We will continue to update this page as we have new information to share from our board, our READ Global team, and our country teams. Thank you so much for your interest & support!
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READ COVID-19 Response & Latest Updates, March 23, 2020
Our goal is to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and the communities we serve, and to ensure that the most vulnerable populations – the elderly, children and women – continue receiving vital and accurate information in the coming days.
READ’s vision – to create safe places for access to education and information with an eye toward empowering rural communities to drive their own prosperity – is more important than it has ever been. READ Centers will continue to serve as hubs of vital information for at-risk communities, whether it is accomplished in person or remotely through community radio programs and/or pamphlet distribution. Already, we’ve seen youth leaders at READ Centers disseminating valuable health information produced by their Ministry of Health promoting healthy behaviors to prevent the spread of the virus in rural communities.
- As of March 23, READ Centers are temporarily closed to the general public due to restrictions (Nepal, India and Bhutan are all now in under a mandatory order to stay at home), all READ Centers are temporarily closed and READ staff is working from home to minimize the spread in their communities.
- All three READ country offices have temporarily halted trainings involving large groups of people. Minimizing spread of the virus and ensuring communities continue to have access to trustworthy and accurate information about the changing situation concerning the virus will be READ’s priority over the coming days and weeks.
- Despite being closed to the public, the Centers are conducting activities to keep community members updated with accurate information on prevention, safety, and government requirements. They are sharing information with communities in a variety of ways, including signage on the centers, distributing pamphlets, and digitally via Center Facebook pages, as well as in-person and phone outreach. Centers are offering their spaces for the purpose of quarantining, if needed.
- Most READ Centers are reducing their operating hours, but people can continue to have access to books and newspapers while their movement is limited.
- Among other precautions, READ Centers have been asked to thoroughly disinfect all surfaces.
How can you help? During these hard times, we need your support more than ever. READ Centers have always served as trusted sources of information and life-changing programs and resources for rural villagers. As we saw in Nepal after the 2015 earthquakes, community members will be turning to their READ Centers as trusted sources of information, as well as for services for those most impacted by the pandemic.
We will continue to share updates in the coming days and weeks, as the situation is evolving rapidly.