This Week: Donations, New Classroom, and HOPE Packs!

COVID-19 In Africa

Major African stats as of May 25:

  • Confirmed cases: 111,812
  • Number of deaths: 3,354
  • Recoveries: 45,001
  • Active cases: 63,457
  • Virus-free countries: none

Updates from where we work as of May 25:

  • Burundi: 42
  • Malawi: 83
  • Tanzania: 509
  • Zambia: 920
  • Zimbabwe: 56

(source: africanews.com)

Support our Work During COVID-19 by Donating HOPE Packs!

voh africa hope packsEach package contains:

  • 1 bottle of liquid hand soap
  • 2kgs of nutritious porridge
  • reusable face masks (with use and care instructions)
  • children’s multi-vitamins
  • a COVID-19 safety handout

Each HOPE Pack costs $20. We’ve already raised over $4,700–that’s over 230 HOPE Packs!

Support this initiative by donating a HOPE Pack!

VOH Bulale (Tanzania) Update: Distributing HOPE Packs!

Recently at VOH Bulale together with all our other sites in Mwanza, we were able to distribute our first complete HOPE Packs. We handed out approximately 225 packs in total!

Each pack includes nutritious flour for porridge, liquid hand soap, educational and discipleship activities, a vitamin syrup for children, and a pack of reusable face masks with instructions for each community family.

The children and their families were grateful to receive these essential items. These items will help keep the children who live off-site healthy, safe, and protected during the Coronavirus pandemic.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to these packs! We plan to keep doing this and supplying these much-needed items regularly while schools are closed.

Each HOPE Pack costs $20 — donate one today by visiting vohafrica.com/hopepacks

VOH Kitwe (Zambia) Update: Health Inspection

VOH Kitwe recently was visited by the Public Health Inspectors from the local government Ministry. We were excited to receive permission to reopen our feeding program following all the guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health.

The inspectors interviewed our HEPS Aunty, inspected our kitchen and equipment, and checked for sanitizing and hand-washing stations.

We are grateful to receive a certificate after the inspection and to be able to welcome the children on-site safely for essential care despite schools being closed.

VOH Luongo (Zambia) Update: Letter Exchange!

At VOH Luongo we are coming up with ways to keep our children engaged with fun activities so they will not get discouraged during COVID-19 restrictions.

This past week we asked them to write letters to the children at our VOH Kitwe location, who will respond to begin a letter exchange between the two Villages.

Senior Teacher Fatuma was at hand to help them as they wrote the letters. The activity proved to be very therapeutic for them. They were happy to know fellow students at other VOH Centers were going through the same things as them.

This letter exchange will help the children from both VOH Kitwe and VOH Luongo feel connected to others their age as they navigate this challenging time together.

VOH Malawi Update: Preschool Block Complete!

We’re excited to announce the completion of our brand new double school block for our preschool students!

This is a big deal for our staff and students as up to now our preschool has been hosted by our local church partner in the two rooms of their church building.

Once the government allows schools to reopen we will be able to move our students into their brand new classrooms. These are built at our main campus where our primary school is and will streamline our education efforts.

We made a very special adjustment to this building just for our little learners. We put the front windows much lower to the floor so they can easily see outside on their wee little legs!

Although school is not open we are sending homework packs to our students each week, which they complete and return when they come to receive their weekly HOPE Packs.

We know when school opens again we will have a lot of little excited people when they see this beautiful building!

VOH Mongu (Zambia) Update: Thank You, Mothers!

Here at VOH Mongu, we are continually blessed by the dedication and fun that our staff have! This week, we were able to celebrate Mother’s Day a little late and spoil our moms with a nice lunch and party just for them.

These mothers and aunties are raising the children in our children’s homes with so much love and instilling in them a heart after God’s.

We love their love for the children and one another. We admire their work ethic, excitement, willingness, and kindness.

We would not be able to do this without them and we are so grateful for this amazing family!

VOH Mwanza (Tanzania) Update: Milk Donation!

Recently at VOH Mwanza, we were very grateful to a local grocery store in town for making a large donation of milk to our children’s homes.

U-Turn Grocery store donated 60 litres of milk and this was the third donation of this kind they have made in recent weeks. We are very thankful for their kindness and our kids living in the children’s homes were very happy to receive the donation!

