Corona Fund

Coronavirus pandemic: strengthening access to education together now!

In all areas of the world, schools have had to close their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic – including our KinderHaus facilities, where the classrooms currently stand empty. Because many parents cannot afford the school fees due to the crisis, and with no technical infrastructure to offer online teaching, children from India to Peru are currently missing out on their education.

We want to do something about this! We need to act quickly and we need to pool our resources now so we can help where it matters most. We need to alleviate existential hardships and provide new infrastructure so that these children and adolescents do not lose their chance of a better future. Especially now, it is important that we stay in close contact with all of our local partners at our schools, hospitals and children’s homes worldwide. We are staying in touch with them by telephone, via email, messaging and WhatsApp and monitoring the current situation regarding our projects, working together to find common solutions and establish an online platform to simplify communication. An example: if one of our schools has to be shut down, there are no school fees coming in … but the children are also not receiving their only valuable daily meal there. The school would like to offer the children lunch boxes – but they do not have the resources.

We all share a responsibility to do what we can to help in order to ensure that coronavirus is kept under control. Education plays a key role in this. Our CORONA FUND EDUCATION HEALTHCARE allows us to provide immediate aid so we can all do our best to overcome the crisis facing children worldwide at our PATRIZIA KinderHaus facilities. Do help us in our efforts. Thank you!

Wolfgang Egger

Founder, PATRIZIA Foundation

To act now, we have set up a fund called the Corona Fund Education Healthcare, 100 per cent of which will go directly towards our projects as a first step. See here how we have already provided concrete help in our projects with the financial resources from the fund. By donating to the fund, you will help support our project in the long term as a second step. Join in today and let’s work together in taking responsibility for everybody who needs our help! Read here how our PATRIZIA KinderHaus facilities assumes social responsibility in the pandemic.

Donation account for the Corona Fund Education Healthcare
IBAN: EN11 7208 0001 0160 0333 88
BIC: DRESDEFFXXX
Reference: PF Corona Fund
Donors receive a donation receipt

Even during the current crisis, we are providing children with long-term support worldwide!

Our schools

Some schools have closed, some have reopened. Many schools do not have photocopiers or digital teaching materials to continue to provide for the children. Also, some schools cannot meet the new hygiene requirements. Parents can no longer afford the school fees, and all school staff are experiencing financial hardship.

Our hospitals

Our hospitals are no longer able to work normally due to the heightened risk of infection. Without patients, there are no revenues and staff are forced to reduce their working hours on no pay – while still trying to help children and patients who need help using digital technology.

Our children’s homes

Hygiene is a particular challenge at the moment, with large numbers of little children living in small rooms. In many cases there are insufficient sanitary facilities or running water. The children also urgently need to be occupied – they need workbooks, tablets and ways to learn online.

A fund to help in the crisis

Our motto for the year 2020 is “tales of happiness”.

Since the establishment of our KinderHaus facilities more than 20 years ago, we have already been able to help more than 220,000 children – and thus write many tales of happiness.

Tale of Happiness

The current coronavirus pandemic requires a new chapter in our foundation era: As an immediate measure, the PATRIZIA Foundation has therefore created the “Corona Fund Education Healthcare”, into which we are paying 100,000€ as immediate aid for the affected children’s homes. We use 100 per cent of this sum for direct aid in our projects – just like all other donations that go into the relief fund.

We hope that thanks to the relief fund and the continued support of our sponsors, the current crisis for our KinderHaus facilities will take a happy turn and we will soon be able to tell more tales of hapiness. After all, our goal is still to give children worldwide access to education.

So far, we have already been able to collect 220.330,01 € with our relief fund – help us to increase this amount even more!

Donation account for the Corona Fund Education Healthcare
IBAN: EN11 7208 0001 0160 0333 88
BIC: DRESDEFFXXX
Reference: PF Corona Fund
Donors receive a donation receipt

THANK YOU for your support!

