Latest Compassion Update
Last updated 06 May, 2020
Many Compassion child development centres continue to be temporarily closed for group activities. Our local church partners are working to provide a basic level of the Child Sponsorship Program to all Compassion assisted children and their families. Some are also delivering medical supplies, hygiene kits, extra food, water and other resources to help during this time of uncertainty.
We are deeply saddened that within the global Compassion family, children, family members and local church partner staff members have passed away from COVID-19. Please pray for their families and communities—that God would comfort them as they grieve.
Please also continue to pray for those who are impacted by this pandemic. Medical professionals predict the worst may be yet to come for the developing world, which is under resourced for testing and caring for COVID-19 patients. This means tracking the full impact on Compassion, particularly the children and their families we serve, will be increasingly difficult in the weeks and months to come. We are doing our best to keep you informed of the effect this crisis is having on Compassion’s ministry while continuing to respect the privacy of children, their families and our local church partners. Thank you for your continued understanding, support and prayers.
COVID-19 in Bangladesh 20 May, 2020
The government extended a nationwide shutdown until 30 May but plans to begin easing restrictions to reopen factories and other businesses to lessen the economic impact on the country. Dhaka is on lockdown with a high number of cases being reported. All schools, colleges and educational institutions are closed until at least September. All Compassion group activities are on hold. Compassion Bangladesh staff and local partners were recently able to send hygiene supplies and food baskets to some children's families. They report that many families have no source of income, so they are providing necessary funds to buy daily essentials.
COVID-19 in Bolivia 20 May, 2020
Beginning 11 May, a “dynamic quarantine” was implemented in some areas, lifting some restrictions on movement and work hours for parts of the country determined to be at medium and low risk for virus transmission. Group activities at all Compassion child development centres remain on hold. Under the updated government regulations, delivery of food is permitted from 8am to 10pm daily, so local church partners are working to provide food, disease prevention materials and hygiene supplies to children and their families. They are also checking in with families via phone to provide spiritual and emotional support. Compassion Bolivia has deployed teams of physicians and psychologists to support our frontline church partners.
COVID-19 in Brazil 20 May, 2020
All states where Compassion works are currently practising social isolation. Schools and public gathering locations, such as shopping malls and restaurants, are closed. Compassion programs are on hold; however, local workers are making every effort to provide for the basic needs of the children, including the delivery of food baskets and hygiene materials. Local centre staff are maintaining phone contact with families and providing Bible stories, lessons and prayers, as well as care for those struggling mentally and emotionally. They have also launched a child protection campaign on social media and are holding online worship services for youth.
COVID-19 in Burkina Faso 27 May, 2020
The government is instructing citizens to follow hygiene and sanitation measures to mitigate spread of the virus. All citizens must wear face masks in public. Schools, professional training centres and universities are closed, but the government has begun a phased reopening, including allowing schools to begin administering exams, and reopenings of markets and churches. A curfew is still in place from 9pm to 4am. All Compassion partner churches have kept child development centre group activities on hold, but they continue regular child protection oversight and healthcare support. They have distributed food, soap, masks and hand sanitiser to families, and continue to work to raise awareness of COVID-19 prevention. Some churches have helped families construct simple washing stations to use at their homes.
COVID-19 in Colombia 27 May, 2020
The national quarantine is extended to 31 May. Borders are closed to noncitizens, and all educational institutions are closed until further notice. All Compassion centre activities are on hold. Local church partners have provided hygiene training, disease prevention materials and food kits to select high-risk families and continue to monitor situations for child protection. They have provided vouchers to be used in local markets in areas where they cannot deliver food. Staff have also created activity kits for children to do at home, and some centres were recently able to hold virtual birthday celebrations. Additionally, staff and church partners are working to develop online curriculum lessons and devotionals to be shared with registered children and their families.
