The year 2020 brought many challenges, and unfortunately, we are still in the middle of uncertain times. Some people are particularly hard hit by this crisis, especially people from low-income countries with a dire economic situation. Home office as day laborer? School from home in Kenyan slums? Social Distancing in Syrian refugee camps? As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out at the beginning of this year, many families around our schools were affected by an existential crisis. We needed to support them. Therefore, we collected donations through the Emergency Relief Fund to distribute food packages and essential hygiene items.
We want to thank all private donors, Acronis, and Cloudfest. Together, we collected over 36.000 Euro, which helped many families get through the most challenging times. A great advantage of our work is that we can provide immediate help through our Implementing Partners in different parts of this world.
Let's have a look at what was made possible through the Emergency Relief Fund:
1) In Niger, people were hit hard by COVID-19. The Emergency of food insecurity worsened dramatically. Once a month, the Remember Niger Foundation distributed food packages with hygiene articles to help many families the best they can.
2) In Kenya, the team of Hope Children's Centre distributed many care packages to families in need. Most of the parents could not work during the lockdown, and without savings, they were struggling to provide food for their children. The aid packages included Maize (to cook Ugali, the staple of Kenyan food), vegetables, and soap.
3) In the Syrian refugee camp in the Beqa Valley, Lebanon, one of the main problems besides the basic supply was the lack of water. Zeltschule e.V. organized the distribution of food on-site, and many children and families were provided with hygiene articles like soap, disinfectant, and masks as well as essential food items like bread, oil and rice.
4) The families of the school in Khayelitsha, South Africa, were provided with necessary food items and cleaning materials to disinfect their homes. Our local partner, Molo Mhlaba, efficiently organized the distribution and made sure the students are supported during this difficult times.
5) In Nuevo Chimbote, Peru, people were in great need as well. The lockdown in Peru took several months, and until now, the situation is still very uncertain. Our partner on site, described in a long letter how grateful the people were to have food for themselves and their children - at least for a few weeks.
6) In Guatemala, the situation developed similarly bad, and the lockdown lasted several months. An extremely challenging situation for the families of the school. Our partner distributed food packages including beans, eggs, sugar, pasta, corn oil for cooking, corn, milk powder, and soap.
7) The last distribution was organized in Senegal for the people in Soupa Serere. The families received packages filled with hygiene items, masks, and food. Besides, a handwashing station was installed to implement safety measurements in the school. A long-lasting drought brings additional challenges to food security, and the families were grateful to have received some basic supplies.
We will therefore close the Emergency Relief Fund for the time being and concentrate again on long-term infrastructural projects. Even in this crisis, it became clear once again how important education is to build up crisis resilience and to break out of poverty. We remain in close contact with our partners to monitor the situation in the schools. In this sense, thanks to Acronis, Cloudfest and the many private donors who rapidly contributed to the emergency aid. Every donation has made a huge difference for the families and children and helped them, at least for a while, to get through the the most difficult period.