This is where we help

Money from our special pandemic fund – Corona Fund Education Healthcare – is used to provide immediate aid at the PATRIZIA KinderHaus facilities that need help now. We’re following this up with preventative measures aimed at containing Covid-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has also had a severe impact on the PATRIZIA school in Harare in Zimbabwe. Rising Star School would normally welcome 1180 children to the classroom every day, and for many pupils school dinners are the only nutritious meal will they will receive all day. The school has been completely shut down since the outbreak of the pandemic. Ever since, as well as having to stop lessons, the teachers are not being paid and it has been totally impossible to provide the children with nourishment.

The PATRIZIA Foundation is helping the school with a five-figured injection of funds to make sure schoolchildren will at least continue to have their meals again. 

This money is also partly being used to fund personnel costs and implement hygiene measures. Effective tools in combating the spread of Covid-19 are nose and mouth covers, soaps and disinfectants.

PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama, Rwanda

After the school’s budget, which mainly consists of school fees, fell short due to the coronavirus pandemic, the PATRIZIA Foundation was able to offer immediate help through the Corona Fund Education Healthcare: Money required to pay the staff’s salaries and to buy material for the new hygiene concept of the school.

The PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center in Ntarama is not only among the best schools in Rwanda for young people who are in training to become electricians, metalworkers, tailors, bricklayers or hairdressers. Its dormitories also provide a home to 150 of a total of 168 students. Long journeys to school in Africa are a great challenge to many young people and is often the reason they do not receive any training. In this way, the PATRIZIA Foundation makes an important contribution to school operations in Rwanda.

 

A large part of the school budget comes from school fees. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, these are no longer available, which poses a threat to its existence and future development. The regular teachers of the public school are paid by the government. But the fees of other personnel, such as cleaning staff, cooks, drivers and additional private teachers, needed to be covered as well. At the beginning of the lockdown, the school immediately cut all costs possible, but the bills where still piling up.

The food had already been ordered and needed to be paid. In addition, maintenance fees e.g. for the excavation of feces from the sewers – which is an important hygiene factor for the school – also generates costs. Also, the school owns many valuable machines and other school equipment for training purposes, which need be protected from theft. For this reason, the school is illuminated at night. This is a very important security aspect, especially during the lockdown phase, where a lower number of personnel is on-site.

In order to meet new hygiene standard requirements and prevent the spreading of diseases, the school needs to implement new washing facilities which are easily accessible for the students. Five such facilities are planned but not paid for yet.

The lockdown due to the pandemic hit the school at a particularly vulnerable time: The construction of a computer lab and a library had begun – the building needs to be finished before the brick shell is damaged. This building was being constructed by the students only, as part of their practical work assignment. During the construction works the students were allowed to practice masonry, welding and electricity under the supervision of their teachers. The students are very proud to be allowed to construct their own building. It will serve as a computer lab and library for at least 45 students. The students are at the stage of plastering and paving. The building is currently in its final stage of construction, and the money required will be used for cement, bricks, and other materials, which the school was supposed to cover from the school budget in the second term.

This building will serve the students as a place to study, develop their computer skills and to research. Because the building is big enough with 7 by 9m, the students will be able also to keep distance to each other.

How the Corona Fund Healthcare Education helped in Ntarama

With the funding provided under the Corona Fund Healthcare Education, the expenses of the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama were covered in three stages: firstly, the outstanding invoices regarding the staff, which helps relieve the distress on the community as a whole. Secondly, the fund pays for the electricity costs and maintenance of the school to preserve its valuable assets.

On a third level, the fund also goes into the necessary hygiene measure of five new washing facilities so that the school can be put back into operation as soon as possible. Also, the completion of the new computer lab and library is being supported through the fund by the purchase of materials like bricks etc.

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PATRIZIA Aftercare Hamburg

With the resources from the Corona Fund Education Healthcare, we were able to compensate for financial losses caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, a digital range of services (systems, licences and expansion of a token system for location-independent work) was expanded and communication with families was improved through a telephone-supported interpreting service. Our partner SeeYou was thus given the guarantee that PATRIZIA Aftercare Hamburg will continue to be able to offer all services.

