Dear Empowerment International Friends,
We would like to share with you, our supporters and friends, about the current situation we face with the Covid-19 virus emergency in Nicaragua. So far, we have two confirmed cases in Nicaragua.
Sadly, thousands of Nicaraguan people work for the informal sector and it is not easy for them to stay at home because their families depend on them to bring home food every day
In addition, the crowded conditions in the neighborhoods we serve, as well as the poor medical capacity available, foreshadow that this outbreak will be extremely difficult to contain. We know it is only a matter of time before this impacts us like the rest of the world. We are preparing for that in the best way we can.
We are encouraging those in our community who are symptomatic to get tested. The government has closed non-essential businesses indefinitely. While schools are still open, most parents have decided not to send their children to school to prevent the spread of the virus.
For the last 6 weeks, our team has been working with the children on teaching them general hygiene and hand-washing techniques. We have been monitoring their health. Last week, we decided to put on hold activities that could expose children and staff to the virus or contribute to the spread of it. Because Nicaraguan government systems are not very strong, we must play a vital role in our communities to keep them safe and slow the spread.
We will be continuing to support the children in the best way we can with an emergency plan which includes the following activities:
1. Continue working on educating the parents and children about the realities of the virus and the best ways they can contribute to keeping their entire community and family safe.
2. Home visit staff are now replacing visits with calls and text messages.
3. We are offering children take-home meals and homework to promote social distancing.
4. Support any sick person in the communities we serve with basic medicine. Educate them when it is time to obtain professional care, to avoid overloading the hospitals and spreading the virus further.
5. Keep the EI team safe using WHO and CDC protocol for our workers who must be in the office. For others, we have developed a stay at home work plan and policy.
6. Support our children and families if lives are lost.
7. Coordinate with other Nicaraguan Non-Governmental Organizations on joint actions in order to not duplicate efforts.
As events develop, we will continue to keep you posted. Thank you for your support. We pray that all of our friends around the world can stay healthy during this difficult time.
Marcia, Lisseth, and Kathy