To our dear EYC family near and far,
What a difficult time the world is going through at the moment. Facts show that we are all affected – as of today, it seems no part of the world is untouched by COVID-19 – but as always in periods of crisis, some people are more impacted than others and those more at risk, will take more time to recover.
At EYC, we are particularly cautious. The students we support, along with their families, are among those at the lower end of the society – likelier to lose their jobs and income, more prone to have poor health, and not to be able to pay for medical care.
Although the Covid-19 took its time to reach Cambodia, in recent days, new cases have emerged, all due to individuals returning from traveling abroad. Since last week, the number of tests and the number of affected individuals is increasing daily. This increase has triggered the government to put in place strict measures, including restrictions on travel and the closure of schools, universities, and public venues.
We at EYC followed the instructions and officially closed all our schools, putting in place a work strategy to avoid unnecessary travel and large meetings. Regular programming has been reduced dramatically. Although this may be a good step to reduce the risk of spreading the contagion, we do believe that our communities need us now more than ever. To that end, we are making our schools accessible every afternoon to those students in the community who need online access for distance learning offered by their state schools or universities. Additionally, we are keeping our libraries open during certain hours so that the younger kids can borrow books to read at home.
All of this is being done under the supervision of our “champion staff.” A roster of specific teachers and school managers are taking turns to ensure that proper hygiene practices are maintained at all times, including disinfecting the classrooms, computers, and libraries regularly and making soap and water accessible for everyone to wash their hands frequently. We are also preparing for any emergency medical needs that may arise in the communities, and we will endeavor to keep the medical clinics operational at the schools. In the meantime, the rest of the team is using this time to catch up on projects and reports, train remotely on specific teaching methodologies, and prepare materials for the rest of the year.
Rest assured, no time is lost, and no resources are being wasted!
I am sure some of you may be wondering about our Chhenghour, who is currently studying at Bridgewater State University (BSU) in the U.S. While it is hard for her to be away from her family during this difficult time, she is safe and well. Although students have returned home, and BSU has gone to online-only classes, Chhenghour can remain in her dorm for the duration. Her U.S. EYC family is looking out for her and here to assist if/when the situation changes.
We are sending gratitude, and thanks to all of you in the U.S., you have been incredible in helping out!
Our communities, which are already at risk, will be suffering further hardships through the suspension of schools, which will negatively impact the students’ development, and the loss of income due to the economic slowdown.
Our thoughts are with you all as the world struggles with this unprecedented challenge. We hope that you and your families stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
EYC Managing Director