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 also include occasional updates on the presence of COVID-19 in Africa and, specifically, in the countries where we work. Please do not rely on us as your primary news source, though. Please follow 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 14, 6 am GMT:
- Confirmed cases: 15,346
- Number of deaths: 835
- Recoveries: 2,946
- Infected countries: 52
- Virus-free countries: 2 (Lesotho, Comoros)
Updates from where we work as of April 14, 6 am GMT:
- Burundi: 5 cases
- Malawi: 16 cases
- Tanzania: 49 cases
- Zambia: 45 cases
- Zimbabwe: 17 cases
Kitwe (Zambia): Distributing HEPS Porridge
This week at VOH Kitwe although the school is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school leadership is finding ways to safely distribute homework to our students.
We also organized individual packs of HEPS porridge (from our feeding program) for our children. We invited the children’s caregivers to come and collect the HEPS at the Village. As with everything we are doing, we are following the W.H.O. guidelines throughout this process.
We are grateful that we can continue providing nutrition to those in our program. We will continue to work as a team to initiate methods of keeping the children cared for even when school is closed.
Luongo (Zambia): Providing Food and Medical Care
Despite school being closed at VOH Luongo due to COVID-19, the children are still coming to the Village to receive their HEPS porridge.
The process looks different as we are observing physical distancing protocols. It takes longer to distribute, but we are thankful we can continue our feeding program safely.
We are also providing medical care as needed. This past week a child had an injury at their home in the Luongo Community and we took them to the main hospital. We are grateful to report they are now home and recovering well.
We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters for allowing us to continue caring for the children in our program during this challenging and unusual time.
Mwanza (Tanzania): Celebrating Easter
It was a different kind of Easter weekend at VOH Mwanza but we did our best to try and make it special for all of our kids.
Community kids (who are at home, as there is no school) and those who live on-site at the Village received an Easter story colouring packet and some crayons and sweets to help them celebrate Easter and learn about the Easter story at home.
In addition, our Chaplin put together an Easter devotional package for each housemother so they could reflect on the Easter story together with the kids in their home as we are not doing any large gatherings.
Though it was not a typical Easter weekend, we’re grateful for the staff who worked hard to ensure this weekend still had meaning for the kids!
Zimbabwe: Staying Safe at the Clinic
At VOH Zimbabwe we have implemented strict measures in line with the World Health Organization to protect our children and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have strict screening measures for all patients before they come into the clinic for medical care. People are still suffering from other ailments and we are here to assist them safely.