The Corona pandemic has the world firmly in its grip and is about to really unhinge it. So it is no surprise to anyone that, once again, the weakest are those who suffer the most.
The corona virus is the dominant issue in Southeast Asia too, and practically all our organisations are affected in one way or another. Here are a few examples:
The Elephant Conservation Center lives to a large extent from visitors who visit the camp. Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the visitors are more or less completely absent, the income to continue the projects for reintroducing elephants into the wild is missing. The Mahouts, who are so valuable to the ECC, have already drastically reduced their wages, as have the other employees, but there is still no money to feed and care for the elephants.
Tourism has also come to a complete standstill in Cambodia - the temple ruins of Angkor Wat remain deserted - as does the APOPO Visitor Center, which is on the way to the temples and informs tourists about the importance of APOPO's work in Cambodia. The Visitor Center was closed to visitors early after the outbreak of the Corona crisis to save costs. But no visitors means no income / donations.
As early as March, First Step Cambodia implemented a rigorous action plan to reduce personal contacts to a minimum (similar to the social distancing measures we are familiar with in Europe). However, in times like these the socially disadvantaged are most at risk, which is why the work of FSC is more important than ever. The social workers of FSC continue their work with the precautions necessary.
In Laos - as in countless other countries - the schools were closed. This has also brought the work of EDF Lao and our IT for Laos campaign to a standstill. Until the lockdown, over 400 computer sets were distributed to schools. But since there is a lockdown in Laos too, there is not much work for EDF Lao - the running costs, however, remain.
All our projects, including those not mentioned here, have on thing in common: they are all heavily affected by the Corona crisis, as donations are dropping away in large measure. Therefore our help is more necessary than ever!
We therefore call upon you, if you are able to support our projects with a small donation (whether large or small - every contribution counts) and to pass on our appeal to friends and acquaintances.
Thank you very much and stay safe!
After two and a half long years, we were finally able to feel Southeast Asian soil under our feet again in spring 2022, albeit with geographical restrictions.
What would you do if revenues dried up but you had dozens of elephants to look after? The Elephant Conservation Center (ECC) in Sayaboury, Laos faced this situation as COVID-19 lockdowns and travel bans bit in March 2020. ECC founding partner Sébastien Duffillot shares what they did.