[POSTED ON JUNE 1, 2020]
We wanted to update you on the changes to lock-down in our field
countries and how that affects our ability to resume our work.
All countries are making decisions at different rates, as well as looking at
each country individually. We also need to be conscious that this is a global
pandemic and what is allowed in one country may not work well in another.
In some areas we will be making our own decisions about what is allowed even if
that is stricter than what is allowed locally.
Restrictions: Movement restrictions are
still in place in all of our field countries. There are local variations
but in all countries our staff will need to continue wearing masks, maintain
physical distancing and no group gatherings are allowed. In some countries
there is still an emergency state declared, but by the end of May some states
may relax the restrictions and hope to lift all restrictions totally by the end
Activities: Food, hygiene and meal
distributions continue even with restrictions, as does phone contact and some visits with
families. After-School programs and Soup Kitchens will be dependent on when group
gatherings are allowed again.
Summer Camps: All our field countries agree
that restrictions on large gatherings will be in place for June and probably
July so most have cancelled their summer camp reservations. Ukraine and
Bulgaria have not yet cancelled as it may be possible to keep the summer camps in
July or August. We will analyse the risks and wait until mid-June to decide, as local freedom for holding a summer camp is not the only deciding factor
but also the wider perspective on risk management. Day camps might be an option
but that also will be dependent on local restrictions and will be no earlier
than August or September.
Team: The general atmosphere among our staff & volunteers is good. Albania, Moldova and Ukraine teams have
returned to the office partially. Bosnia, Bulgaria and Romania need a longer
time for remote work and will re-evaluate by mid-June. We’ve agreed that this
is a local decision for now so they will evaluate the situation and recommend
what is best.
Thank you for your continued support, both in prayer and financially. Please keep our teams and our
beneficiaries in your prayers. This pandemic has been devastating to our local economies, and as always the poor suffer the most in times like these. We will update you again as soon as there are any changes.