COVID-19 Situation in Valparaíso
I am writing today to ask for your support as the Valpo Surf Project is working hard to adapt to the new reality we face with COVID-19. The safety of our students and team is our top priority, which is why we have shifted to remote programming for the foreseeable future. VSP is an important source of support and a much needed outlet from the stresses and difficult situations our students face at home. Although we are not all able to be together the way we would like to, our work is as important as ever.
Sheltering in place is challenging for everyone but especially difficult for our kids. Our students' schools have all shifted to remote learning, which is hard enough with internet access, a computer, and present parents. VSP families have limited or no internet and unreliable cell phone access at home. Moreover, most parents are still working, leaving our students to manage the house and take care of younger siblings. School work is nearly impossible for them.
Our students have not attended school since October of 2019 due to tremendous social unrest in Chile, and now with the pandemic they have no return to class in sight. Continuing VSP programming remotely is not easy, but maintaining a consistent presence in our kids’ lives is crucial. Our students have stressed how much they miss VSP and are feeling isolated.
What actions are we taking? First, we are bridging a critical gap between our students and their schools by delivering assignments and instructional guides. Without this support our kids would be completely left behind academically. Second, we are doing wellness and mental health check ins via our social worker to make sure everyone is healthy and okay. These check ins are supported with at home English learning activities and exercise routines that keep kids healthy, engaged, and moving. Finally, we are connecting students, staff, former interns, and graduates to keep in touch, share their COVID experiences from across the world, and support one another.
Over the past decade we have built an organization that is no stranger to the resilience needed to address natural disasters, economic turmoil, and political upheaval. With your continued support we can weather this storm. Please give as generously as you are able.
Donate here or through Venmo @Valpo.
We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.
CEO & Co-Founder