24 Jun Educate People Generate Opportunities (EPGO III) with the COVID-19
The closure of the educational centers and have forced a very rapid conversion from face-to-face educational projects to remote formats
A teacher giving classes remotely in Baalbek – JRS Lebanon
In general – rather than due to the health emergency itself – the projects have been altered because of the lockdown or quarantine measures adopted in the different locations, which have led to the closure of the educational centers and have forced a very rapid conversion from face-to-face educational projects to remote formats. This conversion has been especially complex in the highly vulnerable contexts in which our initiatives are carried out, characterized by poor internet connectivity at prices that, in many cases, are unaffordable for the people participating in the projects. Many of them do not have smartphones, and it is even less common to have computers which could allow them to have connectivity. The radio, a much more affordable option, has been a fundamental ally in continuing the educational processes of the EPGO III program.
Probably the economic crisis generated by the several lockdown measures adopted in the countries where we are present is what is most affecting the change proposals of the EPGO III Program. It is demanding reflection and creativity to the programs focused on employability, now more complex than ever. The economic crisis has been worsened in many families by the closure of schools and the interruption of its feeding programs, forcing new forms of food distribution outside of the schools, following the necessary security measures to avoid infections.
The radio, a much more affordable option, has been a fundamental ally in continuing the educational processes of the EPGO III program
Distribution of essential products – JRS South Africa
A group particularly affected by the health emergency are the forced migrants, who have seen in many cases all their procedures for regularization or recognition of refuge stopped due to the closure of the corresponding government agencies. The lockdown has also deprived many of the migrants from their sources of income, almost always in the informal economy and, in many cases, in work carried out on the streets. This has obliged to reinforce the humanitarian aid components already present in the projects, expanding food distributions, hygiene supplies and, in many cases, also support for the payment of accommodation.
During the lockdown period it has also been a challenge to maintain the communication with the teachers, the initiatives promoters and with the beneficiaries of the projects. In many cases, the acquisition and distribution of mobile phones has been necessary to ensure the communication with them.
The pandemic is involving a great effort of creativity and adaptation on projects to ensure that the changes in people’s lives we work with continue to be achieved: changes more necessary now than ever.
The economic crisis generated by the several lockdown measures adopted in the countries where we are present is what is most affecting the change proposals of the EPGO III Program.