As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread and impact individuals, organizations, and communities across the world, we wish to share how our schools are responding to the pandemic.
Our schools are located in poverty-stricken countries where the communities live below the breadline and cannot pay for basic living expenses. They are highly vulnerable as they have no access to medical care, even if they show symptoms of the virus or seek the necessary treatment or advice.
“The rapid evolution of COVID-19 in Africa is deeply worrisome and a clear signal for action,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. Twelve countries in the African region are now experiencing local transmission. Such a scenario presents a significant challenge for countries with weak healthcare systems. A potential paralyzation of already vulnerable healthcare systems would not only have a drastic impact on population health but could also push communities further into poverty and deprivation.
Our NGO partner from the township Khayelitsha in Cape Town, South Africa shared, “We are incredibly nervous about what closing the schools mean for the girls, but we have to abide by the law.” The same sentiments were shared in Madagascar, as they are approaching the cold season and already facing inadequate medical care. Some of the construction work in other projects have stopped or experiencing delays. We were informed that the cost of building materials has increased and supply chains have been disrupted.
How would COVID-19 impact our schools? As life around the world grinds to a halt in a bid to contain the coronavirus, we must also remember that education in limbo, should never be considered an acceptable long-term. Hard-won gains in expanding access to education in these communities could stagnate or reverse as school closures are extended. Accessibility to alternative options like distance learning remains out of reach as they have limited or no access to the internet. This will result in a further loss in human capital and diminished economic opportunities.
Acronis Cyber Foundation continues to engage our NGO partners for updates to better understand their most critical needs, as they change rapidly. We hope you will join us in solidarity to support these communities actively through sharing their stories on social platforms or consider donating to support the building projects.
Stay safe and stay healthy.