Last Updated: 24/09/2020

Thailand has effectively restricted the internal spread of COVID-19. The country is planning to reopen its border to international travelers in October. Currently, a reported 4 million Thais are unemployed due to the lack of tourists.

Recently 179 Compassion centers in Thailand were able to reopen with a limited number of children attending and with COVID-19 prevention protocols in place. Several more centers have been approved by the national office to reopen at the end of September. In areas where centers have not been able to open yet, workers are keeping in contact with beneficiaries by phone and occasionally by in-person visits while maintaining social distancing. Additionally, staff members have developed online resources, including devotionals, for children and families. They have been able to distribute 107,599 food packs and 68,689 hygiene kits to registered children and their families.

A Message From Compassion Tanzania’s National Director

Hear from Mary Lema, National Director of Compassion Tanzania, as she shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Tanzania.

Updated: 20/08/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Tanzania?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Tanzania, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Centers in Tanzania have been able to reopen. Staff members carefully clean and sanitize the centers, and many centers with limited classroom space have children attending in shifts so they can maintain proper social distancing. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 54,744 food packs and 96,652 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

At this point, we are not able to safely deliver letters to children registered at Compassion centers in Tanzania. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Tanzania. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Names in this story have been changed for privacy.

From a young age, Gabriel was exposed to the challenges of living in poverty. Every morning while his mother left in search of work, he and his sister Light would go to the dump to search for food and newspapers.

“We lived in a house made from mud. The roof was rusty, and it had holes everywhere. There was no light and we did not own a stove. So, the newspapers that we picked up, we would use them to light the fire and cook,” says Gabriel.

After years of suffering, life changed when Gabriel was registered into the Child Sponsorship Program. “The day I got registered was the best day of my life. I got the chance to know God ... and the staff was always there for us,” he says.

Five years ago, though, life took another turn. Gabriel’s mother and stepfather were both diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. For years they worked to rebuild their health, but when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, everything was again at risk. Food and proper nutrition were critical to their strength, and Gabriel grew increasingly scared as the family moved again toward starvation.

That’s why the day the child development center staff showed up with bags of groceries rivaled Gabriel’s registration at the center as his best day ever. Compassion’s church partner has continued to check in with the family and provide food baskets throughout the pandemic.

“I am so happy to know my children will never sleep hungry if I don’t have money," says Gabriel’s mother. "The center has always been there for us."

How can I pray for Tanzania?

Pray for doctors and medical workers in Tanzania, as they have experienced a very high rate of deaths. Pray that they will have access to masks and other protective equipment as cases continue to rise.

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