This milk will be added to their daily nutritious porridge to add extra nutrients like calcium. We are thankful for all the local businesses who remember us, especially during these difficult times.

VOH Zimbabwe Update: Pamela Speaks on TV!

Whenever you are going through turbulent times in life, a word of encouragement can help you get through. Recently, Pamela, one of our graduates from VOH Zimbabwe, received the opportunity to encourage the nation on TV!

During her interview, Pamela encouraged viewers to continue to hold on to their faith and do their best to stay safe and practise good hygiene so that we can stop the spread of Coronavirus. She also encouraged young people to remain focused so they can achieve their goals.

One thing that stood out during her talk was her acknowledging the impact VOH Zimbabwe had on her life. She said she is where she is today because of the care she received at VOH.

All of us at VOH Zimbabwe are proud of Pamela and we continue to wish her well in her work and studies as she furthers her education. She is a good example and we believe that the young ones with us today will follow her lead!

This Week: Holistic Care During COVID-19

COVID-19 In Africa

Major African stats as of May 20:

  • Confirmed cases: 91,413
  • Number of deaths: 2,907
  • Recoveries: 35,828
  • Active cases: 52,678
  • Virus-free countries: none

Updates from where we work as of May 20:

  • Burundi: 42
  • Malawi: 70
  • Tanzania: 509
  • Zambia: 772
  • Zimbabwe: 46

(source: africanews.com)

Support our Work During COVID-19 by Donating HOPE Packs!

voh africa hope packsEach package contains:

  • 1 bottle of liquid hand soap
  • 2kgs of nutritious porridge
  • reusable face masks (with use and care instructions)
  • children’s multi-vitamins
  • a COVID-19 safety handout

Each HOPE Pack costs $20. We’ve already raised over $4,000–that’s over 200 HOPE Packs!

Support this initiative by donating a HOPE Pack!

VOH Bwiza (Burundi) Update: Welcoming Diane

At VOH Bwiza we are excited to welcome Diane to our team!

When she was just a baby, Diane’s father took her to the hospital and abandoned her there. When Diane was brought back to good health, a kind and generous person from the community took her home from the hospital and began taking care of her.

In 2013 when Diane’s education and additional required medical expenses became more than her caretaker could afford, she contacted us. We began providing school fees and taking care of her other needs and in 2019 she graduated!

After graduation, she decided to express her thanks by becoming a volunteer at VOH Bwiza. After seeing her heart for the children and her hard work we invited her to join our staff.

Today, she is working with our preschool children!

VOH Chongwe (Zambia) Update: Staying On Top of School During COVID-19

At VOH Chongwe we continue caring for our community by providing them with HEPS (High Energy Protein Supplement), face masks, and student learning materials.

It looks different right now because instead of the children coming to the center each day, their teachers and the Clinical Officer are taking these items to them in their homes in the community. While there, they check on the children’s health and how they are generally coping in this crisis.

The students have reported that the learning materials are helpful and are allowing them to stay safe while not missing out on their education.

We are proud to say that our students in all the grades are up to date with the school curriculum and our students in examination grades are fully equipped and ready for the examinations!

VOH Kitwe (Zambia) Update: Returning to the Village!

VOH Kitwe is happy to report we have received official written permission to welcome our children back to our center. Our school must remain closed, but we are permitted to serve HEPS onsite through our feeding program and give the students material to take home. We are sending them with schoolwork and discipleship material.

Ever since the center was closed due to COVID-19, we have been delivering food packs and schoolwork to the children at their homes in the community, but we are thankful we are now able to have them come back.

Before being allowed to re-open the center we were given specific protocols to follow and had to train our staff to observe all the measures put in place.

We have now begun organizing the children to come in small groups instead of all at one time to help physical distancing. Having the children return makes it much easier for us to continually assess their physical and mental well-being.

We will continue to providing HOPE Packs for them and their families to supplement what they receive onsite.

VOH Luongo (Zambia) Update: Caring for Maybin’s Vision

At VOH Luongo, we recently helped Maybin who is 9 years old and in grade 3. At the beginning of the year, before the government ordered school closures, Maybin’s teacher noticed he was having a problem with his eyes when he was in class. His eyes constantly teared up and were very irritated.

