Our goal was clear – we wanted to provide accurate and easy-to-understand information about the COVID-19 virus and prevention to our community. The challenge facing us was the fact that we weren’t supposed to be gathering people together in order to help slow the spread of the disease.
The solution was found at our clinics where 60+ people come each day in search of medical assistance. Our first step was to implementing social distancing measures in our waiting area to keep people as safe as possible. The idea of social distancing took some time for many Sumbanese to get used to. The culture here is big on social interaction, gathering together and community teamwork.
The Sumba Foundation teaching staff, who no longer were teaching English in the schools because of closures, volunteered to present the information to the gathered patients each day so they could relay it back to their villages. Using materials in the national language we have helped educate thousands in our community about how to keep their families safe.