- NEC Guest Blogger
Missing the gala, but committed to our scholars and our mission
Today, May 1st, 2020, was to be the 3rd Annual Nourish Every Child Gala. We were disappointed that we had to postpone our event to the Spring of 2021 because our Gala is the single largest source of our funding. In fact last year, the gala resulted in supporting 164 students in a single night. We ultimately sponsored 180 children for the 2019-2020 school year and our commitment to these children and their families is stronger than ever! As we have all learned from this crisis, we are stronger together and nowhere is this more true than in Haiti.
What an unbelievable moment in time we find ourselves in. COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our lives; and information about the physical, emotional and financial implications change daily. Our everyday lives look nothing like they did just two months ago with homeschooling, business closings and toilet paper shortages, just to name a few. In Haiti, they are bracing for the outbreak to explode. As of April 23, 2020, Haiti has had 74 confirmed cases and 6 deaths. Resources for testing are limited and there are only 64 ventilators in the entire country with a population of 11 million. The consequences of the already inadequate healthcare system combined with COVID-19 could lead to devastating losses of life. The other impossible piece of this crisis for Haitians is the food shortages and resultant inflation. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) states that Haiti is in the top ten countries for COVID-19 pandemic based food insecurities. When I am working in Haiti, one of the ways we monitor food security is what we call the “spaghetti index”. Meaning, we monitor the cost of staples like spaghetti and rice. Normally a large package of spaghetti costs $3.50 and it is currently over $10 per package. This is unaffordable for a population living off of less than $2.00 a day. The schools in Haiti are closed, but life looks very different from our school closures here in the U.S. With 80% of Haitians living without electricity, there are no distance learning options; and more importantly for the Nourish Every Child scholars, there is no nourishment program. For most of our students, the meal provided by Nourish Every Child and you, our sponsors, is the only meal they receive every day. Nourish Every Child is evolving to address the constantly changing needs of our scholars and their families during this pandemic.
We continue to need your support to further our commitment for the approaching 2020-2021 school year! Please consider making your tax-deductible donation now for the upcoming school year and be part of the vital solution in a country that is going to be hit the hardest. Our community of NEC sponsors has shown that together we can accomplish great things. As a community, we have stood fast by our mission and have nourished the mind, body and soul of our students.
If schools continue to be closed in the fall, we will continue working with our Haitian Board to utilize our existing funds to shift to a direct nutritional program for our students and their families. The Global Report on Food Crises is stating that the predicted food famine in Haiti will be of biblical proportions. Help us be part of the solution during this unsettling time. We hope you will continue your sponsorship and collectively be a part of making the world a better place during this unsettling time.
We wish you all continued health and safety until we may meet again at the Gala in the Spring of 2021. We will keep you updated about the state of affairs in Haiti through our newsletters and are always happy to answer any questions you might have at email@example.com Warm regards,