COVID-19 Information Center
Overview & Prayers
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.—Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Ukraine, Romania, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan
We have received messages from several of our partners on-ground that they have had to stop normal services to children and families, but they are now trying to react to the new crisis of families running out of money for essentials such as food and disinfectants. The most vulnerable families to the current crisis are the single mothers and families who have children with special needs who cannot leave with their children to go get food. Christian large group foster homes are having to keep staff on-site 24/7 and incurring additional expenses due to increased hours and the amount of food consumed.
In Ukraine and Romania, all of the government social service offices have been shut down, and adoptions, foster placements, and identification of children in crisis have halted. We have had some partners move training and support services to parents to online platforms. We are looking for ways to work with our partners to utilize this time to finish video and translation projects that can be done from home offices. In Romania an adoptive family camp that was planned in May will most likely be cancelled, but our partners are hopeful they can run another camp in August. According to our partner in Kyrgyzstan, there are 1 million people in Bishkek (capital and largest city in Kyrgyzstan), and only 12 respirators available.
Pray for Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Ukraine, Romania, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan
Father, we pray for the children, especially those who are vulnerable. We pray for all of the single mothers and families who are now without work and cannot afford to buy essentials like food and disinfectants. We also lift up all of the families who care for children with special needs and do not have anyone who can stay with them while they get food or supplies. We pray that you would strengthen and encourage the parents who are struggling, especially those who have children with special needs or who suffered from trauma before being adopted. We pray for the children who were waiting for adoptions, foster placements, and reunifications to happen but will now have to wait even longer because all of the government offices are shut down. Lord, protect the people of Kyrgyzstan who are experiencing a shortage of respirators for their hospitals. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Southeast Asia – India, Bangladesh, and Nepal
Our on-ground partners in India and Nepal are reporting that towns and cities are facing shutdowns. In India, a curfew has been declared, which is affecting many people in the country. Government school is shut down until April 14 and many children will go hungry due to the school shutdown. 80 children’s homes in India have been trained on COVID-19 prevention, risks, and hygiene measures and masks have been provided to children who are ill. Many of our partners have also shifted to telecommuting.
The virus has not spread through Bangladesh, but the government is encouraging people to stay home. Our partners in Bangladesh say that they are fully running on faith every day and they are depending on God’s grace for their ministry and for their families.
Pray for Southeast Asia – India, Bangladesh, and Nepal
Father, we lift up our brothers and sisters and their families in Southeast Asia. As these countries shut down completely, we pray for everyone and especially the most vulnerable. Make ways for your people to serve the most vulnerable during this time, while keeping them and their families healthy and safe. We pray for hospitals that are over capacity that you would protect the nurses and doctors as they serve the sick. Father, we also want to lift up the children and families who are in the adoption process currently, both domestically and internationally in Southeast Asia.
Father, would you make ways for these children to come home, make ways for them to be with their forever families despite this crisis. We pray for the government to act with compassion and haste for the protection of the kids. We pray this is Jesus’ name, Amen.
Africa – Uganda and Ghana
Our partners in Ghana report that all the COVID-19 cases are adults and most are imported cases and few are local transmission. They hope that the closure of borders will facilitate the import cases as we reduce the community spread. On-ground team members report: “The numbers are on the rise, our prayers will also rise up. May God save us now in Jesus’ name.”
Pray for Ghana and Uganda
Lord, we join our brothers and sisters in Ghana and Uganda in praying for their country. As our friend said: “As the number (of cases) are on the rise, our prayers will also rise up!” Please protect the many children who are living in orphanages right now, and their caregivers. We pray against despair and abuse. Please strengthen their caregivers, give them wisdom to comfort the children, and keep everyone healthy. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
South America – Paraguay
The on-ground team in Paraguay reports that aside from the health crisis itself, the biggest impact on children and families has been the decision to close schools and other public institutions. As seen in previous outbreaks, closure of schools has negative consequences for children, especially those in the most vulnerable communities. The distribution of the food kits has already begun in the indigenous communities of the country in order to mitigate the economic impact. The government’s Ministry of Children is continuing to provide food to families and children who are part of its programs (who work and or live in street situations). However, because the work itself of the program has been suspended during this quarantine, more children seem to be seen in the streets (without adequate adult supervision) to beg.
