“We are living in unprecedented times”.
We hear those words often lately. The circumstances that we, both individually and collectively, are living in are unique in our lifetimes. That said, every day we live on this earth is like no other day; “You can’t stand in the same river twice”, although at some points it does feel like we do and can until something drastically different comes along.
We recognize that we are all in the midst of something new. We are in reactive mode. As a supporter of Threefold we felt it prudent to provide you with an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our operations.
- In Nicaragua, the first two cases of COVID-19 were “reported” over the past week. Other related figures, such as tests performed, etc., are less clear. (Update May 27: 279 cases with 17 confirmed deaths reported officially by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health; the actual number of cases is generally understood to be into the thousands with hundreds deceased. Cases are currently rising across Latin America.)
- We are pleased that our staff at Skylark remain healthy and we are committed to doing all that we can to ensure their health and safety. Broader and more robust cleaning regimens have been instituted. Any staff that display symptoms of any illness will be asked to remain at home.
- As a precaution we have ceased all programs at Skylark including the pre-school and the skills training programs. Event cancellation notifications have already been received and we anticipate that most if not all of the other local groups who are presently booked at Skylark will either cancel or postpone their events. The Paramedic mission team planned for May was postponed to an indefinite time when travel restrictions are lifted, and other measures permit such a gathering.
- In Nicaragua there is no such thing as Employment Insurance and temporary or partial layoff meaning that general staff must either receive their regular income or be released with full severance. Our casual event-based logistics and kitchen staff face, yet again, the reality of having no income when there are no events.
- Compounding this financial strain is the precipitous decline in the value of the Canadian dollar. The majority of our income is in Canadian funds, while Nicaragua is supported in US funds.
Please spend a few minutes reading the newest newsletters which contain some great good-news stories. There is less airtime given to those in the current environment, but they do exist! We appreciate your prayers and support.
We are sustained by faith and trust in the God we serve. Thank you for taking the time and thinking of us as we think of you. May God bless you and keep you safe.
Wayne - Managing Director
for the whole Threefold Team