – visit the World Health Organization for the latest health recommendations or visit wvi.org for regular updates on what World Vision is doing to keep your sponsored child and their community safe.

Below are some frequently asked questions about how COVID-19 is impacting child sponsorship. We will continually update you with more information.

What happens if my sponsored child is in a community affected by COVID-19?



In each community where we work, World Vision staff and volunteers are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and are already adjusting our programs to respond to the changing needs. There are three different scenarios for the 54 countries where sponsored children live:
  1. Our child sponsorship programs are operating as usual and already responding or are preparing to respond. In these communities, we will focus on preventing the spread of the virus, and to mitigate its effects. We are also working with health authorities to spread accurate information about coronavirus to our community partners.
  2. Our child sponsorship programs are operating, but with some restrictions. In these communities, we have paused some of our less time-critical work to limit close contact between children and other people, but all other work continues.
  3. Our child sponsorship programs are on hold and an emergency response is underway. Staff and volunteers are turning their focus trying to keep the children we serve safe. This may include assisting with home learning, if schools are closed, by providing school materials and activities, or preventing the separation or stigmatization of children during treatment and isolation.

What happens if my sponsored child becomes seriously ill from COVID-19?



The safety and wellbeing of the children we serve is our highest priority. If your sponsored child becomes seriously ill from coronavirus or any other illness, we will contact you with known information as soon as it’s operationally possible.

What happens if my sponsored child loses a parent or caregiver because of COVID-19?


We know from experience in the Ebola crisis and other disease outbreaks, that the secondary impacts of the coronavirus can be devastating for children living in poverty, specifically losing a parent or older caregiver. If your sponsored child loses a parent/caregiver to coronavirus or any other illness, we will contact you with known information as soon as it’s operationally possible.

Can I still write a letter or send a small package to my sponsored child?



Yes. In such uncertain times, your sponsored child or their family could be facing fear, isolation or uncertainty and they could benefit from knowing you are thinking of and/or praying for them.

However, before mailing a letter or sending a small package, we encourage you to check with your local postal office for restrictions around accepting and delivering mail to your sponsored child’s country. You can always skip the post office and log-in to MyWorldVision to send an email to your sponsored child anytime.  Once your email, letter or package has been received in country it still may take longer to be delivered due to possible in-country restrictions from government or local health officials, but rest assured that it will be delivered, as soon as it’s safe to do so.

If you’ve just written a letter to your sponsored child, will you get a reply?


Yes, however it may be delayed due to country restrictions in receiving mail from the US or restricted movements of our staff in delivering the letter due to government/local health authorities.  As soon as it’s safe to do so, a reply will be sent.

Can I still send a special gift to my sponsored child?



Yes. In communities where our child sponsorship programs are operating as usual, special gifts of $100-$250 (see here for more info) will be purchased and delivered to children and communities as normal. In impacted communities, the process may take a little longer than usual as we prioritize the safety of children and their families, but it will still occur. And when it’s operationally possible to do so, you’ll receive a letter and photo to show what was purchased and the impact your gift made!

Can I still visit my sponsored child?



Due to current travel restrictions and for the safety of all sponsored children, their families, our staff and volunteers, we’re asking that sponsors delay any trips they may have had planned. As soon as operations in your sponsored child’s country return to normal and are safe, we encourage you to visit for an experience of a lifetime. Check back to this page for the most up to date information.

Will I still receive an Annual Progress Report from my sponsored child?



Staff and local volunteers worked diligently in your sponsored child’s community to gather as many community accomplishments and child photos as they could before restrictions were in place. We expect that nearly all sponsors will receive an annual progress report and update photo from their sponsored child this fall.

Will I still receive photos and videos from my sponsored child?



Some sponsors may experience delays in receiving photo and video updates from their sponsored child and the child’s community. However, when it’s safe to do so, our staff and volunteers will continue working hard to provide updates of your sponsored child.

How is my monthly sponsorship gift helping the COVID-19 response?



