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As COVID-19 continues to spread, access to accurate information is essential. In Haiti and Guatemala, large portions of the populations are unaware of the truths surrounding COVID-19.  To ‘get the word out’ quickly and effectively, HRI launched a COVID-19 PREVENTION & EDUCATION CAMPAIGN. We are disseminating information via social media and text messages using the graphics below (and dozens more) in Spanish, English and Creole. Our primary target audiences are people with little access to accurate, life-saving information. Our goal is to ensure that every person receives accurate, up-to-date information, that they understand the virus, the risks, and the best ways to protect themselves and their families using good WASH practices and social distancing. As HRI spreads important information on COVID-19, we hope you personally remain safe and healthy during this very difficult time.



The Government of Guatemala is providing a little bit of food to families who had children enrolled in school prior to the shut-down. So, HRI has shifted our approach the past several months to include:

  1. Providing 86 farmers with the seeds, fertilizer and pesticide needed to ensure they were able to plant their corn (and in August their beans) that will provide the majority of their food from late 2020 through most of 2021.
  2. Weekly and monthly emergency disinfectant and food relief for families in rural villages identified by local leadership.
  3. Monthly distribution of food baskets to 50 families in Guatemala City for a period of 4 months. Food will last a family of 4 or 5 people only a week or so, but it is a small hand up for families suffering.
  4. Twice monthly free lunches for 200 elderly in Guatemala City in communities where people suffer incredibly high rates of poverty and hunger.
  5. HRI is the lead agency in the OCHA working group on mental health during the pandemic. Members of the group include OCHA, the Ministry of Health of Guatemala, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the University of San Carlos, Doctors Without Borders, the International Committee for the Red Cross, the Guatemala Red Cross and a Guatemalan group of volunteer psychologists.
  6. Care Calls to 200-500 individuals per week to check on how people are feeling, whether they have symptoms of COVID, provide appropriate referrals for healthcare, and also begin to identify if people are suffering from any mental health challenges. HRI is partnering with a group of volunteer psychologists.
  7. We continue to reach 3,500-5,000 individuals every day with short messages about COVID, how to stay safe, and also how to support one another and healthcare workers.
  8. “Faith Leaders in Action” is a new support group for pastors facing huge challenges during the pandemic in their work in marginalized and poor communities.  



In Haiti, HRI has continued all regular programing and has also launched several new programs as well.  

  1. Ongoing training of parents and caregivers (primary those who have been and are currently in HRI’s Children First program) about the coronavirus, how it is spread and how families can be protected. HRI has trained over 100 Good Health Ambassadors who in turn train the people in their communities.
  2. Production of cloth face masks which have / are being given to staff at all of the orphanages and the balance of which the ladies sewing these masks can sell to support their families. The goal is 1,500+ masks. 
  3. Training and production of detergents and disinfectants by 17 women and 1 man who can sell these products to support their households. We hope to double the number of women soon.
  4. Built 125 handwashing stations which were distributed throughout the large slum area in PAP by our Good Health Ambassadors who monitor them and ensure that soap and water is available. Each station can handle up to 50 hand washings per day, on average.
  5. Regular orphanage visits by the nurse, social worker and program officer. During the visits, hand washing stations are placed in each orphanage, the nurse provides a hand washing training with all of the kids and the social worker teaches them about the coronavirus and how to be vigilant but not fearful. Other medical and psychosocial needs are also addressed during the visits.
  6. Regular food purchasing and distribution to orphanages continues unabated during the crisis.
  7. Books and games were distributed to children in our Children First program to provide educational and fun activities during this difficult time as they continue to quarantine at home.
  8. Care Calls to 100+ persons per week with appropriate referrals for healthcare and mental health support.

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