March 2020 – SchoolBOX Update
Dear friends and supporters,
The world is hurting and our heart breaks for everyone that has suffered because of the COVID-19 outbreak. This virus has caused a lot of destruction to everyone from all walks of life. Our entire team sends out well wishes, good thoughts and prayers out to everyone who is suffering.
Unfortunately, SchoolBOX also has been wounded because of this situation. As many of you know, our mission is to defeat poverty by making education possible. We do this by building schools, libraries & learning centers, and providing essential supplies and books to kids in Nicaragua and Canada’s North. Given the risks that COVID-19 poses to children and their families, we are not able to continue our programs in our partner communities. It is difficult for us to operate in this current climate and when the dust settles, we want to be in a strong position as an organization.
As of today, all operations in Canada are temporarily suspended and our staff has been laid off. Our team in Nicaragua is distributing the last of the educational supplies to partner schools while they are still open, and we are completing our 117th classroom construction. The last of our team there will be laid off by April 30, if schools remain open that long.
We are SO grateful to have a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and volunteer operational staff in Canada who are helping us to ensure we can continue to receive donations and continue supporting kids as soon as operations start back up. We’re also excited to provide all of our partner communities with a SchoolBOX e-learning package to provide kids and parents with resources to stay engaged outside of school.
We started with a pencil and a notebook almost 15 years ago, and have grown to support thousands of kids. We have built 117 classrooms, and worked to empower 18,000 students and teachers in 109 communities all around Nicaragua on a yearly basis. We have brought libraries and books to countless Nicaraguans. We have spread the joy of education to Indigenous communities in Northern Canada through our learning centres and libraries, and supported students with a healthy lunch program.
We could not have done this without you. Thank you to everyone who supported us on this journey. Our story is definitely not over. We are just taking time to heal and to recover.
If you would like to help – there are still so many fun and creative ways to be involved. Read a story live for us to share with kids (Spanish, English or Anishinaabemowin), share our organization with a friend, email us with an idea.
Together we will weather this and be ready to continue our important programs when it is safe again! But now, we need to contain the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve as soon as possible. This can only be done through staying at home and being responsible in everyday life. Let’s work together to support each other during this difficult period.
Sending gratitude and love to each of you, especially our frontline workers. We’re staying home for you. Thanks for being there for us.
The SchoolBOX Team