August 2020 Update

(This update should have been published at the end of June 2020, but was once again delayed by technical difficulties beyond the Charity’s control.)

Life has been hard for everybody living under lockdown from ‘the coronavirus’ pandemic or SARS-Cov-2 virus pandemic to give it its official label. The Charity Trustees were, fortunately, able to hold their annual meeting in early March just before the lockdown in the UK started. The members have not been able to meet since then but have kept in touch with one another and with their supporters by email circulars supplemented by telephone calls where necessary.

Life under lockdown has been particularly challenging for people who have very limited resources or none. Under the circumstances, EOS-UK Charity Fund is pleased to know that the children and young people at EWCV are doing so well in their relatively self-isolated ‘Village’. The Charity has been keeping in touch with EWCV by email and by occasional telephone calls to follow the health and welfare of the children and staff and the news has been heartening despite the difficulties of life under lockdown. They have remained free from ‘the coronavirus virus pandemic. Staff who don’t normally live within the ‘Village’ (the compound of EWCV) are not allowed to come to minimise the spread of ‘the coronavirus’, so the children and young people have been looking after one another more than ever before, sharing the tasks such as food preparation in the kitchen, cafeteria services, gardening and looking after their environment, what they call ‘beautification’. EWCV’s income generation has been reduced by the fact that their school and the kindergarten, both good a source of reliable revenue, have been closed since mid-march following a pandemic emergency order by the Ethiopian government - schools in Ethiopia will remain closed until September.

A communication from EWCV received on 24 June says:

Thank you for checking on us. And we are pleased to inform you that children and staff are doing well. We continue to take all the precautions as advised by the Bureau of Health, and nearly everyone is in good health1 – thank God! The Child and Youth Director, the Nurse, Social Worker and the Health & Safety Team members (consisting of the older children) are closely monitoring the situation/day-to-day activities and providing guidance where needed. The senior management team, on its part, is being updated by its member the CYD [Child & Youth Development] Director, and communicating through him.

As noted before, outside visitors – particularly consumers who come to the Village to buy farm products – are separated from the children. Moreover, water and soap is made available for them, and hand-washing is enforced. In addition to some school activities being offered by a couple of teachers who live in the compound as well as university students, children in grade 7 and above are actively involved in work activities of their choice – kitchen, cafeteria, gardening, village beautification, etc. Furthermore, to avoid/reduce the boredom, particularly the younger ones - thanks to Chris’ generous donation – we have built a small recreation centre for table tennis, table football (commonly known ጆተኒ/joteni in cities but now spread even to rural areas) as well as chess and checkers games. We’ll send a picture of it when fully established.

_On not favourable news1, we regret to inform you that a 17 year-old girl1 [—–] with severe back pain problem has been referred to Ayder Hospital. The hospital, in turn, has referred her to Addis for surgery, but the timing is not good. She has an appointment for tomorrow, and Abraha2 is going with her to discuss a potential solution with her doctors.

  1. So, some sad news with the good: EOS-UK Charity Fund is not party to the young girl’s medical problem but we all wish her well.  2 3

  2. Abraha is the director of CYD (Child and Youth Development) at EWCV.