Update From Our Director
Dear Zara's Center Supporters,
I hope all of you are well and are continuing to stay safe. I’m reaching out with an update about what we have done (and are continuing to do) to protect our children during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the last newsletter, Zimbabwe has continued to have relatively few confirmed cases of Covid-19, but cases are continuing to circulate in the community. Authorities have loosened the stringent restrictions that were in place in March, April, and May, but rules remain in place regarding large gatherings and all schools remain closed. Though the restrictions have loosened, we are remaining conservative in our re-opening process, as our children and their families are uniquely at risk, both physically and financially.
To protect our children and their families, we have decided to re-open only for meals for the foreseeable future, at least until schools re-open. We opened for daily meals in June, and our staff is to be commended for their diligence in enforcing the health guidelines. Once schools re-open, we will begin offering limited programming to small groups of children.
Since our closure on March 24th, we have taken the following steps:
Emergency food hampers were distributed to each child and all staff members in April and May. Families with multiple children received multiple hampers.
As of June 6, we are open for a home-cooked meal for all children each day. All children are required to wear masks, get their temperature taken, wash hands upon entry, and bring their own food containers.
This month (July), children will be given basic food staples to bring home for their families - in addition to daily meals at the Center.
Community-Wide Water Distribution
All children with special medical needs continue to receive medication.
During the closure, Zara’s staff visited each child’s home to check-in and ensure their well-being.
Upon re-opening, each child was weighed and measured to ensure they stayed healthy during the closure. Those who lost weight during the closure (approx. 12% of our kids) will receive additional monitoring in the coming weeks.
As always, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our supporters during this unusually trying time. While we can’t be with the children in person as usual, we remain committed to providing much-needed nutrition as well as emotional and medical support.
I wish everyone well and will be in touch in the coming months.
Gibson J. Connick