COVID-19 Response in Central America
Countries around the world locked down to contain the spread of COVID-19, a necessary move that has resulted in increased food insecurity in many communities across Central America, where Saint Francis Ministries works. Serving on UN agency coordinated food security and nutrition response across the region, Saint Francis is on the front lines, helping to align efforts and contribute to national strategies to address food emergencies and to support the nutritional wellbeing of children and families in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. We are also working to address pandemic-related trauma, helping children and families build resilience and reduce risks that can lead to greater vulnerability, including issues like violence and abuse in the home.
Our response builds on the work already in motion in El Salvador through our HOPES – Holistic, Organic, Prosperous, El Salvador – project and expands it to our work in Guatemala and Honduras. HOPES focuses on achieving economic, social, and environmental sustainability to help families and communities thrive where they are. We do this by investing our efforts in creating opportunities and building capacity at the local level through community-based approaches.
The pandemic response reflects our values and goals. We are helping families establish home gardens, including planting moringa trees, which offer excellent nutritional value. The farm we operate in El Salvador has shifted acreage to include some short-cycle, high nutrient crops as well as fruits, vegetables, and animal products that contribute to medium- and long-term food security. Throughout the region, we are working every day to develop both immediate and longer term response initiatives that lift up families during this global crisis.
YOU CAN HELP
Your donation will make a difference for children and families in Central America who have been affected by COVID-19, helping them make changes that will stabilize them now and build a better future for tomorrow. Here are examples of how your dollars make a difference:
- $3,000 will purchase a greenhouse to grow vegetables
- $80 will help a family establish a Family Garden to provide food and income
- $35 will purchase an emergency food package, called “Solidarity Packages,” that will feed a family for 10 days or $75 will feed a family for a month
- $500 for a school or $1,000 for a community-wide effort will support printing school and family education materials, including information about nutrition, mental health, education on Family Gardens and more.
In Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, Saint Francis initiatives support and strengthen education, create economic opportunity, and drive system change through advocacy and local alliances. From our regional base in El Salvador,
Saint Francis works with high-risk communities through early childhood education, social enterprise, women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, youth capacity building, family and community strengthening, and other focused initiatives.
Our HOPES project, a social enterprise, strengthens families and builds peace by providing jobs with dignity and economic opportunities for workers, while supporting social programs developed in partnership with school and community. Engaging youth and families in positive activities is at the center of our program, creating space for hope and healing in community.
Hope Knows No Borders
Our Episcopal heritage both obligates and inspires us to protect children, strengthen families, and search for solutions that threaten their safety and well-being.
As a ministry, we’re called to serve the poor, the orphaned, the widowed, the powerless, the marginalized, and the dispossessed – wherever they live. Be part of the solution. Join us in our efforts to provide hope and healing to children and families in other parts of the world whose safety and well-being are threatened. We are called to serve all God’s people.
Saint Francis participates in the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Professional Fellows Program. The Fellowship provides for a two-way exchange of emerging leaders from China, Mongolia, and the United States in the areas of environment, philanthropy, legal aid, and community building.
Fellows from China visit Saint Francis for a month, during which we share our expertise as they learn about our programs and services. In turn, our Saint Francis Fellows spend two weeks in China learning from social service providers within
the Chinese system.
United Nations Affiliation
As a Civil Society Organization, Saint Francis works in concert with the Department of Global Communications to support the humanitarian, sustainable development, and human rights goals of the United Nations, enabling us to share our knowledge and learn from others as we pursue our own international programs and initiatives.