Countries around the world are affected by coronavirus, during this time our priority remains our beneficiaries and our sponsored families. Below we outline the activities that we are taking to ensure our sponsored families and our staff are supported and safe.
Although case numbers in Ethiopia are low at the time of writing (29 confirmed cases as of 1st April), it is acknowledged that there is little testing and the actual number is likely to be higher. In a developing country like Ethiopia, where the health infrastructure is not as strong as it is in countries like the UK, the impact of coronavirus could be devastating and measures must be taken early on to halt the spread of the disease. At this time the health and safety of our sponsored families and Ethiopian staff are a top priority.
The Ethiopian government has already closed all schools and universities, closed bars and nightclubs, land borders are now also closed and social distancing is in place in market areas and religious spaces.
Our UK team is following the measures of the UK government, and we have taken the following actions in Ethiopia to ensure the wellbeing of our sponsored families and safety of all concerned:
- Sponsored families have received an advance of their monthly financial aid (for April and May) at the beginning of this month to enable them to buy adequate food supplies.
- Extra funds have been sent to all families this month to enable them to buy water, soap and other sanitation items to enable hand washing and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- All home and sponsorship update visits have been suspended. Our Sponsorship Coordinators can each see up to 6 families in one day so limiting contact is an important action to reduce the potential spread of the virus. We remain in phone contact with all our families and are providing specific advice to support them. This means that, unfortunately, all sponsorship updates are on hold at this time.
- All Kindu Klub, Playgroup and football team activities have been suspended, schools and universities are also closed.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will revise or change these measures in line with Ethiopian government guidance and to ensure the safety of our sponsored families and staff.
This is a global pandemic and we know that many of our supporters may also be affected by the virus and measures taken to limit its spread in the UK.
The families you sponsor in Ethiopia are already some of the most vulnerable in society and they will be the most at risk if the coronavirus pandemic affects Ethiopia as it has done the UK and other parts of the world. Your help is needed now more than ever and we thank you for your continued support at this time.