As always, our goal is to serve your sponsored child and other vulnerable children as effectively as possible. For the foreseeable future, we’re allocating up to 20% of sponsorship funds in each country to support our COVID-19 response where needed within that country.
Hand-washing

What happens if my sponsored child is in a community affected by COVID-19?



In each community where we work, World Vision staff and volunteers are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and are already adjusting our programs to respond to the changing needs. There are three different scenarios for the 54 countries where sponsored children live:
  1. Our child sponsorship programs are operating as usual and already responding or are preparing to respond. In these communities, we will focus on preventing the spread of the virus, and to mitigate its effects. We are also working with health authorities to spread accurate information about coronavirus to our community partners.
  2. Our child sponsorship programs are operating, but with some restrictions. In these communities, we have paused some of our less time-critical work to limit close contact between children and other people, but all other work continues.
  3. Our child sponsorship programs are on hold and an emergency response is underway. Staff and volunteers are turning their focus trying to keep the children we serve safe. This may include assisting with home learning, if schools are closed, by providing school materials and activities, or preventing the separation or stigmatization of children during treatment and isolation.

What happens if my sponsored child becomes seriously ill from COVID-19?



The safety and wellbeing of the children we serve is our highest priority. If your sponsored child becomes seriously ill from coronavirus or any other illness, we will contact you with known information as soon as it’s operationally possible.

What happens if my sponsored child loses a parent or caregiver because of COVID-19?


We know from experience in the Ebola crisis and other disease outbreaks, that the secondary impacts of the coronavirus can be devastating for children living in poverty, specifically losing a parent or older caregiver. If your sponsored child loses a parent/caregiver to coronavirus or any other illness, we will contact you with known information as soon as it’s operationally possible.

Can I still write a letter or send a small package to my sponsored child?



Yes. In such uncertain times, your sponsored child or their family could be facing fear, isolation or uncertainty and they could benefit from knowing you are thinking of and/or praying for them.

However, before mailing a letter or sending a small package, we encourage you to check with your local postal office for restrictions around accepting and delivering mail to your sponsored child’s country. You can always skip the post office and log-in to MyWorldVision to send an email to your sponsored child anytime.  Once your email, letter or package has been received in country it still may take longer to be delivered due to possible in-country restrictions from government or local health officials, but rest assured that it will be delivered, as soon as it’s safe to do so.

If you’ve just written a letter to your sponsored child, will you get a reply?


Yes, however it may be delayed due to country restrictions in receiving mail from the US or restricted movements of our staff in delivering the letter due to government/local health authorities.  As soon as it’s safe to do so, a reply will be sent.

Can I still send a special gift to my sponsored child?



Yes. In communities where our child sponsorship programs are operating as usual, special gifts of $100-$250 (see here for more info) will be purchased and delivered to children and communities as normal. In impacted communities, the process may take a little longer than usual as we prioritize the safety of children and their families, but it will still occur. And when it’s operationally possible to do so, you’ll receive a letter and photo to show what was purchased and the impact your gift made!

Can I still visit my sponsored child?



Due to current travel restrictions and for the safety of all sponsored children, their families, our staff and volunteers, we’re asking that sponsors delay any trips they may have had planned. As soon as operations in your sponsored child’s country return to normal and are safe, we encourage you to visit for an experience of a lifetime. Check back to this page for the most up to date information.

Will I still receive an Annual Progress Report from my sponsored child?



Staff and local volunteers worked diligently in your sponsored child’s community to gather as many community accomplishments and child photos as they could before restrictions were in place. We expect that nearly all sponsors will receive an annual progress report and update photo from their sponsored child this fall.

Will I still receive photos and videos from my sponsored child?



Some sponsors may experience delays in receiving photo and video updates from their sponsored child and the child’s community. However, when it’s safe to do so, our staff and volunteers will continue working hard to provide updates of your sponsored child.

How is my monthly sponsorship gift helping the COVID-19 response?



As always, our goal is to serve your sponsored child and other vulnerable children as effectively as possible. For the foreseeable future, we’re allocating up to 20% of sponsorship funds in each country to support our COVID-19 response where needed within that country.