Maybin’s teacher made arrangements for him to go to an eye care specialist. He was admitted into the hospital and had an operation that was conducted successfully.

We are so happy to share that this past week when Maybin came to the center for the feeding program and school materials, his teacher checked on how he was doing and he said that his eyes are no longer tearing up and they feel normal!

VOH Maramvya (Burundi) Update: Coronavirus Education

At VOH Maramvya we are increasing the number of informational meetings we are holding about COVID-19 and including guardians and parents from the community.

At our most recent meeting, we emphasized how important it is that they understand the situation so they can take serious measures to protect themselves and their families.

Some Burundian communities have not yet received information about the Coronavirus, which is why we are increasing workshops and conferences to help our community prevent the spread.

VOH Mongu (Zambia) Update: Providing HOPE Packs!

We miss seeing our kids at the VOH Mongu school! Thankfully, the Zambian government has allowed us to invite the students to come and pick up food supplies and soap that will help them stay healthy, fed, and protected against the virus.

We know many of our students depend on the food they get from our feeding program and we are very excited to be able to send home food for them through our new HOPE Packs program.

We were able to send every student home with a HOPE Pack containing cooking oil, salt, dried fish, a 10kg bag of rice, and 3 hand soaps! We also included a printed prayer from our staff and a memory verse card for the students to memorize while they are home.

We love being able to continue caring for our children, even when it looks different than normal.

VOH Mwanza (Tanzania) Update: Celebrating Mothers

At our VOH Mwanza centre, we celebrated Mother’s Day by showing appreciation to all of our housemothers. This year, in particular, they have sacrificed so much by giving up their usual time off. This year they all chose to stay with the children so they can keep everyone safe during the threat of COVID-19.

While we couldn’t do a big gathering as a community with a meal like we normally do, we still wanted to ensure our mamas knew just how much we appreciate them. We were able to give each housemother a little gift bag of things to pamper herself and all the children who stay in a home onsite made their mamas cards to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day.

We are so grateful for the love and dedication these women show the VOH children!

VOH Zimbabwe Update: Distributing HOPE Packs!

At VOH Zimbabwe one of the ways we are continuing to care for the kids is by distributing our new HOPE Packs! These packs will go a long way in helping the children’s families, too.

The packs include nutritious food and hygiene materials, COVID-19 information, and devotional materials.

In keeping with the W.H.O. guidelines, we are providing information on protection from the virus and encouraging our children to keep safe and stay healthy.

We continue to appreciate the continued support we get from our partners and friends that make it possible for us to continue to take care of our children, especially during these tough times.

Please continue to support our work during these uncertain times through child sponsorship and donations.

This Week: Making Our Own Masks

COVID-19 In Africa

Major African stats as of May 11:

  • Confirmed cases = 63,293
  • Number of deaths = 2,290
  • Recoveries = 21,837
  • Infected countries: 53
  • Virus-free countries: 1 (Lesotho)

Updates from where we work as of May 11:

  • Burundi: 15
  • Malawi: 56
  • Tanzania: 509
  • Zambia: 267
  • Zimbabwe: 36

(source: africanews.com)

VOH Africa News: Launching HOPE Packs!

voh africa hope packs

Tuesday, May 5th was #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving in response to the need caused by COVID-19. For Giving Tuesday, we launched our new HOPE Packs!

In the countries where VOH Centers are located, movement restrictions and school closures due to COVID-19 have made caring for the VOH children more challenging and yet more important than ever.

HOPE Packs is one way we are responding to this immediate need.

These care packages will be distributed to VOH children and will provide them with a supply of nutrition and health support for themselves and their families.

Each package contains:

  • 1 bottle of liquid hand soap
  • 2kgs of nutritious porridge
  • reusable face masks (with use and care instructions)
  • children’s multi-vitamins
  • a COVID-19 safety handout

Each HOPE Pack costs $20 and provides immediate and necessary care to the children and families of VOH Africa.

We’ve already raised $2,000, that’s 100 HOPE Packs! Support this initiative by donating a HOPE Pack today

Bwiza (Burundi): Taking Steps to Prevent COVID-19

In Burundi, the government has not closed schools and so at VOH Bwiza we continue holding classes while ensuring we are doing all we can to keep our children safe.

