Recently, I reached a tipping point with the non-stop news and messaging around the COVID-19 crisis. The constant influx of loss and struggle was wearing me down, and I could feel the anxiety seeping into every nook and cranny of my life.
I needed a break.
I decided to seek out something positive—an emotional counterbalance to my gloomy outlook. Thankfully, it didn’t take long before I found exactly what I was looking for in a blog post from Beyond the Orphanage (BTO), and I’ve shared some of their story here in hopes that it might instil some hope for anyone else who needs it.
Who is Beyond the Orphanage?
BTO is one of our favourite charitable organisations, and we’re proud to contribute toward their efforts as part of Cliniko’s ongoing commitment to donate at least 2% of subscription revenue toward making the world a better place.
They’re an Australian-based charity with an unwavering mission to help children who are in dire need of support, and they work primarily to provide shelter, food, and medicine to children in Nepal and Kenya. As you can imagine, the coronavirus poses some daunting challenges for their efforts and the children who depend on their work each day.
BTO & COVID-19
Due to a lack of resources and infrastructure, developing countries are at especially high risk during this outbreak, and children without families or homes are likely to be hit the hardest. Social distancing is nearly impossible for kids living on the streets, and many lack access to clean water, soap, and medical care.
Beyond the Orphanage has met these challenges head-on, and their commitment to the children is nothing short of inspiring.
Along with their partner organisations in Nepal, BTO has created and distributed ‘COVID prevention kits fully stocked with soap, hand sanitiser, face masks, and tissues. Before the national lockdown, they also offered hygiene workshops to educate the children and bring awareness to the severity of the situation. It’s incredible to think about how many lives could be saved with a little soap and proper handwashing instructions.
In Kenya, BTO and their partners are trying to reduce the risk of infection by finding host families for children who live on the streets, and they’re working with local doctors to give medical talks about how kids can keep themselves safe from the virus.
BTO is also participating in ongoing talks with local government officials to relocate urban homeless children to more rural locations where the risk of infection is potentially less severe.
Sadly, no one knows what the coming weeks and months may look like in these impoverished communities. But as the situation in both countries progresses, BTO has a plan to ensure continued support of the children through increased staff hours and the escalated distribution of food, cleaning supplies, and medical resources. If possible, BTO intends to also help kids who are not officially a part of the program, but who are no less in need of support.
How’s the BTO team?
BTO's administrative staff has been globally dispersed and fully remote for years, so their operations are well prepared to handle the precautions of social distancing. But what about team members on the front lines in these communities?
As always, BTO has responded with compassion and embraced their team members by offering them income stability throughout the crisis. No matter what happens in their local economies, each person will still have what they need to continue their vital work in such a crucial time.
How can we help?
I’m amazed by the BTO team and their unflinching devotion to helping those who are most vulnerable—and that’s just on a normal day. With the added challenges brought by the coronavirus, I’m truly blown away.
If you’d like to find out more about Beyond the Orphanage, I encourage you to take a look at their website. And, if you feel compelled to contribute toward their mission, there’s a bright yellow ‘Donate’ button right at the top of every page.