As the global health community and the world come together to face the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to reach out and inform you of how Boy With a Ball is responding in this challenging time. Each decision we make is being guided by our commitment to putting the well-being of youth, their families, and their communities at the center of our work.
Here is how we are responding:
We are taking care of our people – local team members, volunteers, and community members. We are focused on their safety, connectedness, and productivity during this time. We have instituted remote work for staff in all countries. We are keeping the health and wellbeing of our team members front and center, and following the World Health Organization’s recommendations around social distancing in order to keep them safe. We are actively working with them on pivoting from connecting with young people and community members in person to doing so, wherever possible, in creative ways that leverage text messaging, phone calls, and technologies like video conferencing.
We are committed to thinking long-term about our mission – helping communities come together to love their neighbors and help young people reach their dreams – despite the short-term insecurity. COVID-19 has now spread to all of the countries where Boy With a Ball works. School closures, lockdowns, or “shelter in place” mandates seem to be either in effect or on their way in most locations. Our work is even more vital right now than ever before. The virus is requiring us to modify our approach but we are discovering creative ways to actually deepen our impact in this time. We will do everything possible to keep this virus from stealing months from young people’s development by continually finding ways to connect with, mentor, and engage them. Where possible and safe, we are leveraging our capacity for community outreach to educate families in the communities we work in about hand washing, social distancing, online schooling, and accessing food and medical care following local realities and WHO recommendations.
There is no doubt that we are all in this together and that our hope is in God. This is a moment in which we are all at risk, not just to becoming ill but to isolation, fear, and discouragement. Our hope is to face this together as friends in hopes that we would emerge on the other side of this virus healthier and ready for what comes next.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be a support to you or help in any way.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you informed on how Boy With a Ball is moving forward and ways you can help.
Jamie Johnson, Executive Director