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Impact of Covid-19 on the EFTC Foundation

18/03/2020

We value each and every one of our supporters as part of our Foundation family and so want to outline to you in detail how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting EFTC.

In Summary

  • The School of Hope is temporarily closed by order of the Guatemalan government for at least three weeks
  • All further education institutions in Guatemala are closed until further notice
  • Our aim is to continue academic and social progress for our students during this global emergency we are all facing
  • Fundraising efforts will refocus on distance-based actions and switch away from social events for the foreseeable future
  • We will keep our supporters and sponsors regularly updated to changes both in Guatemala and the USA Foundation offices

 

School of Hope Temporary Closure

  • The current plan is for classes at The School of Hope to resume around the 13th of April, after the holiday week of Semana Santa
  • The school has put into place a previously-approved comprehensive coronavirus response plan with four phases that will continue to be implemented depending upon the severity of the epidemic in Guatemala
  • We continue to support all school staff with salaries and they will all be working from home (as mandated by the Guatemalan government) to supporting students and their families
  • Volunteers/visitors arriving in the next month have received an update on the school and border closures
  • It is likely that we will continue to have to pay the vast majority of our expenses over the closure, and that the school year will be extended
  • Graduations could be delayed

 

How we are supporting our students and families

  • The economic fallout of the pandemic in Guatemala will wreak havoc on the fragile, unregulated economy in which our families work, so we will continue to support them in whatever way we can
  • Our 371 families have received:
    • Information sheets on Covid-19 (symptoms, testing centers, need for hospitalization)
    • Medicines to last until mid-April
  • Our families rarely have electricity at home therefore an online tuition programme is impossible. We are looking at ways to distribute packets of work to each student
  • The Social department has identified the most vulnerable cases and will continue to be in contact via phone with those students and parents most at risk

 

Further Education students

  • All further education institutions in Guatemala are closed until further notice
  • We are continuing to pay tuition for our Further Education students
  • Public transport has been banned and many of our students do not have access to the internet at home so accessing distance learning is a challenge
  • Where practicable our school staff will help facilitate distance learning with students who have access issues

 

EFTC Fundraising

  • Events-based fundraising will either be cancelled or postponed and we will work with individual corporate supporters and trusts to refocus this effort
  • In wake of the school closure, some of our colleagues in Guatemala will be pitching in where possible to support the vital fundraising effort
  • To address the significant income shortfall created by the fundraising event cancellations, our UK and US Foundation teams will be reevaluating and refocusing our fundraising strategy to try to meet our budgetary targets for 2020
  • Any fundraising opportunities, ideas, or remote-working volunteers are most welcome

 

Updates to supporters

  • We will continue to update you via email, our website (eftcusa.org) and on social media.
  • We know that you will be concerned about the effects on your individual students, so please be assured that your students will have educational exposure and access to medical, nutrition, and psychological support over the next four weeks before we hopefully see them again on April 13
  • What’s more, we are sending an initial package of basic food supplies to each family, and an additional bag to thirty of the largest and/or most food insecure families. If you would like to donate a gift or food hamper to your individual family this can be facilitated for families to collect in April. Please email sponsor@eftc.org.uk if you would like to do this, or if you have any other questions about your sponsored student.
  • Our USA Foundation officers are working from home. For phone enquiries please contact Brien Ashdown, Executive Director of EFTC USA:
    Phone: (907) 888-9171
    Email: brien@eftcusa.org
    We can also be contacted via messaging on Facebook /Twitter @EFTCFoundation and Linked In @Education For The Children Foundation