Watoto Read needs your support to provide critically needed soaps, masks, and hygiene supplies to the refugee students we serve in Chad. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Watoto Read has remained in communication with our partner, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), in the refugee camps in Goz Beida, Chad to stay updated on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the refugees.

As of the end of April, there are nearly 35,000 confirmed cases across Africa according to the World Health Organization.  These figures are likely underestimated due to variations in reporting and access to healthcare for evaluation, particularly in more remote areas.  There is an extreme shortage of physicians across Africa and many African countries do not have hospitals or intensive care beds to care for COVID-19 patients or even access to basic equipment or medicines.   Access to ventilators is extremely limited even in the most modern and populated countries. Given the challenging nature of their healthcare system, prevention of spread of COVID-19 is critical. As you can imagine, healthcare resources are even more scarce in refugee camps and given close living quarters, spread of COVID-19 could be catastrophic. Soap and other basic personal hygiene supplies are in critically short supply.

In mid-April, we received an update from JRS that there are presently no cases of COVID-19 in the refugee camps Watoto Read supports; however, there is a serious concern for refugees as there are confirmed cases in communities close to the refugee camps. The government of Chad has closed all the schools in the country including those in the refugee camps.  Most refugees live with extended family in one home making the opportunity to practice social distancing extremely limited.

Although the refugee children are not in school in Chad, Watoto Read is committed to helping keep them safe and healthy during this COVID-19 crisis. We have been given an opportunity to partner with JRS in providing soap, masks, and other basic hygiene supplies to help reduce risk of spread of COVID-19. Please consider supporting Watoto Read to help provide soap and basic hygiene supplies to refugees in Chad. All gifts, large or small, make an incredible difference!