“In this unprecedented time, when everything has come to an abrupt stop, it was important that I stepped up in my responsibility of serving my children in the project,” said Martha. 

Martha has only been in the role for five months. In that short time, she has earned the trust of the children in the programme and she is helping to provide support at the critical time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the Ethiopian government announced quarantine measures, schools have been closed, employees are working from home, large gatherings are forbidden, and transportation services are functioning with half their capacity. The government’s actions impact on the activities of Compassion’s church partners, as children were ordered to stay home.  

For Martha and her team, the sudden change meant they quickly tapped into the mothers' groups they had already established as a source of information. “I always believed in forming a family structure wherever I go. When we formed the mothers' groups, the aim was to strengthen their fellowship and make it easy for us to identify their needs. With the current situation, the mothers have become our right hand,” said Martha.  

Once a week, she holds a meeting with the eight mothers who each lead a group of between 18 and 24 parents or caregivers. The group leaders bring urgent needs to Martha’s attention, discuss the children's wellbeing, and how they can better address their needs. Staying connected. 

“I’m responsible for the holistic growth of the children. I have a strong conviction that whatever I do for my own children, I should also do for the children who God has entrusted me with at the centre.”  

Martha was working hard to provide sanitary materials, rubbing alcohol, and food items when she realised the children also need something to occupy their minds at home and help them to stay connected to the centre. “This might not be a big thing, but I wanted them to know that I haven’t forgotten them, that I still care and think about their growth. The worksheet or colouring pages I sent home include questions on previous lessons. I did that because I wanted to shift their mind from the current news to thinking about the Bible stories they learned. I also wanted them to find time to sit and focus. As for the older children, I’m always connected with them through the Telegram App,” she said. Every Tuesday, Martha prepares the worksheet or colouring pages according to the lesson plan from the curriculum and prints them.  

Web_Version-CC-ET-QuarantineHeros-012-2004.jpg

Even before the government announced the mandatory use of masks in public areas, Martha and her team produced and distributed cotton cloth face masks.

After meeting with the group of mothers, she distributes the papers for them to deliver to each child. Since mandatory lockdown has not yet been implemented in Ethiopia, the mothers nevertheless still take precautions as they deliver the papers to each child and collect the completed ones. Hirut, the mother of a sponsored child said, “The children are excited to work on the Bible colouring books. They remember every lesson and they can’t wait to get the next one.” Even before the government announced the mandatory use of masks in public areas, Martha and her team produced and distributed cotton cloth face masks to the children, staff, and leaders. 

“Even if children are staying home, the living conditions in most homes puts them at risk. We have caregivers who rent their houses for business during the day or rent areas in their house during the night which exposes children to various health risks. With Covid-19, we know that we should do everything we can to protect our children,” she said. Purchasing a mask would cost 30 Ethiopian Birr per child (about NZ $2), but creating their own masks cost just 4 Ethiopian Birr per mask (NZ $0.20).  
 

“The church youth volunteered to design and sew the masks and the mothers distributed the masks to the children in their group. The whole production and distribution took us four days. We made more than 300 face masks,” said Martha. Martha and her team are determined to ensure the children know that staff are always looking out for them. "I chose to stand with my children and do everything possible to see them on the other side of this pandemic. This is our ministry. People don’t forget who stood by them during their time of stress," she said. 

"As a leader, it is my responsibility to mobilise resources, bring new ideas, and delegate responsibilities to my staff and the mothers I closely work with. Things change and when they do, I want the children to feel like they haven’t missed out on anything." 

Web_Version-CC-ET-QuarantineHeros-019-2004.jpg

Covid-19 will hit those in poverty the hardest. But together we can pray, take action and rise as one.

Click Here  To support our Children's appeal


Related posts

Sponsor gives timely gift to family of four in Bangladesh

Sponsor gives timely gift to family of four in Bangladesh

Monday, 03 August 2020 — Compassion International

The pandemic in Bangladesh has brought millions of poor families to their knees, including nine-year-old Mredula's. A timely family gift from her sponsor lifted her family out of a desperate situation.
 

Read more

Tearfund’s partner steps in to provide essentials to families after flood ravages Brazil

Tearfund’s partner steps in to provide essentials to families after flood ravages Brazil

Monday, 03 August 2020 — Compassion International

After spending weeks living in shelters due to a flood, hundreds of families from Bacabal city, Brazil, were finally able to return to their homes. However, the river waters had taken almost everything they had. Aware of the families' situation, Compassion’s child development centre distributed cleaning and hygiene kits, clothes, and mattresses to children who needed them most.
 

Read more

Tropical storm leaves families homeless amid pandemic

Tropical storm leaves families homeless amid pandemic

Wednesday, 01 July 2020 — Compassion International

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic in El Salvador, many families lost their houses in flooding and landslides when Tropical Storm Amanda hit on May 31. After being evacuated, vulnerable families were hosted inside Compassion child development centres, which provided supplies and protection from the virus.  
 

Read more

Radios help children without technology access lessons during Covid-19

Radios help children without technology access lessons during Covid-19

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 — Compassion International

When the government closed schools in Ethiopia, they told students to follow their daily lessons via the radio and TV. Yet children without the technology, like Yodranos and Kidist, missed out. It made them feel inferior and frustrated. The gift of a radio from Tearfund’s partner Compassion not only helped them catch up with schoolwork, but it also showed them that they mattered. 
 

Read more

Hygiene supplies overcome water scarcity in Indonesia

Hygiene supplies overcome water scarcity in Indonesia

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 — Compassion International

Mother of three Hana walks 2km dragging a cart loaded with 17 water containers to the nearest borehole every day. Water scarcity is always challenging, increasingly so in a pandemic when handwashing is critical. Compassion's church partner provided vital hygiene supplies and education to overcome the water shortage and protect their health. 

 

Read more

Virtual Doctor Visits for Children in Need

Virtual Doctor Visits for Children in Need

Wednesday, 10 June 2020 — Compassion International

As Latin America emerges as the new epicenter of the pandemic, the health system is close to collapsing. To provide access to healthcare to vulnerable families, Tearfund’s partner, Compassion International has launched a telehealth system in Ecuador to provide medical advice over the phone from practicing doctors who are Compassion alumni.     
 

Read more

Children in poverty, Covid-19 and the global response.

Children in poverty, Covid-19 and the global response.

Monday, 08 June 2020 — Tearfund New Zealand

The impact that Covid-19 is having on the world's most vulnerable children is enormous. We simply cannot turn our backs on them. The poorest of the poor are seriously feeling the affects of this virus, causing many of them and their families to face some incredibly desperate situations.
 

Read more

Show more