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19/03/2020

As the rest of the world, VVOB is very concerned about the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the many lives it has already touched, in some cases fatally. Our hearts go out to all affected.

In our collective efforts to put a stop to this pandemic, and as an organisation working in partner countries where cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed, we have taken very strict measures to ensure the health and safety of our staff, partners and co-citizens, in alignment with government and WHO guidelines.

 

The most important measures taken by VVOB are the following:

  • Teleworking is now the norm for VVOB. VVOB staff will work from home as much as possible. We can be reached during regular working hours through e-mail, phone, apps and other communication channels that do not require physical contact.
  • Scheduled in-person capacity development activities are either reorganised to take place digitally or cancelled/rescheduled. As physical distancing is one of the most effective ways to halt the spread of the virus (along with good personal hygiene), VVOB staff have been strongly advised to avoid all physical contact with others. This means that planned in-person capacity development activities are provided through the above-mentioned communication channels where possible. If this proves impossible, the planned activities are cancelled or rescheduled.

VVOB is going the extra mile(s) to uphold the quality and continuity of our operations in these exceptional circumstances, all the while prioritising the wellbeing, health and safety of all individuals involved. In short, VVOB is still up and running, but differently. We are providing support to our partners from a distance while preparing our future activities in parallel.

 

Now more than ever, VVOB staff is committed to ensuring that our activities can be implemented in the most sustainable way possible. It goes without saying that this pandemic will have a disproportionately large impact on the already vulnerable people in society. For example, millions of learners worldwide are out of school due to shutdowns: a necessary health measure, but an educational catastrophe for those learners already struggling. We will have to deal with those consequences once the crisis is over, and VVOB will take up its responsibility there too.

 

We are eagerly looking forward to the moment where we can “go back to normal”. And when that happens, we’ll be ready to greet our partners in-person again.

 

Until then: stay healthy and well.