Reaching Orphan Teens During Quarantine
Dima T. (above) lost his regular job because of the quarantine, and already hadn’t been paid for weeks. He’s moonlighting as a loader at the market, but can’t get many hours. When we reached out, he’d run out of food and everything he needed for hygiene and cleaning, even garbage bags and dish soap. And he’d been walking everywhere. So we brought him groceries and other supplies, and offered help with transportation to job interviews or medical appointments.
Most of the youngest orphans we know are students, so they’re not dependent on income from work. But some of the scholarship money that pays for food, toiletries, and other essentials has been delayed, and medical care is delayed because offices are closed to non-emergencies.
Many teen orphans are staying in the villages with different relatives. But many are still at their trade school or social dorms with nowhere to go and nobody to help them. One staff member shared the names of seven teens to whom she’d taken food packages in just a couple of days; even during quarantine, we helped someone pay for medical tests. Our food packages are especially important for growing teen guys who are always hungry!
Investing for the Future
As we get to know them, orphan youth will become more comfortable reaching out. Our persistence right now lets them know we truly want to help and they haven’t been forgotten.