It has taken a lot of extra effort to put preventative measures in place. Some of the things we are doing include: setting up hand washing stations and ensuring the children wash their hands multiple times throughout the day.

We also space the children at a safe distance for all activities and have only one child per desk instead of the usual two or three.

We regularly remind the children about the current COVID-19 pandemic and provide updated information as well as ongoing reminders about how to protect themselves at school and at home.

Kitwe (Zambia): New Blankets!

At VOH Kitwe, the children in our Children’s Homes received warm blankets from Fwebi! Fwebi is an international student from Namibia and was introduced to us by a local pastor’s wife.

Fwebi donated the blankets as a celebration for her birthday. Fwebi’s generosity offered a great lesson in sharing. The children were reminded “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

During her visit, while practicing social distancing, the children were given their blankets and treated to snacks and sweets.

Fwebi’s gift reminded the children that even during COVID-19, they are not forgotten and there are still people thinking of them.

Luongo (Zambia): First Aid Training

This past week at VOH Luongo, we conducted a refresher First Aid course for the teachers so they can stay on top of their training.

Although the children are not attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic, they do come to the centre for the daily feeding program and they know we are still available to provide first aid and initial medical assistance should they need it.

Part of our training was to check our First Aid boxes and ensure they are well stocked with the necessary supplies

Malawi: Supporting Vulnerable Families

Recently the government of Malawi called for a 21-day lockdown throughout the country. This led to some concerns because the majority of the population lives hand to mouth and relies on their daily income to put food on the table. In other words what one earns in a day in Malawi often puts food on the table for that day only. This means the possibility of a lockdown had a lot of families worried.

In response to this, VOH Malawi prepared and distributed emergency food relief to several of our most vulnerable families. We were able to do this because of generous donations made locally and abroad.

Each family was surprised to find VOH personnel safely dropping off the food items at their homes. We are so grateful to be able to support VOH families during these difficult times!

Maramvya (Burundi): COVID-19 Prevention

At VOH Maramvya we have regular meetings to assess our efforts at protecting children and staff from COVID-19. The government has not called for a shutdown, but we still follow WHO guidelines and doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.

From time to time we invite community members to join so they can be a part of our update and informative discussions. Their attendance allows them to learn ways to help curb the spread of COVID-19 throughout their homes and community.

Mongu (Zambia): Staying Active At Home

While the children in our VOH Mongu homes are staying home, they are filling their time with crafts and new games!

This year, we have a volunteer who is a qualified occupational therapist. Her name is Tanya and she has been working with the children on different activities that will keep them busy but also help them with their fine and gross motor skills. She has them paintings, playing with play-doh, colouring, and playing with toys. She also taught them how to wash and disinfect their toys.

The children are having so much fun and are making the best of things!

Mwanza (Tanzania): Distributing Hope Packs!

Recently at VOH Mwanza, it was time to put together and distribute our Hope Packs. Hope Packs are nutrition packages for the children who live off-site.

Each pack contains 2kgs of nutritious porridge mix along with other items. We want to ensure when the children come back to school they are healthy and strong.

Our team worked together to get over 200 packages weighed and ready for pick and delivery. Even some of our resident kids who live in the children’s homes gave their time and energy to help prepare these packages, which will help their friends out in the community.

We are grateful that we can still provide nutrition and valuable resources to the VOH children and their families during these difficult times. It was wonderful to see the smiles on their faces when they received their packs!

Zimbabwe: Making Masks

The children at VOH Zimbabwe have started making masks for themselves and their fellow children in the community!

This is a very ambitious project for them because they are using the skills they learned just last year in their Clothing Technology class just before the onset of the pandemic.

They do not have an instructor in this project; instead, one of the girls who has graduated from high school and is taking a design course is the one who has been teaching them.

They want to do their part in preventing the spread of the virus in the community and amongst themselves. The target is to make 1,000 washable masks!

These masks will come in handy because they can be washed and reused.

We are so proud to see them take so much initiative and work to keep themselves and their community safe!

Please continue to support our work during these uncertain times through child sponsorship and donations.
responding to covid-19 with voh africa hope packs

This Week: Responding to COVID-19 with HOPE Packs!

