COVID-19: New Computers Giving Kids a Huge Boost

Several weeks ago we shared an urgent need for computer labs to provide remote learning for the vulnerable kids we serve (see below) as part of our COVID-19 response. We’re thrilled to share that ER supporters have met this need by providing $50,000 to build six computer centers in South Africa, Ecuador and the Philippines. Watch the video above to hear from ER President/CEO Jerry Carnill on how we plan to launch the labs and celebrate this incredible opportunity that comes during a global crisis.

Already, we’ve purchased 10 laptops for our Dream Center in Fish Hoek, South Africa so the kids who attend our after-school program have a way to do their homework in an environment where distance learning is now required. This meets a vital need for kids whose families have few resources.

Brice Wilson, ER Africa Region Director, shared how the new computers are impacting the Dream Center kids in unexpected ways. “The computer lab is allowing the kids to to complete their assignments using social distancing, but they are also learning how to safely navigate the Internet, use email, and improve their writing and typing skills. We’ve even taught them how to use upper and lower keys on the computer, the @ sign and other basic computer skills.”

Part of a Bigger Plan

The Fish Hoek Dream Center is one of six locations where we will upgrade or launch the computer centers, including the Quito Dream Center and Manila Children’s Home. We’re planning for two new Dream Centers in the Philippines and another in South Africa. Our strategy calls for full service facilities that include computer labs, after-school programming, mentoring, and crafts and recreation.

To truly maximize impact, we’ll also address how to help the children’s families as they seek to escape generational poverty. This will include offering courses in life skills, livelihood training, health and nutrition and spiritual encouragement.

Quito Dream Center Has Reopened

These stacks of papers represent 40 precious kids who attend our Quito Dream Center. Last week our teachers began enrolling the children for the 2020-2021 school year.
This school year is going to look very different with many COVID-19 restrictions and remote learning in place, but we have made a promise to do our best and give these kids the skills and tools they need to succeed.
Will you pray for us as we tackle a “new normal?” Kids started school on Sept. 1 and the Quito Dream Center  opened virtually on Sept. 9. Our teachers are doing a great job of helping the kids online.
Next up – in-person tutoring. Hopefully, the COVID restrictions will allow us to meet soon. We’re ready!

Thank you to all who are helping make our computer labs possible! Any additional donations made to the COVID Tech Fund will go toward the ongoing training, operation and maintenance at the Dream Centers.


We Have a Great Solution to a Big Problem

(July 22)

Headlines across the world are shouting, “SCHOOL IS MOVING ONLINE!” Parents, students and teachers across the globe are all scrambling to adjust. But most of the children ER serves do not have access to the Internet or a computer at home. It breaks my heart to see them falling further behind. In the video above, our staff members share why many of the children we serve are being left behind.

The current pandemic has caused governments to modify or completely change the way kids will be learning. They are working hard to protect the children and teachers from COVID-19. But, as is often the case, the best solution today may cause insurmountable challenges tomorrow for children who already are struggling to break out of poverty.

Earlier this year, when schools moved their classes online, “our kids”— the children ER serves day in and day out – were left behind. When other students continued their studies online, most of our kids could not. Their parents could not afford to provide a computer or Internet access before the pandemic. Now that many of those same parents are jobless, their kids’ futures seem hopeless.

We explored the possibility of providing these children with tablets or laptop computers, but concluded that transporting these devices would put them in danger of robbery or worse.

Our solution? Open six safe-space computer learning centers!

To make online learning available to “our kids” and other high-risk families, we must expand the computer labs at our Dream Centers in South Africa, Ecuador and ER’s Manila Children’s Home. In greater Manila, we plan to open computer centers at our Pathway For Hope program, ER partner IT Tender and our ER Asia office. These computer labs will allow 250+ children to continue attending school during the pandemic and beyond. We believe the computer labs at our Manila office and IT Tender will one day become fully operational Dream Centers.

Please help these kids continue learning. We need computers, software, equipment and supplies in each location. We also will need to hire local IT professionals to help install networks, software and Internet connections. The total cost will be $50,000.

Would you prayerfully consider helping us launch the centers to supporting these kids’ education? You will give our staff the opportunity to invest in our students’ futures through tutoring, mentoring and spiritual instruction.

