As the globe continues to struggle responding to and moving beyond the coronavirus pandemic, developing countries and regions are or will be especially hard hit with limited resources and inadequate public health infrastructure. The Jamaican government has taken quite aggressive measures to contain the virus and the country is on lock down. Currently, testing is limited however, and there is evidence of community spread and increasing concern that actual cases are far more wide-spread than is reflected by the limited testing numbers.
Schools have been closed for several weeks and many children receive most of their nutrition at school. With schools likely not to re-open until September, families face a daunting challenge keeping up. Rockhouse Foundation school families are suffering, and we are doing what we can to support them through this unprecedented calamity. Families need help putting food on their tables and navigating their children’s disrupted education.
The Ministry of Education has circulating home schooling curriculum units which all schools are expected to facilitate online or with apps such as WhatsApp. As you can imagine, this is a very challenging proposition for most schools and families in Jamaica given their prevalent economic profile. Our new principal at Sav Inclusive has instituted an engaging, robust daily schedule for teachers and children with many online and hands on activities she has assembled, in addition to those provided by the Ministry. Nevertheless, families struggle to effectively homeschool with prohibitively expensive access to the internet and few computers or devices at home.
In response to these emergency challenges the Rockhouse Foundation’s has begun bi-weekly distributions of food staples to our most vulnerable families at our partner schools. Through our on-the-ground network we are prioritizing the most desperate, but the needs are beyond our current resources. We are also sponsoring free wifi credit to facilitate home schooling for the children. With your help we can broaden this initiative to include more families at the each of our partner schools and potentially reach thousands of children.
All children everywhere deserve food security and access to education. You can help! Please make a donation to support the distribution of crucial food staples and internet credit for our families and teachers. Any amount will make a difference in the lives of our young students.