COVID-19 In Africa

Major African stats as of May 6:

  • Confirmed cases: 49,155
  • Number of deaths: 1,911
  • Recoveries: 16,322
  • Infected countries: 53
  • Virus-free countries: 1 (Lesotho)

Updates from where we work as of May 6:

  • Burundi: 15 cases
  • Malawi: 41 cases
  • Tanzania: 480 cases
  • Zambia: 139 cases
  • Zimbabwe: 34 cases

(source: africanews.com)

VOH Africa News: Launching HOPE Packs!

voh africa hope packs

Tuesday, May 5th was #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving in response to the need caused by COVID-19. For Giving Tuesday, we launched our new HOPE Packs!

In the countries where VOH Centers are located, movement restrictions and school closures due to COVID-19 have made caring for the VOH children more challenging and yet more important than ever.

HOPE Packs is one way we are responding to this immediate need.

These care packages will be distributed to VOH children and will provide them with a supply of nutrition and health support for themselves and their families.

Each package contains:

  • 1 bottle of liquid hand soap
  • 2kgs of nutritious porridge
  • reusable face masks (with use and care instructions)
  • children’s multi-vitamins
  • a COVID-19 safety handout

Each HOPE Pack costs $20 and provides immediate and necessary care to the children and families of VOH Africa.

We raised over $1,200 on our launch day, that’s over 60 HOPE Packs! Support this initiative by donating a HOPE Pack today

Bulale (Tanzania): Providing Care During COVID-19

At VOH Bulale we are continuing to find creative ways to continue bringing hope and care to the children in our program. Our teachers are working on educational materials to be sent home along with our new HOPE Packs so the children can continue learning at home and receiving the health and safety supplies they need.

We are doing our best to keep in touch with our community parents, following up to see how the children are doing.

We are also working on ways in which we can help spread COVID-19 safety awareness in the Bulale community so community members have the knowledge they need to protect their families during this pandemic.

We will continue to work with local leaders to find ways to share information and educate the community around us!

Bwiza (Burundi): Life During COVID-19

At VOH Bwiza our children can continue coming to the center to receive a nutritious meal through our feeding program.

We are ensuring prevention methods are in place and being followed. We encourage children to wash their hands regularly and to always be sure they are following social distancing guidelines.

We are so grateful to all of our donors and sponsors who continue to support our work during COVID-19 uncertainty.

Chongwe (Zambia): Food Production

VOH Chongwe continues to provide nutrition to all of our children both in the homes and the community.

Food production has been our focus over the years through our greenhouse and gardens. Thanks to our gardening setup, we are even able to grow things that are out of season!

Most recently, we planted tomatoes, cabbages and other vegetables, which will sustain the Village during and after the crisis.

Kitwe (Zambia): Sewing Masks!

The Government of Zambia has made it mandatory for everyone to wear face masks. In response, our Youth Empowerment Coordinator has spearheaded a sewing project working with former tailoring students from our 2019 class.

Our target is to sew 2000 masks! These masks will be included in our new HOPE Packs.

Our focus is to ensure we are continuing to care for VOH children even when they are not able to come to the center. We are exploring as many ideas as possible that may help us fight COVID-19 and its impact!

Luongo (Zambia): Feeding Program Update

At VOH Luongo we are taking measures to ensure that our nutritional program continues safely. This week we provided our HEPS Aunty with a new uniform that will be kept clean and hygienic by following specific sanitization procedures.

Our school continues to observe strict hygiene and the school team is making sure the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health are followed.

The children have come to terms with social distancing and are following it well!

In addition, we are educating on health and safety through our new HOPE Packs, which include COVID-19 educational materials.

Malawi: Distributing Porridge

When the government of Malawi closed schools all across the country in response to COVID-19 we were also told we cannot continue serving porridge at our center. VOH children rely on the food we serve and we did not want to see them go hungry.

Since that day, VOH Malawi has been giving away a package of high nutrition porridge per week to each VOH child through a safe food distribution process that protects the VOH staff and VOH children. This will help children not to become malnourished during this pandemic.

We will continue doing this through our new HOPE Packs, which, in addition to porridge, will include other health and safety items.

This program has almost tripled our food budget for VOH children but the impact is well worth the challenge that poses!

You can support VOH Africa’s new HOPE Packs program by visiting vohafrica.com/hopepacks

Mongu (Zambia): Fun Art Projects!

