In February of 2020, we had many plans at Compassion Canada. Staff, volunteer and sponsor trips to El Salvador, Kenya and Thailand were pencilled into the calendar. Church events had been booked, and the year was looking open and bright.
But then in a matter of weeks, March came, and the rumblings of a global virus that would put the world on pause became a loud, tangible threat. Just as quickly as it arrived, COVID-19 had changed the world as we knew it.
Ever since those early days of lockdown a year ago, life has looked so different. Little did we know as a small team of writers at Compassion Canada that the stories we would be sharing for the rest of the year and beyond would be those of the pandemic’s immense impact on children living in poverty. And little did we know that these stories would change us forever.
Yhovana’s story is one of them. When COVID-19 hit Bolivia, her husband lost his job. She was left as the sole income provider for her family, working at a local farm. One day, desperate to feed her children, she looked down at the bucket of chicken guts she fed to her employer’s pigs. She had no choice. “I collected the nicer intestines to bring home,” she says, “to cook and eat.” When Compassion’s partner heard, they quickly delivered groceries. Not just because Yhovana’s family needed food, but also because they deserved dignity.
Story by Laura Phillips and Zoe Noakes.