As of Tuesday 7 April Guatemala has now 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 17 recovered and sadly 3 people have died. State of emergency (Estado de calamidad) legislation has been extended until 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 our support 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 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 coming 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 educator to provider. We have been running a ‘donate your dinner’ campaign on social media which attracted £1,946.58 towards our nutrition budget. A huge thank you to everyone who was able to donate.
Going forward however, our monthly nutrition budget will increase by 32% as we meet the pressing need to provide food directly to our families. We are proposing to supply our families with vouchers to the Bodegona (local store). With a huge effort from our staff, within the limits of the curfew, we could complete this task in eight days. As well as food we will ensure that our families have soap, toilet paper and other essentials.
This project comes at a significant cost as it is over and above food provided to students in school, which we buy in bulk and we also 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 £20 each. We hope to re-open the school as soon as is feasible but if we need to do this throughout 2020 it would constitute a £37,000 budget shortfall.
This food rescue voucher programme is to feed not just our students, but the families they live with. If you or someone you know can spare £20 to cover one of the family food vouchers please get in touch. You can either donate directly at https://www.eftc.org.uk/en/donate or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call:
Dave McKee - CEO - 07768 390896
Mahalia Carroll - Development and Fundraising Manager - 07398259278
Boo Somers - UK Foundation Manager -07808296192
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.