The children in our children’s homes at VOH Mongu are loving the special activities that their house moms are helping them with during this time of lockdown.

This week, they were tasked with creating a family portrait of their home, using only materials that they could find outside (no pencils, pens, markers, or other drawing materials).

The kids did so well! They put in so much effort and there was even some fun competition.

We love how creative and innovative our kids are and that they are getting to grow in these areas, even while school is closed.

Mwanza (Tanzania): Meeting in Different Ways

At VOH Mwanza our meetings are looking a little different lately, but we are doing our best to take all the precautions necessary and still be able to meet as leaders and housemothers to continue ensuring we are caring for children in the best we can during this pandemic.

We have taken to meeting outside, maintaining social distance, wearing masks, and of course, washing our hands.

Our housemothers have given up their days off and vacations and are staying home with children to minimize exposure and all of our other staff are stepping up, being creative and taking on new roles to ensure we can continue to serve all the children in our programs.

We are very grateful for our committed staff who have stepped up during these uncertain times to continue doing everything they can to care for children safely!

Zimbabwe: Donated Soap!

At VOH Zimbabwe, we are finding new ways to ensure our children remain safe and healthy. We are so thankful that some local organizations have joined in to help us.

This week a local cleaning company, Clean City, donated 72 bars of soap for our children’s homes!

As you know, the World Health Organization is emphasizing the importance of cleanliness as a way to curb the spread of the virus. Since this organization is a cleaning company, they decided to step up and help. We are so grateful for their generosity and support!

Please continue to support our work during these uncertain times through child sponsorship and donations.

This Week: Getting Creative During COVID-19

Important Update

In the upcoming weeks, you will notice that our Weekly News posts and blogs will be a little different. We have made some changes due to COVID-19. We want to stay connected with you and keep you updated on how things are going at our various Villages; however, we also want to ensure we are following all government regulations and World Health Organization guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our children and staff. Here are some things that will be different: 

  • We are no longer holding any events or gatherings, so updates will be related to construction, COVID-19 prevention methods, and staff/children stories.
  • We no longer require photos with each story, this means some stories will have photos and others won’t. This is to ensure no one has to leave home in order to take a picture for a weekly news story.
  • We are giving each Village the flexibility to skip a week in order to give our Directors a break when they need it.
  • We will share occasional updates on the presence of COVID-19 in Africa and the countries where we work. Please do not rely on us as your primary news source, though. We recommend following reputable news sites for more thorough and up-to-date information. Our updates will be brief and will be dated and sourced.

We encourage you to read this important update from our Executive Director if you haven’t yet. 

Please continue to support our work during these uncertain times through child sponsorship and donations.

Here are the stories for this week…

COVID-19 In Africa

Major African stats as of April 22:

  • Confirmed cases: 24,696
  • Number of deaths: 1,193
  • Recoveries: 6,415
  • Infected countries: 52
  • Virus-free countries: 2 (Lesotho, Comoros)

Updates from where we work as of April 22:

  • Burundi: 11 cases
  • Malawi: 17 cases
  • Tanzania: 49 cases
  • Zambia: 70 cases
  • Zimbabwe: 28 cases

(source: africanews.com)

VOH Africa Society News

We are thankful that despite travel bans and tight government restrictions, the VOH Africa leadership can continue meeting regularly over video. Discussing how we can provide care for the VOH children during the COVID-19 pandemic is our top priority.

Our meetings are a time to encourage one another, pray for one another and the Villages, and to learn from one another.

At our meeting last week the Directors and Administrators from all of our Villages met with the organization’s Directors, Sergio and Nancy Bersaglio. We discussed how each country’s government is responding to COVID-19 and how the pandemic is impacting the day-to-day life of VOH children and staff.

Depending on the location, we are either delivering food packs to the children and their families or having the children come to the Village in small, and safely organized numbers to receive their meal. We are also safely delivering important school work to the students so they don’t fall too far behind.

We appreciate your continued prayers and support. There are many new challenges and expenses as a result of COVID-19, but we are committed to providing care and being a light of hope in the communities where our VOH centers are located.