Picture 1: Video conference at SeeYou with medical director and aftercare employees

Picture 2: Diabetes consultant Birgit Stamm from SeeYou on a laptop

The family-oriented Aftercare Hamburg foundation SeeYou is our partner at PATRIZIA Aftercare Hamburg. In the aftercare facility, SeeYou’s specially trained professionals take care of critically and chronically ill children. They provide social and medical assistance for around 160 children and their families every year and help with the organization of everyday family life.

 

Due to the protective measures to contain the pandemic, established and proven processes in outreach socio-medical aftercare were suddenly no longer possible. The interdisciplinary team was faced with new challenges – always with the aim of providing the best possible support for families, especially in times of crisis.

Aftercare staff could only visit the families at home in exceptional cases. This made the situation for families more difficult and caused financial losses for SeeYou. In addition, the foundation urgently needed telephone interpreting services for the telephone consultation with families who have only limited knowledge of German language.

SeeYou still made it possible: The employees supported the families and helped them to build up an individual supply network even in these difficult times. Especially in the case of chronic diseases, a stable social and medical network improves the success of medical treatment.

How the Corona Fund Education Healthcare actually helps in the aftercare centre

SeeYou took new paths and introduced virtual processes. PATRIZIA Children Foundation provided financial support for the purchase of a digital system as well as licenses and the expansion of a token system for working location-independently.

With the resources from the PATRIZIA Children Foundation Fund, SeeYou can continue its services without any limitations and be there for families with premature babies or chronically ill children, even if the health insurance does not cover all services. In this way, we helped the staff with network partners, authorities and last but not least with paying for their services. The aftercare staff were also able to talk to their patients unhampered by language barriers and help them individually through an interpreting service.

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PATRIZIA Child Care Grabouw, South Africa

As an immediate measure, the PATRIZIA Children Foundation has provided help from the resources of the Corona Fund Education Healthcare on three levels. Firstly, it distributed food vouchers for the local supermarkets to the families of the learners. In addition, the foundation supported the continued employment of the educare staff while the centre was closed. Thirdly, the young people were provided with learning materials to give them access to education even during the lockdown.

The PATRIZIA Child Care Grabouw in South Africa helps Thembalitsha Foundation provide essential Early Childhood Development for children, aged 3-5 years, living in communities that have little to no access to educational resources.  These children live in an area where there is limited access, if any, to municipal services, clean water and where poverty is extreme. Our Educare Centres provide preschool education as well as training for the staff of surrounding ECD centres which in turn impacts the lives of almost 400 children. When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, all facilities closed, which immediately impacted the lives of these children attending and more importantly would not be receiving food consistently. The economic challenge that the country was plunged into straight away impacted the amount of funding that the government was able to distribute to provide further support.

Many of the parents whose children come here are seasonal fruit picking workers who have no income during winters. The pandemic left many unemployed. Without income they can no longer afford school fees and even employees of the Foundation feared for their wages as we began to see a change in funding opportunities across the board. (We are happy to report that we were able to retain our full ECD staff component at this time.)

How the Corona Fund Education Healthcare in Grabouw specifically helps

Thembalitsha Foundation was able to distribute food during the months that the centres were closed thanks to the financial support of the fund. The families of the learners received vouchers for the local supermarkets.

The PATRIZIA Children Foundation also helped support the continued payment of the staff of the Educare Centres in Grabouw – despite the closures. This funding enabled the foundation to help principals and teachers of the centres through this continuously challenging time.

From the fund’s resources, the project managers and school directors organized activities and learning resources for the students and their families at home. In order to reach as many learners as possible, the main aim was to make those resources easily accessible, so they prepared material specifically for the various age groups and in their mother tongues.

The educare centres have opened their doors again in September under the government’s strict COVID regulations so the donated funds from PATRIZIA have helped ensure with some of the costs to buy PPE and food for the children to be fed well during their school day and keep them safe from infection. A lot of the parents still cannot afford any school fees as they still do not have work and some of the learners have not returned to school yet but we continue to support them as best we can.

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“No Chance for Corona” – how a comic book helps kids to understand the virus

Schools are closed and children are no longer allowed to meet their friends and grandparents – a situation that affects almost all countries worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For this reason, Welthungerhilfe, partner of the PATRIZIA Foundation in Kenya, together with the Berlin-based social enterprise WASH United, has developed a comic strip to help children and young people to understand COVID-19. It provides young people between the ages of 10 and 14 and with information about the coronavirus itself and other preventative hygiene measures. It has been translated into more than 20 languages, from Amharic to Pashtu and Swahili.