COVID-19 in Dominican Republic 20 May, 2020
Schools and parks are closed, public events, including religious services, are banned, and air travel is cancelled. Some businesses have begun reopening, but with a reduced workforce. There is a curfew from 7pm to 5am until at least 1 June. All Compassion child development centres are closed. Compassion health specialists have been providing local church partners with guidance and educational materials, and centre staff are providing physical and emotional support to families while complying with guidelines. This includes video sermons, online prayer services and counselling by phone. Tutors have recorded short video lessons for children to view at home. Additionally, church staff are spending time praying for sponsors around the world.
COVID-19 in Ecuador 20 May, 2020
The Compassion Ecuador national office is closed until at least 31 May. All local church partners and Compassion centres are closed to group activities. Beginning 12 May, restrictions began to be eased in Ecuador, with workforces beginning a phased re-opening and some travel restrictions being lifted. Curfews are still in place, and masks and social distancing are encouraged. Local centre staff members continue to provide emotional and spiritual support by making regular phone calls to families and delivering food and hygiene kits. Some church partners have been able to hold online worship services and prayer meetings.
COVID-19 in El Salvador 27 May, 2020
The Government of El Salvador has declared that the country is in a state of national quarantine. All educational activities are suspended, and Compassion programming is on hold. Local church partners are supporting the most vulnerable families with food and available medicine and developing tutoring materials online so children can continue learning from home. To date, Compassion El Salvador has been able to distribute nearly 12,000 health kits and food baskets using Disaster Relief funds. They are also providing resources to help families plant home gardens. Compassion El Salvador has shared uplifting messages and public health information for entire communities through local radio.
COVID-19 in Ethiopia 27 May, 2020
Ethiopia is under a state of emergency until August. Schools and universities are closed. Large gatherings are banned, and traffic to and from the capital city is restricted. All child development centres have stopped group activities, meetings and training. Partner church staff members are distributing food and sanitation items to families and handling medical emergencies. They have educated families on COVID-19 prevention and care and given their personal contact information to families so they can have quick access if needed. Additionally, staff have ensured that 526 child development centres have working handwashing facilities for children, families and the community to access.
COVID-19 in Ghana 20 May, 2020
The government has begun to lift lockdowns in some larger cities, but schools remain closed and social distancing is being encouraged, as the number of positive cases still continues to rise. All borders remain closed. All frontline church partners are closed, and therefore many activities are on hold. However, the centres are handling emergency healthcare, child protection interventions and disaster response for the children as needed. Staff are providing education to the children and their families on COVID-19 prevention and personal hygiene. Some local centres are using innovative ways of continuing to provide lessons through video and phone calls, particularly lessons aimed at teens and young adults.
COVID-19 in Guatemala 27 May, 2020
As the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, the country remains on lockdown. Large public events and gatherings are prohibited. Schools, churches, sports activities, shopping malls, restaurants, and public and private organisations, except for pharmacies and hospitals, are closed. As a result, all Compassion child development centres are closed. Local church partners are working within curfew guidelines to deliver food and hygiene supplies to all Compassion assisted children.
COVID-19 in Haiti 20 May, 2020
Schools, universities, places of worship and industrial areas are closed until further notice. The borders and airports are closed to passengers but open for transportation of goods. The extreme poverty in the country makes it difficult for Compassion assisted families to respect confinement guidelines as they must go to crowded open-air markets for food and supplies. Markets and buses are reportedly full of people despite the warnings. All Compassion child development centres have stopped group program activities. Local child development centre workers are attempting to keep in touch with the children safely through phone calls and texts. They bring food supplies to the most vulnerable when possible and provide medical assistance to any child in need. Staff members are also working to provide Bible studies and other lessons through phone calls as much as possible.
COVID-19 in Honduras 20 May, 2020
All borders are closed and a national quarantine is in place. Public gatherings (sports, cultural, social and religious events, etc.) and public transportation are suspended and most businesses are closed. Only supermarkets, banks and hospitals are open. Accordingly, all Compassion programs and activities are cancelled. Child development centre staff are delivering food and hygiene kits to vulnerable families and reinforcing hygiene and safety measures with caregivers. All who are delivering food have undergone training by the local government on safety measures. Local centre workers are keeping in touch with families via phone calls and recording video lessons for children.