Pictured left to right:
Sergio: VOH Africa, Nancy: VOH Africa, Pastor Zowa: VOH Zimbabwe, Matt and Georgina: VOH Mongu, Nadine and Delson: VOH Bwiza and VOH Maramvya, Julius and Jade: VOH Mwanza and VOH Bulale, Jeanette: VOH Africa, Samuel and Shaline: VOH Chongwe, Renatta and Jef: VOH Malawi, Everlyn: VOH Kitwe and VOH Luongo, Richard: VOH Zimbabwe, Fridah: VOH Kitwe and Luongo

Chongwe (Zambia): Managing Our Feeding Program During COVID-19

At VOH Chongwe, we continue to care for our children by keeping the feeding program open. Every Saturday morning a few staff pack HEPS Porridge in packs of 2kgs and distributing it to the VOH students and their siblings so they can continue having a healthy diet.

The feeding program plays an important role in our ministry and the lives of the children in our care. For some children, this is their only meal for the day.

This new distribution process takes a lot more time and planning, but it’s worth it!

Kitwe (Zambia): Care During COVID-19

At VOH Kitwe, even though schools are closed, our students can still come to the Village to pick up school work, receive HEPS Porridge, and visit the clinic if they are unwell.

They come at allotted times each day in small numbers with the supervision of a teacher for each group.

Even though the center is not as busy as it normally is, we are thankful we can continue ensuring our children remain healthy and safe.

Luongo (Zambia): Welcoming Fatuma as Senior Teacher!

VOH Luongo is happy to announce that VOH Kitwe graduate Fatuma is now working at our Village as our Senior Teacher!

Our Kitwe lead team, who oversees operations at Kitwe and Luongo, paid a visit to see how the new school structure is coming along and to officially welcome Fatuma into her new role.

Although we all had to keep a safe distance, it was still good to visit and encourage her from a distance. Fatuma was happy to show us the progress of the new school that is being built. The school will open once our local government and the WHO say it’s safe.

Welcome, Fatuma! It is good to have you on our team!

Maramvya (Burundi): Preventing the Spread

Our second term of school recently ended at VOH Maramvya. Although the government of Burundi has not officially enforced physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have still taken our own steps to combat the spread of the virus.

One of the measures we have taken is to ensure there is always a minimum of 1.5 meters distance between the children and the staff (slightly higher than the 1-meter recommendation from the World Health Organization). Everyone is cooperating and we know our efforts will be successful.

We are also taking this opportunity to spread the word among parents and guardians in the community about taking simple precautions like washing hands and physical distancing from others.

We are happy to be a part of the prevention!

Mongu (Zambia): Crafts While Staying Home

Here at VOH Mongu, our children’s homes are trying to make the best of these hard circumstances by trying new crafts, activities, games, and hobbies!

This week, they were taught how to make art by rubbing leaves and flowers onto paper. They loved this activity and had so much fun finding all of the most interesting designs on the leaves and flowers around them.

They then had lots of fun turning these rubbings into drawings of butterflies and flowers and decorating the rest of their drawings!

The children are loving having extra time to be creative during this ‘stay-at-home’ period.

Mwanza (Tanzania): Adjusting to a New Normal

The kids in our children’s homes at VOH Mwanza have been laying low these days and doing their best to keep safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic. But while “normal life” has changed, life hasn’t stopped and they are finding ways to keep busy at home.

All of our kids are still studying. They receive weekly homework packages from their teachers, so they take time each day to continue studying at home.

They’re also helping with cooking and cleaning at home, ensuring everyone is keeping their environment extra clean and eating nutritious foods to help build immunity.

In addition, everyone is washing their hands frequently with wash stations set up all around our Village.

Generally, the children are adjusting well to this new normal and they are doing their best to keep their families and communities safe by staying home.

Zimbabwe: Getting Creative at Home

School holidays are landing at the same time as the government-enforced school shutdown here in Zimbabwe. For the VOH children who live in our children’s homes, it has been a time to bond with each other, playing games and doing house chores with their mothers.

The children are getting creative by finding simple games they can play (like UNO) together with those who live in the same home. They also made an indoor golf course!

They are also helping their house mothers with gardening and other chores.

They miss getting to play on the playground with the other children from the VOH community, but they understand why it’s important to stay home right now.

The children’s safety remains a priority at this time and we will always work with the caregivers to ensure such is ensured.

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