Before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and quarantine measures were put in place, Compassion Mexico staff were planning ahead. They knew children living in poverty would be among the most vulnerable during a pandemic.
Before activities were suspended, Compassion centres across the country held information sessions with parents about the virus, where every family received a special hygiene kit containing soap, face masks and hand sanitizer.
Proactive medical intervention
At Guerreros de Jesús Child Development Centre, staff closely watched the news about the virus and made the decision to bring forward the children’s scheduled bi-annual medical check-ups. The did so just in time—quarantine measures were put in place just one week after they did the check-ups.
“We saw how countries like Italy and Spain suffered during the lockdown, and as a team, we thought, ‘If the pandemic came to Mexico, children will not be allowed to the centre.’ So, we decided to anticipate it and have the check-ups [early],” says Jonathan, the centre’s director.
These check-ups were important not just because of COVID-19. Other sicknesses can also threaten the lives of children who live in poverty, such as diarrhea, flu and other respiratory illnesses. The check-ups aimed to diagnose or prevent these conditions before children were confined to their homes.
After the check-ups, the centre distributed the necessary medications, including deworming medication and multivitamins, as directed by the doctor.
Life in quarantine
Now, as staff, children and their families follow the quarantine measures, Compassion centre staff across Mexico are continuing to serve families who are in critical need. Families are receiving food parcels, and Compassion centres are also providing meals to children as an added layer of nutritional support.
For some families, the quarantine has brought them closer together. Siblings Yael, 11, Daniela, 6, and Amairani, 5, certainly miss attending school and Compassion centre activities. But this time at home has brought them closer together, with the two younger girls seeing a different side of their older brother.
“Before we didn’t usually play with Yael, because he loves soccer, and Amairani and I didn’t have the strength to play with him. But now we can run together, play with our dog Güero and play ‘Simon says’. Playing with my brother makes me happy,” says Daniela.
“What makes me happy is to share with my sisters and play with them,” says Yael. “I miss going to the centre, but this shall pass.”
The siblings also love reading Bible stories together, especially their favourite book, Genesis.
They are just three of the tens of thousands of Compassion children across Mexico who miss going to the Compassion centre at their local church and seeing their tutors and friends. However, despite the challenges of being apart, Compassion Mexico staff are working hard to ensure these critically-affected children aren’t forgotten during this time.
“We are looking to serve the neediest children,” says Compassion Mexico’s National Director, Omar Villagrán. “Even in our current situation, we are helping as much as we can to provide food to our children. We will keep providing support, and we ask for your prayers.”
Here are some prayer requests from our Compassion Mexico team:
- Please pray for faith to be fortified—that God protects us and prepares us as we face everything that comes to us during this pandemic.
- Pray for our leaders, the country’s authorities, for our pastors, children and their families, for our church partner staff and National Office staff.
For our most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit our updates page.
You can help families affected by COVID-19 through our disaster relief fund.
By Javier Elis and Alyssa Esparaz