As of Tuesday 7 April Guatemala has now 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 17 recovered and sadly 3 people have died. SSince we updated you two weeks ago, Guatemala State of emergency (Estado de calamidad) legislation has been extended until at least May 3rd. Like every business and family across the globe, we are having to constantly re-evaluate what we do in order to get through this crisis. In practical terms, this means The School of Hope cannot reopen for the foreseeable future and so we must enact another phase of our coronavirus response plan
To put it in stark terms, without the support of EFTC, the families we serve are unlikely to be able to feed themselves. Under normal circumstances, they live hand-to-mouth, earning money on an ad-hoc, informal basis. What they are able to provide for their families each day is precarious. Right now, with a curfew in place in Jocotenango, income opportunities are even fewer. Our staff have witnessed the unofficial economy come to a screeching halt.
Without daily nutritious food at school, our students are unlikely to eat more than tortillas and salt. Basic human need means we must step in and refocus our effort, in the short-term, from educators to providers of basic needs. We have been running a ‘donate your dinner’ campaign on social media which attracted £1,946.58 towards our nutrition budget. We thank everyone who was able to donate. However, the pressing need to provide food directly to our families is drastically increasing our need within this budget.
We are proposing to supply our families with vouchers to the Bodegona (a local store grocery store). With a huge effort from our staff, and within the limits of the curfew, we could complete this task in eight days. In addition to food, we will ensure that each family has soap, toilet paper, and other essentials.
This project comes at a significant cost. It is over and above the food we would provide to the students in school, as we can ordinarly buy in bulk, and we continue to pay staff salaries to ensure that our team can support themselves and our families.
We have 385 families, and the monthly food vouchers cost $25 each. That’s a 32% increase on our normal monthly nutrition budget. We hope to re-open the school as soon as is feasible but if we need to do this throughout 2020 it would constitute an extra $44,000 spend on our budget.
If you or someone you know can spare $25 to cover one of the family food vouchers, please get in touch. You can either donate directly here or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Brien Ashdown, Executive Director of EFTC USA:
Phone: (907) 888-9171
Please be assured that every penny you donate will directly put food on the plates of our families who otherwise might not eat today. Thank you.