COVID-19 in Indonesia 27 May, 2020
Indonesia has deployed army troops and police officers to enforce rules on wearing face masks and social distancing, as the country prepares to reopen its economy after its coronavirus lockdown. Compassion child development centres remain closed until at least 29 May. Workers are staying in contact with Compassion assisted children online. They are working within strict mobility restrictions to distribute emergency supplies, including soap, clean water, vitamins and groceries. Staff have also created online lessons for children. Compassion health specialists are providing videos and flyers on disease prevention and hygiene.
COVID-19 in Kenya 20 May, 2020
Social distancing measures have been implemented, and public gatherings are banned. All schools are closed indefinitely. A curfew is in effect from 7pm to 5am. The government is working to roll out mass testing to hot spots and county hospitals. All Compassion group activities, including weekly child programs, caregiver meetings and group trainings, are on hold. Compassion Kenya is providing the centres with information about prevention of the coronavirus and how to respond if children are affected. During this period of centre closures and government restrictions on both food and supplies, Compassion Kenya are utilising a cash distribution system to provide support to Compassion assisted children and their families. Local church partners are continuing child protection measures and healthcare support as needed.
COVID-19 in Mexico 27 May, 2020
Mexico is planning a region-by-region reopening, based on the number of local cases. Currently, public gatherings are banned and schools are closed until 30 May. All Compassion child development centres have put group program activities on hold. Most centres are distributing food to the most vulnerable children’s families. All local church partners have received flyers on disease prevention and treatment that they can print and distribute in their communities. Some tutors have been able to record lessons that they are sending to Compassion assisted children so they can learn from home.
COVID-19 in Nicaragua 20 May, 2020
The country is under an epidemiological alert and has put preventive measures in place. Compassion Nicaragua staff participated in a World Health Organisation orientation about prevention of virus spread. Child development centres are not holding group meetings or activities. In just two weeks, staff delivered more than 24,000 food packs to children and their families. Some church partners have been able to provide spiritual content through videos and messaging apps.
COVID-19 in Peru 27 May, 2020
Peru is under a nationwide state of emergency that includes self-quarantine and closed borders. All Compassion local church partners have put children's and youths' activities on hold. The national staff and local church partners are monitoring the children and families that are most vulnerable due to extreme poverty, possible abuse or health complications. Church workers are working closely with local authorities to deliver food to families. Tutors and pastors are providing “virtual” counselling as needed to Compassion assisted children and caregivers.
COVID-19 in Rwanda 20 May, 2020
Schools, places of worship and Compassion centres are closed until September. A curfew is in place from 8pm to 5am, and masks must be worn in public at all times. Centre staff are communicating with the children and caregivers by phone where possible. They have been able to provide care and support to the most vulnerable children, including those who are malnourished and have medical issues, and they are working with local governments to provide food to families. Sponsor gifts to children and families are being delivered as electronic cash transfers. The Compassion Rwanda office is working with local staff to offer counselling support during this difficult season.
COVID-19 in Sri Lanka 27 May, 2020
Public gatherings are banned and all schools are closed. A curfew is in place from 10pm to 4am, though it has been relaxed in some regions to allow people to begin to return to work. No passenger flights or ships may enter the country until further notice, and all postal services are suspended. Compassion programming is on hold. Staff have committed to reaching out to families via phone at least once a week, and in some areas they have been able to conduct home visits while obeying social distancing guidelines. They are also working to distribute dry ration packs, seed packets and disease prevention information as they are able under the government guidelines. One local church partners has been able to work with the local government to make face masks. At some centres, staff are exploring distance learning so they can distribute lessons to children online.
