COVID-19: March 2021 updates and information

We at Chalice are closely monitoring updates on the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are working diligently to ensure that our operations continue safely. We will continue to update all of our supporters with the most recent information we have regarding our response to COVID-19.

Current updates:

-We are still open during our regular hours, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. AST, Monday to Friday. As of March 16, 2021, most of our Canadian staff are currently working in our Bedford, Nova Scotia office with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing practices, but some may still be away from the office due COVID 19 related circumstances.

-All Parish appeals are suspended until further notice due to the Canadian government’s recommendation to limit social gatherings.

-All international staff travel is suspended until further notice.

-Our missions have been cancelled until further notice.  We cannot reasonably plan for our next mission until the pandemic has passed, international travel restrictions are lifted, and travel would not expose our Chalice family (in Canada and abroad) to an unreasonable level of risk.

-We are working diligently to ensure that all of our programs continue to run effectively, and that all donations and funds continue to be sent to our sponsor sites in a timely manner.

Sponsored children and site updates:

Paraguay: Our sites in Paraguay are currently facing many challenges due to COVID-19 restrictions and political and social unrest. Our Dominica and Ayolas site offices are closed and our staff are working from home. Two of our site staff tested recently positive for COVID-19.

Peru: Our Cañete site in Peru is a red zone for COVID-19 and our site office is closed. Plans to open the dining hall this month has been postponed and food will be distributed to families at home instead. Shortages of medical oxygen is a big issue.

Bolivia: Comparatively things are a bit better in Bolivia than our other sponsor site countries. Some areas are facing social and political unrest, and recent election results are unclear.

Chile: Things are relatively quiet, and the area is making good progress with vaccines. The country is a global leader in vaccines per capita.

Guatemala: Things are quiet and our sites in Guatemala are not facing any new alarming threats related to COVID-19.

Philippines: Our Samar site is very quiet and facing no notable COVID-19 related threats. Our Tondo site is in an area under heavy COVID-19 restriction and schools are not currently open. There are concerns over when a vaccination will be available.

India: Our sites in India are facing high cases, but some travel restrictions have lifted.

Haiti: In Haiti, COVID-19 cases have not been highly reported. The biggest concerns continue to be political violence and high inflation. Travel to and in Port-au-Prince is very challenging.

Ukraine: The third wave at our Ukrainian sites is beginning. All sites are orange, except one sub-site which is a red-zone. A vaccination roll-out is beginning slowly. There is a cost for the vaccine, and a high percentage of the population is refusing.

Ghana: Things are quiet, with no new notable disruptions recently caused by COVID-19.

Cameroon: Two staff were recently tested asymptomatic positive with COVID-19 and all other staff tested negative. Our site office just re-opened.

Tanzania: The situation is complicated at our Tanzanian sites. Lots of illness is reported but it is illegal to use the word “COVID-19” in Tanzania, so other words are used to describe it instead.

Kenya: There are some areas with high numbers. So far sites haven’t been affected thanks to lots of care and caution. Social distancing and masking is imposed in schools – this presents challenges for many marginalized people. Challenges in Nairobi stem from many families living in slums and also lack of work is causing people to leave the area.

Zambia: Things are quiet, with no new notable disruptions recently caused by COVID-19.

What can I do to help?

If you wish to support families and children at our sites facing challenges related to COVID-19, you can donate to our emergency COVID-19 relief fund. 

There are also other ways to help. Thanks to our many previously existing projects and programs regarding clean water, health, hygiene and sanitation, many of our sponsor sites have good knowledge of proper hygiene practices. You can help support these initiatives by:

Prayer:

Please join us in prayer for the health and safety of our sponsored children and their families, the communities where we work, our staff and supporters around the world, and all of those affected by the virus:

“Heavenly Father, during this time of anxiety and distress, we ask for your protection for our sponsored children and elderly, our supporters, staff, volunteers, and all who are burdened in any way by this pandemic. Bless all who are now sick and bring them quickly to restoration of good health. Shield and protect all healthcare workers. Guide governments in their decisions and help them to work together to contain the disease and stop the spread. Welcome into your Kingdom all who have died and bring comfort to their families.

Most Holy Trinity, we place all our hope in you. You are our strength and our shield; in You our hearts trust; so we are helped and our hearts exult; and with our song we give thanks to You. (Psalm 28:7)”

COVID-19 informational resources:

For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, please visit the following websites:

Government of Canada 

World Health Organization