COVID-19 has been life-altering for all of us—and as much as we’re focused on how our lives are changing, it can be easy to forget how the coronavirus brings some especially difficult challenges in the developing world, too. But the good news is that by sponsoring children in these communities, you are making a real difference. Below are 4 ways that child sponsorship is saving lives amidst COVID-19.
1. Education and Livelihood - In the developing world, many people are dependent on work with no contracts or salary commitments. Some sell items along busy streets or in open air markets, and some are hired one day at a time for manual labor in agriculture. These are all jobs that aren’t possible to telecommute to, and many of these families don’t have an emergency fund or access to unemployment. Our sponsorship partners have already been helping build livelihood resilience through initiatives like community savings groups and vocational and entrepreneurial training. They are also helping maintain safe and educational environments for children by providing home education resources while schools are closed, collaborating with educators, and working to make sure children stay safe.
2. Food Security - Food security has become a rising concern for some Americans, but in the developing world many people are struggling with food even more than usual. People are panic buying in these areas too, leading to shortages and price increases. For families living on meager wages, travelling further to purchase food or paying the higher prices isn’t an option. Our sponsorship partners are helping fill in this gap by providing emergency food provisions or even cash vouchers to families in this season.
3. Healthcare - In the developing world, health infrastructure is seriously lacking. Many communities don’t have a hospital or medical clinic. Getting to the nearest one can mean the expense of paid transportation if available or hours of walking. Even after they arrive at a clinic, that clinic’s resources may be limited and services usually require up front cash payment that these families most likely don’t have. Our sponsorship partners are bolstering the healthcare system by providing personal protective equipment, medical equipment, and cleaning supplies, and sometimes even funding community health workers or assisting with temporary isolation centers.
4. Sanitation - Social distancing is not possible for the many of the world’s poorest who live in extremely crowded conditions. An entire family, possibly including extended family, shares a one-room hut in many developing countries In addition to crowding, residents in slums sometimes don’t have access to water or sanitation, making hand washing and hygiene nearly impossible.. Our sponsorship partners combat this by working to provide clean water and sanitation access and by training on hygiene practices.
Our sponsorship contributions are making a real difference around the world. Because of your generosity, our sponsorship partners are on the ground in vulnerable communities, and already have the relationships and credibility with local leaders to be able to respond in the best possible ways!
To read more about how sponsorship works or how you can get involved, check out LCBCchurch.com/GlobalInitiatives.