We hope this email finds you and your families keeping well
in these strange days. EducAid have been working tirelessly these last few
weeks to make sure we are doing all we can to keep the children and communities
we serve safe in these uncertain times. We write not only to inform you of our efforts,
but because we need your help.
We had hoped that Africa might be spared the turmoil of
COVID-19, but sadly, that will not be the case. Sierra Leone’s first case of
the coronavirus was confirmed 31st March. EducAid’s experience
through Ebola has prepared us well for what is to come, but it also means we
know all-too-well the harsh realities ahead. During Ebola, EducAid worked tirelessly
to keep communities safe and find innovative ways to help learning to continue
during 8 months of school closures.
While this is a time of uncertainty, this is what we know
for sure: EducAid has never backed away from a challenge. We know what we need
to do and we need your help to do it.
We started working to prevent the spread of the virus and
misinformation as soon as the first cases were recorded in Africa. Yesterday
(31st March) was the last day of school for an indefinite period, across
Sierra Leone. For the last two weeks, we have been working on how to keep the
children and communities we serve safe and, if possible, still engaged with
their education. This is always our highest priority.
So far we have:
Distributed WHO recommendations and information
about COVID-19 to the remote communities we serve in audio, written and symbol
/ icon formats.
Recorded public health messages with information
about the virus in Themne, Krio, Korankoh, Limba and other languages for
dissemination to strengthen resilience and arm communities with essential
Prepared learning packs, as well as, virus
information packs to send home with students to prevent misinformation and to
inform communities about how to prevent spread of the virus.
Prepared and recorded remote learning lessons
for distribution by radio and other methods. EducAid is taking a lead role in
the Teaching Service Commission radio programming in Sierra Leone.
Reviewed bodily autonomy lessons and supported
boys and girls to take measures to avoid the increase in child pregnancy that
was experienced during the Ebola school closures.
Reviewed proper handwashing and increased
hygiene protocols in schools.
Updated Ebola protocols, guidelines and
processes for all EducAid sites, highlighting the differences between Ebola and
corona contagion routes.
EducAid staff record public health messages with information
about the virus in Themne, Krio, Korankoh, Limba to be shared with communities
EducAid Education Team sharing information with community
elders and members
We now need your help so we can:
Keep EducAid students with nowhere else to go
safe and learning at the schools they call home
Continue to pay EducAid staff – while their job
descriptions may change, there is much work to be done and even more when
schools reopen – this is an opportunity to train and prepare for the enormous
setbacks our students will have to overcome when they return to us.
Make sure learning continues across Sierra Leone
in innovative ways that reach as many communities and children as possible.
EducAid has built an incredible network and is a trusted name in Sierra Leone.
Ensure our schools are not only ready to reopen
and programmes ready to continue, but that they reopen even stronger to meet
the changing needs of the children and schools we serve.
We cannot do this without your help. We have quickly adjusted
our work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know that we will be
facing a dramatic drop in income in the months ahead. Much of our income comes
from events that will now not take place, from schools that will now be shut
throughout the next term or more, from funders and trusts who are also
experiencing challenges. Without your help, all we have built over the last 25
years is in jeopardy.
We know the months ahead will be difficult ones for all of
us. We are keeping all of you, our EducAid family, in our thoughts and prayers
as we all navigate the uncertainties ahead. We will be sure to send updates on
the situation and continue to send sunshine and good news to your inbox to show
you how your continued support is doing extraordinary things in Sierra Leone.
EducAid’s stability has always come from our supporters.
Please give what you can to help EducAid weather the inevitable challenges