Your Sponsored Child and Covid

How your support is helping Baptist World Aid protect against and respond to the Covid outbreak in sponsorship communities

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THANK YOU

“To our sponsors in Australia, we are very thankful for your support and prayer. Together we will beat this pandemic. Thank you for everything.”

JUN, A SPONSORED CHILD FROM THE PHILIPPINES

Thank you for your loving support and care for your sponsored children during this global pandemic. We are conscious that now, more than ever, it is important for us to stay connected with each other and for you to know what is happening with your sponsored child.

We hope this page will help to answer some of your questions and keep you informed about how Covid is affecting your sponsored child’s community, and how your sponsorship is providing vital support as the impact spreads around the world. We are working closely with our Christian partners in the field to monitor and respond to the situation in each community.

Country Updates

What your partners are doing


Like Australia, countries where we have sponsorship programs are in lockdown. This is how our partners are taking action right now.

A small map of Bangladesh
Bangladesh

Due to COVID-19, our project communities have faced increased risk of school dropout rates, economic hardship, food shortages and compounding health challenges. Since the beginning of this pandemic, our frontline Christian partners in Bangladesh have been working hard to support sponsored children and their families to reduce these vulnerabilities as best they can.

Sponsored children and their families are becoming more resilient to the impacts of COVID-19, thanks to our local Christian partners distributing health information and training community leaders on how to prevent outbreaks. A small number of cases have been reported in our project areas, and those who have been affected have received medical care. Cases have been contained and the situation continues to be monitored.

Protecting the most vulnerable sponsored children and their families has been a priority for our partners. Those facing extreme poverty within our project areas have received food to prevent starvation and farming resources to increase crop yields and boost incomes. Our partners also supplied further hygiene items, including masks and medicated soap, to more than 2,150 community members. In addition to these initiatives, our Christian partners have also increased access to clean water for drinking and washing hands to further protect sponsored children from outbreaks.

A small map of Cambodia
Cambodia

Our local Christian partners in Cambodia have worked tirelessly to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for sponsored children and their families. COVID-19 has meant that project communities in Cambodia have faced increased risk of permanent school dropouts, domestic violence, and mental health challenges.

During lockdown, our partners are keeping in contact with sponsored children and their families through phone calls and social media. Through phone mentoring, partner staff are providing COVID-19 awareness training to village leaders. They also use phone communication to mentor sponsored children on how to protect themselves from abuse. In addition to these efforts, many families are accessing mental health support through a phone counselling service.

Since the start of the pandemic, online education systems have enabled sponsored children to continue learning and have prevented many children from dropping out of school permanently. Most schools have reopened across the country as of January.

A small map of Malawi
Malawi

Staff from our local Christian partner, Church and Society Program Malawi (CSP Malawi), continue to support sponsorship activities through phone calls and community-based leaders. Project staff have been adapting project activities to reduce the negative impacts of COVID-19, including reducing school dropouts and child marriage rates.

CSP Malawi are focusing on COVID-19 prevention activities and strengthening local health facilities. They continue to provide personal protective equipment and are distributing health information to prevent outbreaks in sponsorship communities. Project staff and community leaders have been pleased to see that cases of other preventable illnesses in the community have significantly dropped due to better hygiene practises across project areas.

We are glad to report that schools have reopened across our sponsorship communities in Malawi. Children now wear masks at school, social distance and regularly wash their hands. Reopening of schools mean that sponsored children will be less vulnerable to child marriage. Thanks to the hard work of the CSP team in keeping activities running by distance during lockdown, 74 children have been withdrawn from child marriages since the beginning of the pandemic.

A small map of Nepal
Nepal

All staff from our local Christian partners are working from home. They are in regular contact with sponsorship families through phone and child-friendly social media to identify areas of need. The most urgent challenges faced by sponsorship children and their families are food scarcity, lack of access to clean water, increased child marriage rates and increased school dropout rates.

Our Christian partners adjusted their programming to address the most pressing needs of project communities. More than 200 sponsorship families have been given emergency food to combat hunger and food scarcity. Our partners have also developed a new livelihood support program to increase incomes.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, hygiene information has been distributed to village leaders and families. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4000 people have also been supported with handwashing stations, including 70 families with children affected by disability.
In addition to these interventions, our partners have worked over the phone with children and their families to raise awareness about the dangers of child marriage.

To keep sponsored children in school during lockdown, partners used technology such as Google Classroom for remote learning or, for those without computers, lessons were broadcast over the radio. Some schools have reopened in line with local health guidelines.

A small map of the Philipines
The Philippines

Our local Christian partner, SAO Philippines, has adjusted their programming to address pressing challenges. Of all our partner countries, the Philippines has been hit hardest, with strict lockdowns that mean partner staff continue working completely by distance.

To support our sponsorship communities from afar, they continue to use technology as much as possible. This has included an online social media campaign with sponsorship families to train mentors. The mentors ran fun and creative activities using poetry, dancing and plays to raise awareness about COVID-19 prevention, as well as to lift each other’s spirits during lockdown.

Some project areas are also using online learning resources to run remote schooling programs, so many sponsored children have been able to continue education.

Since the beginning of the pandemic SAO has also been providing urgently needed food items like rice, with 630 sponsorship families receiving food assistance so far. They hope to reach a further 780 vulnerable families across our project areas.

After Typhoon Goni, project staff were warned that more typhoons are to be expected, potentially compounding existing vulnerabilities caused by COVID-19. They are preparing their church networks to be ready to care for affected families if a typhoon does hit the project area.

A small map of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our Christian partner, Lanka Evangelical Alliance Development Service (LEADS), has begun an emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis (to donate to this, visit our COVID-19 Appeal page). They were fast to identify the key challenges our sponsorship communities in Sri Lanka would face due to the pandemic and have been working hard to mitigate them.

To help protect sponsored children and their families from COVID-19, LEADS has set up handwashing stations and continue raising awareness about the risks of the virus. So far, 200 families have received hygiene and protection supplies, including soap, hand sanitiser, clean water and masks.

To support the most vulnerable sponsored children and families, LEADS has also distributed life saving food packages and counselling support. They have also provided education resources to 1,250 children so they can continue school through online learning.

A small map of Uganda
Uganda

Our local Christian partners in Uganda have been working alongside sponsored children and their families to identify specific challenges they are facing during the pandemic. They have found that the most pressing challenges are insufficient income, depletion of savings, lack of food and disruption to education.

Our partners have improved health and hygiene practices across the projects by raising awareness about hand washing techniques, ensuring families have access to water, and by providing more than 3,500 households with soap to protect against COVID-19.

As some restrictions have been eased, some small-group activities in the projects have resumed with the leadership of our project staff, including saving groups. Activities like soap-making groups have been able to lift the incomes of some sponsorship families.

Sponsored children are continuing schooling from home. Our project staff have partnered with a local radio station to make lessons available over the radio, as well as providing printed school materials to households. Sponsored children have been taking part in child-led radio talk shows to raise awareness on child rights issues and COVID-19 safe practices.

At the rapid rate of change that is occurring with Covid around the world, we will ensure this page is updated as regularly as possible with the latest news from the field.
Last Updated: 24th February 2021

FAQs

 

 

 

 

 

Be Generous

To help keep more children and families safe from Covid, why not give your most important gift ever?


$100

Your $100 gift provides 4 hygiene kits to protect families at risk of covid.

$200

Your $200 gift provides 6 PPE kits for health workers in high risk, overcrowded conditions

$1000

Your $1,000 gift funds an emergency field worker in refugee camps for a month.

$

or call 1300 789 991