Dear Exile International Family,
We’re with you and praying for you. Our global staff and the boys and girls Exile serves (*they’re prayer warriors) are praying grace and peace over you and all those at risk globally. In a time where fears and uncertainties saturate headlines, we are committed to praying daily for our communities and finding hope — confident, life-giving hope — in Christ.
We’re in this together — even while social distancing – one of our team’s favorite phrases is “tuko pamoja.” It’s Swahili for “we are together.” We say this regularly — joyfully reminding ourselves of our shared pursuits and our need for one another. This simple phrase rings true now — as you, I and billions of men, women and children are pamoja. We are in this together. And we’re finding joy and encouragement in seeing countless people, globally, finding creative ways to be together in spirit — singing together, picnicking virtually, and supporting one another.
How is coronavirus impacting the children & Exile Int’l programs?
We’ve instituted a COVID-19 Response Plan — As of late June, Uganda has extended its Stay at Home order indefinitely. Because of this Exile has entered Phase 2 of our COVID19 Response Plan. This includes:
- Exile is sending teachers to children’s homes 3 days a week to educate the children in our program, continue monitoring their safety, and provide them with the tools to ensure they continue practicing proper hygiene to slow the spread of COVID19 in their communities. They are working with groups of 1-5 students at a time (following social distancing and CDC guidelines).
- Counselors travel to children’s homes 3 days a week to provide 1 on 1 or small group counseling, additional education support, prayer/discipleship, and to check in on any food, water, and/or medical needs.
- Some vocational children have been permitted to return to their training in small group settings (following social distancing and CDC guidelines).
- Universities continue to remain closed and children are at home receiving support from Exile’s counselors.
- Exile office has been reopened (following social distancing and CDC guidelines).
We will continue monitoring the situation in coordination with local leadership and government officials on the ground in all the communities that we serve. We are following the guidance issued by the World Health Organization and local health experts, and doing everything we can to support the well-being of those we serve and our staff.
Adapting and continuing to provide safety, healing, and hope for children. While many things are changing, our commitment to and responsibility for the safety, health, and well-being of rescued child soldiers and children orphaned by war has not changed. These children are often the most vulnerable in situations like this, so we continue to work for them.
School closures affect more than education. For many children, including those served by Exile, schools provide far more than education. Schools provide stability and security. They also provide countless daily meals and, in some cases, housing. As with many countries, DR Congo and Uganda have closed schools and banned large gatherings. In response, Exile teams are working diligently to adapt and provide for the needs of each child — physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Join us in prayer and hopeful expectation for:
- Safety and well-being of the children Exile serves and the care staff.
- Those who are more vulnerable due to age, health, or circumstances.
- All our brothers and sisters at risk globally — for every child, family, and community.
- Men and women on the frontlines of this outbreak — namely the nurses and doctors caring for the sick.
- Peace which surpasses understanding, and confident, life-giving hope in Christ.
Support Exile’s COVID-19 Response Plan