PROJECTS RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Obviously COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on our projects and the way that we work with them. Some projects have had to be stopped but only the educational ones. Each of the countries we work in have the same restrictions as the UK and are sometimes tougher. As in the UK schools etc have been closed. However projects where if we stopped funding people would literally die, are continuing eg all our feeding projects. We have also turned some of our educational projects to humanitarian ones so we still need as much help as we can get. Here are some examples.
The Future Changed Project in Iasi, Romania have been forced to shut their doors to the children due to similar restrictions that have taken place in the UK. The families that these children belong to are now without income. Many still do not have official documentation or birth certificates therefore have never been able to claim any support from the state. A job collecting refuse or selling refurbished mobile phones or breeding geese does not offer a guarantee of the state funding 75% of your wages.
We have a crisis happening throughout our projects and are now (temporarily) turning our focus over to humanitarian aid. We cannot after years of supporting our families through the kindergarten, homework club, parents school and social outreach, just to abandon them now. The team are putting together food/toiletries/ emergency aid parcels and delivering them regularly to the families. They will also try to engage with them (safely and at a distance) with any issues that urgently need to be dealt with. Our team will not be putting themselves at risk and will only do this work within the restrictions placed on them by the Romanian government.
Container Project, Brasov – Romania
Our containers while not housing families at the moment (they are now in permanent homes) have been temporary turned over to isolation containers and being offered to the local authority. This means that families can self isolate away from more vulnerable members of their families. In the communities we help, if you get sick then there really isn’t much that can be done. No NHS hospital with ventilators and support.
Inn of Love 1 & 2, Dancu/Pervomaiscoe – Moldova
Usually the elderly come into the centre or the church to be fed. Fortunately both Inn of Love teams have been able to continue and fully deliver meals to the elderly and vulnerable three times a week.
Lost & Found Project, Cluj – Romania
This project helped the elderly with technology and paying their bills on time. It is now an outreach for vulnerable elderly who literally have no family or neighbours to help them or feed them. There are no local supermarkets and village shops have closed. The team in Cluj have identified 20 elderly who would simply die if they were not supported by the team bringing them food parcels and medicine.
Way of Love, Odessa – Ukraine
“We are very grateful for your support and prayers. During the quarantine we haven’t stopped our work. We go to Roma villages, distribute food, distribute informational posters of how to behave during quarantine and live a more or less full life.
Our work does not stop, but the biggest problem is that Roma children in quarantine cannot study online. Recently we were in Berezovka and saw children walking in a crowd in the streets. To study online, you need gadgets that children do not have. When quarantine ends, they will have a large knowledge gap.
Therefore, after the quarantine is over, we plan to pay special attention to educational work with these children, who have not been to school for the second month and cannot study at home.
We are very grateful for your help. Take care of yourself, I hope that all this will end soon, and we will go back to normal” – Max – Project Leader
Thank you to everyone that is supporting the ongoing work of Link to Hope and please keep safe