COVID-19 in Tanzania 20 May, 2020
The Tanzanian government has not released any data on COVID-19 in Tanzania since 29 April, and testing is limited. All schools, colleges and universities in Tanzania are currently closed, and public gatherings are banned. Group meetings and activities at all Compassion child development centres are cancelled. Local centres continue to provide medical attention and child protection to the children and their families as needed.
COVID-19 in Thailand 27 May, 2020
Reported cases of COVID-19 in the country seem to be declining, and the government has begun easing some restrictions, including reopening some businesses. All public gatherings are banned until the end of May. The 11pm to 4am curfew is in place through to 31 May. Compassion child development centres have put group activities on hold, though in some areas staff have been able to do home visits and hold group gatherings of under 10, while obeying social distancing guidelines. Local church partners are distributing soap, sanitiser gels and face masks in some areas, and some centres have begun making masks and sanitiser. Where possible, workers are keeping in contact with Compassion assisted children by phone. Additionally, staff have developed online resources, including devotionals, for children and families.
COVID-19 in The Philippines 27 May, 2020
The country is now under General Community Quarantine, which has allowed for some businesses to reopen. Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu will remain under a stricter, modified quarantine until 1 June. As typhoon season begins in the region, local government faces potential struggles, including the possibility of having to evacuate people under quarantine. Partner churches and child development centres are still closed for group activities, but some centres are beginning to plan how to meet while following strict health protocols. Limited staff from each centre are working to provide food, relief goods and hygiene packs with alcohol/sanitiser and soap to the most vulnerable families of registered children. Church staff members are providing counselling and making follow-up visits where there are suspected cases of abuse. The centres are providing alternative learning and home-based activities for Compassion assisted children, including colouring books for children and journals for youths.
COVID-19 in Togo 20 May, 2020
Togo is under a state of emergency until the end of June. Borders are closed, public meetings of more than 15 people are banned, and schools are closed. A curfew is in place from 8pm until 6am. Compassion child development centres are closed. Local centre staff members are taking food packages to the most vulnerable children, monitoring the health of children and families, delivering medical funds in cases of illness, and praying continually. Staff have been encouraged to limit face-to-face visits when possible for their own safety, and are communicating with families via phone and video calls. Some church partners have been able to install hand-washing centres for community use.
COVID-19 in Uganda 20 May, 2020
Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Uganda, and the country is on lockdown. Public transportation and mass gatherings have been halted. Churches, schools and nonessential businesses are closed. A curfew is in place from 7pm to 6am. Compassion child development centres have discontinued group activities. Local child development centre staff members are visiting children at home only when absolutely necessary, including assisting with medical needs and child protection. They are sending monetary support to the children's families as electronic transfers to mobile phones or in the form of cash to those who must walk to the centre while observing safety measures.
How you can pray
Thank you for lifting up children and families around the world who are impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.
- With social distancing practised and social events cancelled, pray that God will raise up a new chapter of building meaningful, deeper relationships with each other. Pray that God’s kindness and love will be on display in every nation and every walk of life.
- Pray for nations where food crises are following on the heels of isolation measures, as people lack access to sufficient clean water and food. Ask God to provide their daily bread and meet their needs.
- Pray for the Lord to protect the health of people who live in poverty, as they are the least able to socially isolate themselves or choose alternative work arrangements. Pray for children registered with the program in this season of sickness. Ask the Lord to place a hedge of protection over the children and their families.
- Lift up health workers, hospitals, administrators and decision-makers to God as they respond to the pandemic. Pray for protection, wisdom and hearts of compassion for the most vulnerable.
- Pray for wisdom and resilience for churches across the globe, as they live out His love in faith. May the Lord be their strength and guide as they respond to the challenges of the virus facing their communities and churches.
- Pray for Compassion supporters and sponsors all over the world. May each of them be surrounded by the grace, love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to hold their hands and lead them.
For more prayer points—and if you have a prayer request— join our new Facebook prayer group for supporters, volunteers, staff and Advocates from around the nation. Thank you for praying with us!