Pray for South America
Heavenly Father, we pray for the children in Paraguay and other countries in South America who were already highly vulnerable and are now even more at risk. Many of them are being cared for by a single parent or grandparents who are at high-risk for coronavirus. Many children are no longer getting their meals through the public school system. They are also noticing that more children are begging in the streets. We join our voices with orphan care leaders in Paraguay to pray that these children will not be left behind or forgotten as the nation goes into survival mode and experiences economic hardship. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
5/20/20 Ukraine: this past week over 100 families who received care packages were enrolled in a church-led mentorship program; training and visual materials developed for training parents on “shaken baby syndrome”
5/20/20 – Romania: moving events they had planned for National Adoption Day (June 2nd) to an online platform; sharing short videos with a goal of getting 50,000 people throughout the country to state that they support adoption
5/18/20 – India: Lockdown “4.0” was announced making things worse for the poor, migrant workers, and even the middleclass families, many of whom have had no work for 50+ days
5/14/20 Ukraine: Local social services are entering into contracts with our Christian partners to promote collaborative relief responses to families in crisis due to COVID-19; 25 foster and adoptive parents received free online counseling sessions in the last two weeks
5/13/20 – Romania: Hosting online support groups for adoptive and foster parents during the COVID-19 lockdown; over 80 adoptive families have had a chance to be heard and supported!
5/12/20 – Kyrgyzstan: Successful parenting tips videos that are airing on national television are now being shared with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for distribtution
5/6/20 – Kyrgyzstan: developed webpage and daily Telegram Channel devoted to parenting tips to help parents take better care of themselves and their children during COVID-19 restrictions; the parenting tips animation videos they told us about 2 weeks ago were accepted to be aired on national television to be viewed by 2 million people
5/6/20 – Ukraine: developed project with Ministry of Social Politics of Ukraine to train social workers on how to evaluate at-risk families during COVID-19 restrictions through a series of webinars; first webinar they hosted last Thursday was attended by 1700 participants!
5/5/20 – Romania: developed five short videos on parenting tips during COVID-19 crisis that is growing their audience and pool of prospective adoptive families; hosting one webinar a week for social workers on how to help vulnerable families during the crisis
5/5/20 – Paraguay: developed a social media kit with 2-3 posts per week to share parenting tips getting a lot of interaction and response from at-risk families; Ministry of Children printed the parenting tips document that our partners developed and translated and handing out to over 3,000 at risk families along with food/aid kits
4/29/20 – Romania: Hosting online webinars 2-3 times per week to train people on adoption process and promote family-based care for orphans
4/28/20 – Ghana: social workers fielding calls on child protection and domestic violence hotlines; delivering food packages
4/28/20 – Paraguay: setting up a community-run domestic violence hotline
4/28/20 – India: situation has worsened for the more than 2 million children on the streets –many dying from starvation before they reach the hospital; delivering food packages and other essentials
4/27/20 – Ukraine: hiring experienced social workers to assess and monitor families who had children suddenly returned from orphanage institutions; providing online counseling to adoptive and foster families
4/23/20 – Nepal: working with US CDC rep to get a safety/health flier translated into Nepali and distributed to as many rural churches as possible
- 4/23/20 – Ukraine: over 42,000 children were returned from orphanages to biological families who were unable to care for them; our teams are providing immediate aid and relief in the form of food/medicine/school supply packages, paying for the phone bills of social workers who continue to work from home, providing online training for social workers to effectively evaluate families and living conditions for these recently returned children
- 4/17/20 – Ghana: radio shows and video interviews reaching roughly 1/4 of the population to explain how COVID-19 situation has increased the risk of violence and abuse to children
- 4/16/20 – Kyrgyzstan: producing short videos to share COVID-19 parenting tips; working on permission to have these shared on national TV
- 4/10/20 – Romania: conducting online counseling for adoptive families