Many of you have asked how we are hanging in there as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend daily life for us in Tanzania. We are so appreciative of your thoughts during this global crisis. We are very fortunate to report that the virus has not reached the Rift Valley Children’s Village (RVCV) and that our family and community remain in good health.
Like many of you, the past two weeks have resulted in significant and unexpected changes for us at TCF. Acting in the best interest of his family in light of this pandemic, Nick Beecher, the former Director of the Rift Valley Children’s Village, made the difficult decision to return to the United States. We thank Nick for his service during his two years at RVCV.
The rest of our senior staff have made the decision to remain at RVCV. We are incredibly thankful for their commitment to ensuring the safety of our community. India Howell, our Founder, has graciously stepped in to help fill any gaps created by these challenging times.
To continue keeping our children and family safe, we have taken numerous additional measures to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19. After welcoming all of our college children back home via safe methods of transport, on Sunday, March 22nd, RVCV went into quarantine, closing all entrances. All of our children and staff will stay within the RVCV campus until the government re-opens schools, which is tentatively scheduled for April 20th. All staff that do not live on the RVCV campus have returned home and are on paid leave.
At RVCV, we have developed a thorough clinical protocol to ensure early detection and immediate action against COVID-19. From morning temperature checks, to developing systems for isolation and care, to protecting the mental health and happiness of our children, we are taking every advised measure. To learn more about our daily interventions and how we are coping with these sudden changes, be sure to follow TCF on Facebook and Instagram. For all the parents out there, we even plan to share our approach to homeschooling!
Despite having to limit access to our Rural Community Health Clinic, we are still dedicated to promoting the health of our community. We have provided all surrounding villages with emergency numbers that they can call for a medical consult. For anyone facing a health emergency or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, we will continue to provide transport to FAME Medical for testing and treatment. We have informed all patients with chronic conditions who rely on the care provided by our Health Clinic that they can come to a safe meeting center to receive refills of their medications by appointment.
Over the past 16 years, we have proven that when we work together, any challenge can be overcome. This is no different. We’re in this together.
With gratitude and well wishes,
The TCF Team