Amid the COVID-19 coronavirus global crisis.
Although the number of cases in South Africa currently remains low compared to the U.S., and even though most of those cases have been imported, there is still some community spread. We are grateful that so far the communities we serve in both Johannesburg and KwaZulu Natal do not have any reported cases of the virus. We are praying fervently that they will be spared.
The government has closed its borders, and U.S. citizens are not allowed to enter the country at this time. This has caused the postponement of several trips that were due to take place in the next few months, which is a big disappointment for everyone. The teams mean so much to us, and to the work we are doing. We miss you and are looking forward to the day when we can welcome you all again.
Additionally, (and perhaps most important to us), the government has closed all schools, including our preschools. We wanted to let you know how that has affected our programs and what we are doing to support the communities during this time.
Currently, the feeding program in Soweto is open whenever possible - a decision made on a daily basis. A ban on large groups gathering and being able to keep safe distances creates problems.
While the preschool at Kya Sand is closed, Patrick continues to come and take care of the garden, and Elizabeth is on hand daily. The children still come to play on the playground equipment, and in the yard at the school. But our hearts are broken that they are not receiving the education and food they so desperately need.
In Ndwedwe, our preschools and the Waterfall Combined School next door are also closed. But Thembe continues to tend to the gardens and harvest food for the community. We were also able to use the remaining food from last year's Thanksgiving Food Drive to put together food parcels, which we handed out to the students at Waterfall, as it closed. With the TFD coming to an end - we are so grateful to our donors that make it possible for us to continue to feed the children.
We continue to be in prayer for you and the rest of the world as we combat this virus. What we covet most during this time are your prayers - for our children, that they stay safe and have enough to eat - our communities, and our country, that we are spared the spread of this virus.
Thank you for your continued support of our mission!
And as always, If you would like to provide financial support, please go to buildthefutureusa.org