Around 80% of the ANIJA families are unemployed and without income, as most lost jobs with the pandemic and the government enforced quarantine. The staff at ANIJA School has been very active in providing food for its most needy families, around 85, and continuing with educational and emotional support for the children. Working with the local colmado (corner store), Nany, our staff social worker, determines food (and other essential) rations for an estimated two-week supply. A family member, or sometimes the students themselves, are given a time to pick up their bags in order to keep people appropriately distanced.

School director Ann Van Der Molen meets weekly with the six other Kids Alive school directors to plan, share successes and ideas, and discuss spiritual and emotional care. Along with homework packet distributions, the teachers have worked diligently to instruct and encourage their students via WhatsApp on their parents’ cell phones. Devotions and conversations about God are also taking place.

The Kids Alive DR counseling staff around the island have produced videos to guide parents in connecting with their children, keeping daily routines, and addressing other issues such as stress and anxiety. The medical staff has also produced videos and flyers on COVID-19 prevention, use of personal protective equipment, and how to care for a sick person. The country remains under curfew, mandatory mask use, and restricted travel.