THE IMPACT OF OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: JULY 2020
July 7, 2020
United World Schools
As of 10th July 2020, thanks to your support we have been able to:
Coronavirus has reached all three countries we operate in, with cases particularly growing across Nepal. It is crucial that we continue to prepare for a widespread outbreak in the regions that we work in and ensure children do not miss out on an education in the meantime.
WATER AND SANITATION
Thanks to the generous donations towards our COVID-19 emergency appeal, we have been able to open handwashing facilities in 80% of the communities we work with. Currently our teams in Nepal and Myanmar are working to complete the remaining upgrades before the monsoon starts.
Our virus awareness campaign has been ongoing since May and we believe we have now reached 150,000 people with key messages. We have now entered Phase II of the campaign, which engages community leaders to support them to develop their preparedness for a COVID-19 outbreak in their community.
In Myanmar and Cambodia, our Education Officers have been training the community leaders in COVID-19 preparedness and passing on information sheet, providing leaders with a response toolkit. We then encourage communities to form a management structure, assigning roles to individuals for the different elements of virus management. In Nepal, support is given over the phone to complement and support government coordination efforts.
Topics covered by the training materials include how to quarantine returning community members; processes for contact tracing; complex topics such as ‘direct contact’ on touched surfaces; and procedures for reporting positive cases to the government and referring into medical treatment.
In Nepal, where outbreaks have been more common, the team have been working with leaders since April. In Cambodia, every community has now been trained also. We are beginning to roll out the programme in Myanmar, where the virus is less prominent.
We have now developed an education continuation programme in each country to supplement lessons whilst schools are shut. The programme looks different in each country:
Our daily radio broadcast has been ongoing since May. Owing to its success, this has been increased from 45 minutes daily to 2 hours daily. UWS Fellows design and record the lessons. When lockdown allows, a take away programme will begin and Community Teachers have already mapped where each UWS student lives to this end.
Teachers are conducting classes in small groups of a maximum of 5 students (in line with government recommendations), plus additional homework. This is now running in 59 out of 66 communities, reaching over 2,000 students.
Community teachers are going house to house (maintaining social distancing) and distributing supplementary work. This is reaching approximately 50% of our students so far.
With schools set to remain closed for several more months, it is vital that we continue these learning programmes and reach every child within our partner communities. Not only will this support their learning during closures, it means they are more likely to return to school when they are able to open.