Another Important Update From Hope School in Zambia
Dear Spark Community,
Over the past two weeks, we’ve sent updates to let you know about several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Hope community in Zambia, one of whom was Charles Mumba, the Executive Director of Hope.
Thank you so much for your many messages of support and concern, as well as your generous contributions to our COVID-19 Response Fund. With your support, we’ve raised $18,000 since the beginning of this year which has provided critical COVID assistance (detailed later in this letter). Below are the updates we have to share with you this week.
Charles is still in the hospital. We remain deeply concerned about his condition but are cautiously optimistic about recent news from his doctors. After another week of several ups and downs, his condition is serious but stable. He is receiving the best care available in Ndola and the Hope team continues to deliver meals and bedding to the hospital for him.
After additional testing, several more cases have been confirmed. The individuals who tested positive have mild symptoms and are not showing signs of any serious health concerns. Out of respect for their privacy, names will not be disclosed. They are staying at home for two weeks and will take another test to ensure the results are negative before they return to campus.
The health department gave approval for Hope to reopen school. A representative from the Ministry of Health is working with the Hope team to help them stay informed and safely resume activities on campus. Students will receive small group instruction to adhere to social distancing guidelines and teachers will conduct as many activities outside as possible.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the local economies of all of Spark’s partners, but fortunately, has not affected the health of leaders at Las Tias in Nicaragua, Entreamigos in Mexico, and I Grow Chicago. As the virus continues to rage around the world, our partners are taking even more precautionary measures and adjusting their programming accordingly. While it’s difficult to assess the real health impact of COVID due to lack of testing facilities and underreporting of cases by some governments, we are well aware that COVID is everywhere and outbreaks could happen at any time. We are closely monitoring the situation with all of our partners and will keep you informed.
After receiving our previous emails, many of you asked what you can do to help. If you haven’t had a chance to send a message to Hope or make a donation to Spark’s COVID-19 Response Fund, we are still welcoming support whether it be through an encouraging message, a monetary donation, or both.
Send a Message to Hope:
We created a CaringBridge webpage so you can send words of encouragement and photos to Charles and the entire Hope Community. Your messages will continue to give them strength to help them through this crisis.
Contribute to Spark’s COVID-19 Response Fund:
We are committed to stand by Hope and do everything possible to support Charles and the needs of the Hope staff, students and community. Thanks to your ongoing support and donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund, we are continuing to send funding to provide more PPE, non-perishable food for families in need, purchase sanitation supplies, and to cover testing and COVID-related health care costs as needed. We also helped ship a donation of KN95 masks from the US to Zambia. A generous donor sent funds to purchase supplies for the hospital where Charles is being treated. The hospital is overwhelmed with COVID patients and severely under resourced. The donation is helping the hospital with essential items like oxygen, PPE, and bedding.
If you’d like to contribute to our efforts, we are welcoming donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund.
We are communicating with Hope every day and will continue to keep you updated. Thank you for keeping Charles and all of our friends at Hope in your thoughts.