23 March 2020

Slowing the spread of COVID-19

Along with the rest of the world, we have been closely following the recent updates surrounding COVID-19, and want to reassure you of the importance ChildFund places on the health and safety of our donors, our staff and the children and families who are impacted by your support. 

At this time, ChildFund has closed our office and we are continuing to work from home, following the Government of New Zealand’s measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. As the situation continues to progress, we will share important updates and information on the impact of COVID-19 on the ChildFund whānau.

In the sections below, you’ll find updates on how COVID-19 is impacting our donors, our staff and on the communities you support.

Thank you for your commitment to helping children and youth to thrive.

Kia kaha,

Paul Brown
CEO, ChildFund New Zealand

PS – While we are working from home, you can still get in touch with us. Connect with a member of the ChildFund team by emailing info@childfund.org.nz, or give us a call on 0800 808 822. 

COVID-19 and you

You’re not alone. Supporters like you are a critical part of the ChildFund family and, as such, we want to ensure we are here for you during this unsettling time.

In order to help our supporters understand and respond to COVID-19, the following infographic has been shared from the Government of New Zealand’s COVID-19 info hub

Do you need help? If you are in need of help and you aren’t sure who to contact, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week). They can help direct you to the correct place.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  • a fever (at least 38°C)  
  • a cough 
  • shortness of breath.

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as colds and flu.  If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP right away. Alternately, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

COVID-19 and the communities you support

At ChildFund, it is important that we do our very best to support the children and families who live in the communities where we work. That’s why, in times like these, we must take extra care to ensure they remain safe and healthy.

As such, we are placing a hold on letter delivery to sponsored children to promote social distancing. Social distancing -- simply keeping away -- is the very best way to protect others. The letters you write are hand delivered, which risks introducing COVID-19 into the vulnerable communities where we work.

At this time, we are unable to answer questions about specific sponsored children, for two reasons: To preserve families’ privacy, we cannot share personal medical information; and in-country ChildFund staff members are not readily available to track down those answers during this challenging time.

Where possible, we will continue to implement the life-saving work that your support helps to provide. In some cases, we will be changing our approach to respond to immediate needs in the most vulnerable communities.

For many New Zealanders, COVID-19 will create financial uncertainty. If you’ve donated to ChildFund New Zealand in the past 4 years, you may be eligible for a donation tax rebate of 33%. Millions of dollars are currently sitting unclaimed with IRD, dollars that could be returned to you or used for further good in the communities where we work. Click here to learn more about how you can claim your donation tax rebate.

If COVID-19 is having an impact on you personally, please get in touch with one of our friendly donor care team to discuss ways we can help. Email info@childfund.org.nz or call us on 0800 808 822 today. In the meantime, we hope that you will keep safe and well. Take care of those around you, and please hold us and the children we serve close to your heart. Thank you so much for what you make possible for them every day!

COVID-19 and the ChildFund team

To ensure our staff members are safe and healthy, we are enforcing a work-from-home rule, in line with the New Zealand Government’s nation-wide mandate.

We also check-in with every member of our team on a daily basis, sharing our experiences, talking about how our donors are doing, and telling stories of generosity and kindness from the supporters we interact with regularly. We work hard to keep the human in our teams.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, we are responsive to the changing priorities, and are listening for ways we can help our local communities and, in particular, our donors.