COVID-19 Update from GPiH
In last month’s newsletter we discussed COVID-19 and its impact on our work in China. Unfortunately, the impact has quickly spread far beyond China and the Coronavirus has affected the lives of millions around the world. Many Americans have been forced into quarantine in an effort to prevent the spread of this disease and protect public health. In the face of this global pandemic, many of us are left with questions surrounding the future and all of the unknown variables. GPiH has made it a top priority to keep our donors and supporters informed and answer any questions that could help to alleviate any anxiety or uncertainty surrounding this pandemic. Global Partners in Hope would like to share with you the precautions we are taking as an organization and explain what this means for our in-country team members.
A couple of updates from GPiH CEO, Ian Vickers:
The GPiH Office
Our office, located in Omaha, Nebraska, is currently closed as our team continues to work remotely from home. In an effort to flatten the curve, we have decided that it is in everyone’s best interests for the office to remain closed indefinitely. We will proceed with operations in our office during regular business hours as soon as it is declared safe to do so by local public health officials and the CDC.
Unfortunately, Jim and Martha Goedert have been forced to leave Ethiopia. While the country has only reported around thirty cases, the Ethiopian government has already made the executive decision to postpone their national election that was supposed to take place in August. Meanwhile, large group gatherings have been banned and school has been cancelled throughout the country as the virus continues to spread. The decision for the Goederts to evacuate was made in an effort to be proactive and protect the health of Jim and Martha. They recently returned to the States and will reside at their home in Omaha until further notice.
China has been an epicenter for the virus and has reported an upwards of eighty thousand cases throughout the country. As many of you already know, Jon and Peggy Sperling have been in the U.S. throughout this pandemic and their plans to return to China have been put on hold. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the Sperlings were planning to hold workshops here in North America, but the “Impact for Learning” workshops have been postponed. Due to the spread of the Coronavirus in both the U.S. and Canada, it is unsafe to hold these workshops at this time. For now, they will continue to plan curriculum for leadership training in anticipation of their return to China.
In light of the pandemic, the Rand family move to Togo has been put on hold. Despite a variety of factors, this decision was ultimately made in order to keep the Rand family safe and healthy. With required travel through multiple international airports, the Rand family’s travel plans would be incredibly risky during this time. We believe that this is the best decision for both the Rand family, and those that we serve.
At this time, the MacLean family plans on staying in Togo and continuing the in-country work and oversight of the medical center construction. Here is a video update from Dr. Brett MacLean:
Construction in Togo
The country of Togo has most recently reported around forty cases, drastically smaller numbers than those reported from countries such as the United States or China. Construction at the site for our newest medical center continues, but the closest major city and capital of Togo, Lomé, is under semi-quarantine. The latest progress of the medical center includes the completion of the foundation, as well as the wiring for the electrical components of the center. As always, we will continue to keep you updated on construction at the site through our Facebook and Instagram pages.
During this time of uncertainty, we want to remind you to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and, most importantly, stay at home. We want to assure you that we, as a team, are taking all precautions necessary to protect ourselves and the people that we serve. Our team remains hopeful that we will be able to continue providing hope to those that need it most, despite current restrictions that have been put into place. We will keep everybody updated on any further changes that are made. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listed below are a few resources that may help to keep you informed and navigate this time of uncertainty.
Johns Hopkins Daily COVID-19 Update: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html