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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
  • Our aim is to continue academic and social progress for our students during the global emergency we are all facing
  • All further education institutions in Guatemala are closed until further notice
  • Fundraising efforts will refocus and switch away from events for the foreseeable future
  • We will keep our supporters and sponsors regularly updated with changes both in Guatemala and the UK/US foundation office


School of Hope Temporary Closure

  • The School of Hope is currently closed. The current plan is for classes to resume around the 13th of April, after the Easter break of Semana Santa
  • The school has put in place a comprehensive coronavirus response plan with four phases that will 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 the children and their families
  • Volunteers/visitors arriving in the next month have received an update on the school and border closures
  • It is likely that the vast majority of our expenses will continue over the closure and be also used to extend the school year 
  • Graduations could be delayed

 

How we are supporting students and their families

  • The economic fall out 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:
    1. Information sheets on Covid-19 (symptoms, testing centres, need for hospitalization)
    2. A food hamper with basics to alleviate the situation over the next month
    3. 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 homework 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. Each college has distributed work to students to complete at home 
  • Where practicable our school staff will help facilitate distance learning with students who have internet access issues
  • 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

 

EFTC Fundraising

  • Many of our fundraising events have understandably been cancelled or postponed. This will have a significant effect on our cash flow. 
  • We are refocusing our efforts on trust applications and appeals to corporate supporters to attempt to make up this shortfall
  • Following 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 commitments 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 eftc.org.uk and on social media
  • We know that you will be concerned about the effects on your individual students and 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 food staples 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 UK foundation office is now working from home. For phone enquiries please contact:
    Dave McKee - CEO - 07768 390896
    Mahalia Carroll - Development and Fundraising Manager - 07398259278
    Boo Somers - UK Foundation Manager -07808296192
  • We can also be contacted via enquries@eftc.org.uk or via messaging on Facebook /Twitter @EFTCFoundation and Linked In @Education For The Children Foundation