An update on the impact of COVID-19 at CAPTIVATING

Dear Supporters and Followers,

I hope this update finds you safe and well as we all go through these challenging times.

I wanted to give you an update about the impact COVID-19 is having on the work of Captivating in China, Nepal, and the Philippines.

KEY MESSAGE – for all the challenges currently gripping the world, we see light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel. We remain positive and hopeful. 

CHINA is the light we are currently seeing. China, where this virus first started in December, is a window on what the next few months holds for many of us (if we can be as disciplined with our social distancing practices). Captivating’s main support office is based in Shenzhen (Southern China, just across from Hong Kong) and most of our project work takes place in Qinghai Province (Western China). Both locations were in lock-down for 10 weeks, however, everything is progressively and rapidly opening up in Shenzhen and across China in general.

Restaurants, parks, even stadiums are also now opening, with an announcement about schools possibly reopening expected in the coming days. In Qinghai, schools started to reopen from the beginning of March with the expectation all schools and vocational colleges will be operating by the end of the month.

All of this is great news for our work in China, which is now into full operation mode for our project teams there. Everyone is excited about this and energized to reach our goal of significantly improving the lives of 1,000 single moms, young women and children before the year is out.

 

NEPAL is a different story. Yesterday it went into a nation-wide lockdown following India’s lead. CoronaVirus cases are expected to rise significantly as millions of Nepali’s migrate from India back into Nepal. Our anti-human trafficking work with our partners has remained unchanged up until this point, and our border monitoring stations have been scenes of complete chaos in recent weeks with increased numbers flowing through already busy border crossings.

As of today, we are now in a holding pattern with these border crossings now in full lockdown. Sadly, everyone is bracing for spikes in human trafficking activity once the lockdown ends and people’s desperation for a better life rises to an all-time high. The Nepal based teams, however, are safe and well and ready for what comes next. These next few weeks of lockdown will give them an important “reset” for what lies ahead. We are clear that what remains of 2020 will be an absolutely brutal time for the poor in Nepal so there are a lot of challenges in front of us. More than ever, Nepal will need our prayers and support.

 

PHILIPPINES main island of Luzon (where most of our work takes place and our Manilla based team is located) is already in total lockdown. Aftercare support for victims of human trafficking, school education on cyber-sex crime and internet safety, as well as support to over 100 microfinance women groups continues remotely (via phone and internet communications).

Again, in these times where everyone becomes even more desperate and concerned, the risks increase significantly for those already the poorest of the poor.

 

Captivating programs provide full funding for over 100 amazing staff across all these countries. Most have been working together now for several years – showing unceasing dedication, high levels of expertise, and most importantly, a true heart for those they have dedicated themselves to support. In truth, we are all frustrated we cannot do our jobs to the level we need to due to COVID-19. We support the restrictions and take them seriously – especially social distancing, hygiene, and isolation. But all of us are bracing ourselves for what lies and, in our industry, the fallout and impact for the poor we serve will be brutal. But we have no choice but remain POSITIVE and HOPEFUL.

Our “hopefulness” obviously also extends to you, our support base. We know no-one is immune to the impact of COVID-19. Diving stock markets, people losing jobs, uncertainty. This is all generally bad news for the charity sector. Our prayer is that you can stay the course with your support of our work through this difficult time. We are certainly hopeful for that.

In the meantime, we remain confident that COVID-19 will be defeated if we all do our part. China’s progress has given us reason to be positive. This too shall pass. We will all be a bit different at the end. Maybe a bit more serious about how fragile life can be. Maybe more conscious of what millions of people who live in poverty experience everyday. So, let’s change that.

Thanks for getting to this point in a message. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to contact me directly. And, thanks for being part of this journey together.

Andrew Colquhoun | Co-founder & CEO, Captivating

andrewc@captivating.org

CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | END POVERTY | VOCATIONAL SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS

An Orphan's Life is About to Change

In August this year, 95 girls joined Captivating's Vocational School Scholarship program, bringing the total of girls in this 3 year program to 277. All these girls were found by our on-the-ground partner [Shamtse] to be out of school. Getting these girls back into school where they can learn a skill that will provide them with independence and job opportunities is important to us at Captivating. It's girls like Zhang who bring special meaning to this program.




CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | END POVERTY | HUSKY ENERGY TAILORING SKILLS PROGRAM FOR WOMEN

Determination to Support Her Family

The year is about to come to end, but for the women in Husky Energy Tailoring Skills Program for Women, this will mark a new beginning. They are more than excited to graduate from the program and start a new chapter, equipped with their newly learned skills in making beautiful clothing. One of them is Degerjyid.




CHINA | END POVERTY | PIGS FOR POVERTY

A Mother's Sustainable Efforts to Send Her Children to School

"I always firmly believe that education can change the future, so it's important to me to send my children to school no matter how hard or tired I am. I didn't have the opportunity to get an education. Because of this, I haven't had a stable source of income, but I have to stick whatever I can for the sake of my children. Fortunately, with your encouragement and help, I have hope in my life."




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Diligent Mum Now with Stable Employment

When she first joined the My First Job Assistant Chef Program, she was nervous and worried that she would slow down the class' progress because other women may already be more skilled than her. Dongzhikyid doubled her efforts, working diligently everyday on the assignments the teacher gave them, and was able to keep up with everyone else.




CHILD SPONSORSHIP | CHINA | EVENTS | SHENZHEN

We are Thrilled. Shenzhen, You are Amazing!

On behalf of the Shenzhen Charity Federation, thank you so much for being a part of our 12th year, last Saturday, October 17th, 2020.  And, once again, our thanks to the wonderful team at the Futian Shangri-la, Shenzhen.

Together, as a result of the generosity of everyone who attended, 1,000 lives (single moms, young women, and their children) will one day look back on 2020 as a turnaround year for them. A year of new beginnings and fortune.




CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | VOCATIONAL SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS

A Thousand-Mile Trip

62 girls in our second cohort of Vocational School Scholarship Program graduates, completed their courses in July 2020. Most of these girls were only able to go to school up to grade 9, with many dropping out even earlier. The key reasons being financial difficulty, prejudice on the part of their parents not valuing education for girls, and varying family circumstances. Their dreams of a career and independence were gone. But thanks to the Vocational School Scholarship program, dreams are coming true again. Luma is one of our graduating girls and she shares her story.