As Moroccans celebrated Eid al-Fitr this past weekend, the country continued to be under strict shelter-in-place orders with hope that a few businesses and industries will slowly be allowed to open in the next few weeks. In general, the current order is in effect until June 10 after which it is unsure how further openings and the allowing of international travel will be renewed.
Around the third week of April, New Beginnings put a call-out to our friends and families of Morocco highlighting the current needs of children in institutionalized care amidst the COVID-19 crisis. We requested families to donate as they were able, and the result was overwhelmingly generous. Thanks to the financial contributions of so many, needed supplies were bought and delivered to the staff and children who are on lock-down in our partner institutions in Meknes.
For the older kids in care whose schools have been closed, they spend their days at the orphanages where they have access to a limited number of computers, a library and study area, an outdoor play yard and a courtyard, but the limited space and being stuck in one place is difficult for them. Most recently, during Ramadan, there have been lessons and lectures along with dedicated daily prayer time. The teens and young adults at L’Annex were able to enjoy hearty meals after full days of fasting during Ramadan thanks to the donations by so many of you.
Visitors and volunteers are not allowed to come to the orphanages and as such, there is a lot of work to be done by the present staff at the facility caring for babies and toddlers. While non-emergency medical and therapy staff are not allowed beyond the caregiving staff, the maximum is being done to maintain the nutrition, health, and development of the children there. With your recent donations, the shelves were able to be restocked with formula, flour, and other essentials – a very welcome gift.
While administrative staff and some leaders of our partner orphanages are working from home under these difficult conditions, the childcare staff continue to live full-time, away from their homes and families, in order to keep babies, children, and teens care safe, secure, and healthy. Their sacrifice and dedication are hugely appreciated and applauded by all. Due in part to the generosity of donors and NB, the salaries of these caregivers were not cut making it possible for them to keep doing what they have been. This also prevents the possibility of new exposure to the virus by any added staff.
Donations received by NB as a part of this ongoing COVID-19 assistance campaign will continue to be sent, in full, to organizations in Morocco that serve children. In addition to these donations, it is the practice of NB that a portion of all adoption program fees are used to support the work of our Morocco partners on an ongoing basis throughout the year.