This is an incredibly emotional time for all of us at Orphaned Starfish and there is a great deal of anxiety amongst our children and the program directors in all of our twenty-nine countries, including here in the United States.
We are continuing to look to the future and I personally cannot wait until I am able to hug thousands of children again to chants of Tio Andy.
However, for now, there are immediate problems that we can solve.
Orphaned Starfish has completely funded all of our programs and all our teachers remain active. For programs where the children live (orphanages and homes for survivors of abuse and trafficking) our computer lessons continue uninterrupted and are the only live education these children receive. For the programs where our children live outside the program (community center and school programs), we have started remote learning either on-line or mobile. Our teachers are absolute warriors and we salute and honor them daily.
FOOD AND MEDICINE
While Orphaned Starfish focuses exclusively on technology-based education and job training, our programs are chosen for and have always had the basic necessities completely secured through either government or other non-profit support. This focus has allowed us to be so successful on such a small budget.
Sadly, we have gotten several emails from programs where that other funding has ended due to the virus and they are struggling to feed the children we serve and get other basic necessities such as masks for them and their families.
That is why we launched a campaign called YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE (YANA)
Food, Necessities and PPE Delivery – Designed as a holistic approach, YANA is broken up into three phases to serve the physical and emotional wellbeing to our network of participants, caregivers and their families. Phase 1 consists of providing a supply of food, masks, and basic necessities. Phase 2 has been an extension of on-line learning, by computer or phone, for our community-based programs and Phase 3 has consisted of virtual socials via Zoom calls with each of our orphanages and scholarship students.
We started with the delivery of canastas (food baskets) to the Indigenous community we serve in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Here are some of the pictures that brought tears to their faces and ours of life saving food and medicine.
Since then, we have now sent food to over 400 children and families with this number growing each day to Brazil and Colombia. There is so much more coming to so many places around the world.
You Are Not Alone Zoom Calls: We started weekly Zoom Calls with now 16 of our programs and counting. These are wonderfully uplifting calls to show the boys and girls of OSF that no matter their isolation during COVID-19, they are not alone in the world. These calls have been magical – enjoy some of the magic below:
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MAKES OSF’S WORK POSSIBLE. YOU ARE NOW NOT ONLY CHANGING LIVES; YOU ARE SAVING THEM.
You can help by giving anything you can to www.osf.org/covid-response.