Read more and download the comic here.

Helping our communities stay safe

Difficult times in particular often strengthen the solidarity in society and thereby bring about the beautiful stories. Even now, tales of happiness are created!
Here we have collected some for you. Read them for yourself and find out how our project partners or parents of our school children, for example, gather new strength in difficult times.

Help right next door

Debbie is a teacher at the PATRIZIA School Buyamba in Uganda. She teaches English and Science to primary school students. Currently, as the school is closed, she is in lockdown at home.

Debbie, how are people in your community coping with the situation?

We have been lockdown for a few weeks and everybody is at home now. A lot of people in my community are slowly running out of supplies and need food – especially the elderly in the village. Everyone is looking around to see who could need help, not only family members. So many people are donating food to other people, not in a big way, but they look around and care for those living next door.

How do you help?

When I go shopping, I think of my older neighbours and take an additional kilo of sugar or cornmeal with me to give to them. Often when I am cooking for my family, I will also carry an additional plate to our older neighbour. We like to eat matoke in our area – that is plantains, which can be cooked in a thousand different ways. With matoke everybody has a full stomach, and it is healthy and tastes incredibly good.

Notes to cope with the fear

Peter Nshimyumukizais a former student from the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Ntarama in Rwanda. He settled down with his family in the region and works usually as a qualified worker on construction sites. He also built his family house by himself. He has two children, Jean Simeon and Jean Yves.

Peter, how is your family coping with the situation?

My children are aged three and five years old. They do not fully understand the situation. Currently they are not allowed to play with other children, as they are used to. They also do not go to school and kindergarten. Again and again, every time something new about corona, they ask about it. They have many questions. They are also a bit afraid that mum or dad might get sick.

How do you help?

I cannot explain to my children what is really going on in the world, but I understand their fear and I want to take it away. That is why I have taught them prayers that they recite over and over when they feel a little bit of fear. The boys came up with the idea of sharing the prayers with other children, so we write them on slips of paper and leave them outside their friends’ doors whenever we go shopping.

Food for the poor

Théophile Rutabana is Managing Director at the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Ntarama in Rwanda.

Théophile, how are the people in your community coping with the situation?

The situation is precarious. Many people have no jobs and we don’t know how long the crisis will last. People in my village collect money to help those who cannot afford to buy food during the lockdown. Every donor gives a small amount of money, but we appreciate every donation. Everyone who can afford it is willing to help. This fosters a good feeling of community.

How do you help?

Schools were told to provide help. As Managing Director of a public school, I decided to offer professional help with the charity work.

I was involved in fundraising and helping the poorest in the community. We collected a lot of donations and organised help for people in our village. The needy families ended up with 5 kilos of corn and 5 kilos of beans. This required many donations and was a great success.

Father Jude’s shelter

Father Jude is the parish priest in Buymaba in Uganda. He is also the priest of our project partner at the PATRIZIA School in the village. He not only takes care of the spiritual well-being of the school. Together with the principal, Madame Sylvia, he helps run the school. The PATRIZIA School in Buyamba is his heart and soul.

Father Jude, how are the people in your community coping with the situation?

Food has become very expensive, as is usual in times of crisis, so people are eating all their supplies. People are more afraid now of hunger than coronavirus. Also, the families will not be able to pay the school fees either. As a school we have to be prepared for this. What is positive about such a crisis is that the people in the village stick together and help each other more than usual.

How do you help?

I am a priest of the parish, so my job is to help but I cannot help everyone. I have a few families where I know that I must take care of them because they cannot do it themselves. But most of the help I give is to the children who come to me. There are some who come every day or stay with me because their parents have smaller children for whom they can hardly care. So, the older children stay with me to survive. One of them finished primary school last year, two of them are in secondary school, some of them just come for lunch because they would not get it at home. So that’s my help and that’s a given and no matter if the crisis is called corona or poverty.

Thank you all – Take Care and Stay Healthy!