July 20, 2020

Pandemic Continues to Affect Boaz Children

As hotspots for Covid-19 appear to fluctuate almost daily, it’s been challenging to stay informed regarding conditions in our own state, let alone globally. Since many of you have asked for recent information on the homes in which The Boaz Project serves orphans, we thought we’d send this update.

We are incredibly grateful to report that to date, all of the children The Boaz Project supports and their caregivers remain healthy!  However, nearly everyone mentions missing loved ones as a result of the pandemic.  Children in Russian orphanages miss the Bible Discovery Class teachers who typically visit, house parents in India and Kenya long for the children they’ve been forced to send away. Many homes mention wishing for visits from our short-term teams.

While the Coronavirus ravages some communities, it is the emotional toll of separation that is toughest on children who’ve already experienced so much abandonment and neglect. 

Of course, outbreaks and regulations vary from country to country and even region to region. However, our partners have been great about communicating their current circumstances and needs.  We’re sending you some highlights which can be used to guide your prayers.

Russia

While 80 of the 85 federal districts in Russia have identified cases of Covid-19, as of this writing, the daily cases curve is flattening there at a rate of 9.65%* (while in the U.S. it is increasing at 38.88%*). 

In an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19, all of the state-run orphanages in Russia remain under quarantine.  One has even closed its doors, sending children to live with relatives or temporary home care.

One orphanage in Vladimir has opened to service providers such as therapists and facility repairman. Believing the ministry of The Boaz Project’s team is important for the children, the director has invited them to return, in masks, of course!

Many of the children in all our orphanages are sad to miss camp, a typical highlight in their summers. They also have requested to see the Bible Discovery Class teachers The Boaz Project typically sends.

Our administrators in both the Vladimir and Khabarovsk regions continue to check in with orphanage directors weekly by phone to see if there are needs they can fill and to get updates to add to the teams’ prayers.

India

Despite police brutality against those who do not follow stay at home orders, India’s daily cases curve is reported to be increasing at 27.5%*. The actual rate may be much higher, though, as only 0.7% of population has been tested for Covid-19* (compared to nearly 11% of the US population*)

Severity of stay at home orders was reduced for a brief period in Bangalore, but then re-enforced beginning June 5th due to an increase in cases of Covid-19. Currently, regulations intended to slow the spread of the virus remain strictly enforced in all three states where The Boaz Project works.

All of our Indian homes continue to report increased grocery prices and several are in regions where access to groceries is limited to a certain number of hours per day or even home delivery. 

Covid-related regulations have also separated members of several of our homes.

One of our house fathers, who was visiting his hometown nearly two days’ travel from his children’s home, is still unable to return to his wife and children for five months because of travel restrictions.

Many homes were forced to find temporary host families for some or all of the children in order to reduce the number of people living in one household. They are then required to pay for the children’s care. They have been separated from their homes for five months now. 

One of our house fathers attempted to bring some of the boys home in order for them to take part in distance learning, but villagers, fearful that the boys may be bring Coronavirus with them, blocked the road and wouldn’t allow them to re-enter the village. The house father now tries to take paper learning packets to the boys, but many are staying in homes on roads which are barricaded.

The children who are still in the homes are able to participate in distance learning, thanks to devices purchased by The Boaz Project community.=

Government expectations of children’s homes remain tremendous, as they must report each child’s temperature daily, fumigate the property weekly, ensure each child uses hand sanitizer a minimum of 10 times per day, and provide two N95 masks per child, which are to be worn at all times except during meals.

Kenya

While Kenya as a nation has lost fewer than 200 people to the Coronavirus, its daily cases curve is increasing at a rate of 21.48%*. This has necessitated prolonged stay at home orders and reducing the number of children at El Shaddai Children’s Center.

The government declared that the older boys at El Shaddai were required to leave the facility in order to leave enough space for the younger boys to stay and socially distance. Some of the older boys were sent to relatives, but many are still at the center because they have no kin. 

The Director and Dean of El Shaddai are not able to visit it, but work to stay in touch by phone with the boys who’ve been removed. The house father assists all of the remaining boys with their e-learning.

All of our homes in each of these nations have expressed their appreciation for your financial and prayerful support as they—by God’s grace—continue caring for orphans in difficult and uncertain times.

If you would like to continue to meet Covid-19-related needs for these children’s homes, including support for children in temporary host homes, increased grocery costs, or technology for distance learning, visit www.boazproject.org/urgentneed  

Believing in miracles,
April Jurgensen

*https://visalist.io/emergency/coronavirus/

3 Comments

  1. Ron Collins says:

    Great update. Thanks.

  2. Teresa says:

    Thank you for the update!

  3. Marian Byrnes says:

    Thanks April! And we think we have it bad here in the US. This info is so helpful in praying.

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Because God knew that abandoned children would need help to survive, He tells us to actively meet the needs of orphans in James 1:27.

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If I complete the five-level Orphan Advocate Training Certification, can I put it on my resume or LinkedIn profile?

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Will I be able to get a signed letter to verify my volunteer hours?

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