This is an urgent need. School has already begun in South Africa; the Philippines and Ecuador are not far behind. Together we can change the futures of “our kids”

Serving Together,

Jerry Carnill, President & CEO

P.S.: With your help, we will:

  • 3 new computer labs
  • Upgrade 3 outdated computer labs
  • Find local IT support in Quito, South Africa and the Philippines
  • Raise $50,000 to accomplish all this

To donate, click here and choose designation “COVID Tech Fund”. Thank you for your support.


Tech Enhances Help for 50,000 67,000 (as of July22) People

For ER staff in Ecuador, the Philippines, and South Africa stay-at-home quarantines are hitting the 10-week mark. The extended shutdowns have led to creative methods of ministry and communications, in addition to providing desperately needed food and supplies. Our efforts have resulted in 50,000 people being fed via food distributions. Following is a cumulative summary (based on 10 weeks of COVID-19 response):

South Africa

COVID-19 ResponseFood: 2,400 people have received food, including 300+ kids at a local feeding program and 240 food packages for Dream Center families, each with enough food to feed a household for a week. ER also provided food and funds for five partner ministries to feed people they serve.

Tech: We’re using WhatsApp to tutor Dream Center kids. We’re helping them with homework, including sharing videos and pictures for project assignments. The kids also do artwork at home using donated arts and crafts supplies. We have posted their creations in an online art exhibit run by the Butterfly Art Project. Many kids have submitted a mandala, a form of art that promotes stability and harmony. We’ve also purchased mobile data for 22 families to make these tech projects possible. We’re even sending WhatsApp messages to the Dream Center families with encouraging Bible verses to help us all focus on the Lord during this time.

Philippines (three projects)

Manila Children’s Home (community-distributions)

Food: In nine weeks, we’ve distributed 9,234 food bags, feeding 36,000+ individuals.

Tech: We use Facebook messenger to communicate with donors and beneficiaries.

Pathway For Hope

Food: In six weeks, we’ve distributed 1,941 food packs for 9,705 individuals.

Tech: We use Facebook Group Chat Rooms for training, daycare and our savings group. This allows constant communication to members who share personal and community updates, prayer requests, photos and videos. We’re planning to shift most training to video via Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype or Facebook Live.

Golden Hands Livelihood

Food: In six weeks, we’ve provided 126 food bags to 703 individuals.

Tech: We use a private Facebook Live to give words of encouragement to our graduates and trainees. We also use messenger chat and video calls. We’re testing Zoom for future meetings.


Food: We’ve provided food for 700 families, representing nearly 3,000 individuals. This includes the families who are part of the Quito Dump Recycling community, as well as hundreds of food packages for the greater community.

Tech: We are hosting two Bible studies and two livelihood workshops weekly using Zoom or Skype. Teachers are mentoring students for 15 minutes weekly, plus connecting with them on their homework. We are purchasing Internet for families that need it.

Scroll Below to learn more. Want to help ER’s emergency support? Donate here and select “COVID-19 Feeding & Response”.


COVID-19 Response: April 23 Update

ER is actively reaching out to vulnerable people in Ecuador, South Africa and Manila with a COVID-19 response during the pandemic. We’re delivering food, books, supplies and hope to those in greatest need.

We’re especially thankful for supporters who are investing through prayer, encouragement and donations. On April 23, we shared some highlights of what God is doing to impact the lives of at-risk people. 165+ supporters participated in ER’s “Extended Family Video Chat”. Thank you for your encouragement!

Covid-19 ResponseThrough April 23, ER has provided emergency food, cooking supplies, books and more to 34,000+ people in need in the communities we serve. These include the children and families enrolled in our Dream Centers in Quito and South Africa, the Quito Dump recycling community, the Pathway For Hope community and others.

We’ve also been blessed through assisting several strategic partners helping people around the world. It’s been exciting to see the collaboration among staff, volunteers, partners and donors. We’ve seen this before. Whenever a crisis hits a community where we serve, our “extended ER family” displays a spirit of selfless generosity and hope.

During this time of uncertainty, we ask for your prayers for our staff and those we’re helping. We remain vigilant and ready to adjust our ministry strategy. If you have questions, see our FAQ or email us at

To support our emergency response, click here and designate your gift “COVID-19 Feeding & Response”.


Help Feed Kids During the Coronavirus Pandemic

(March 24, 2020)


Like you, our ER family is a bit stunned as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know we are praying for you, our partners, volunteers, and especially the vulnerable kids we serve. Our programs are temporarily closing to comply with government-declared emergencies and quarantines. Staff members are working remotely.

This storm will pass, but not quickly and not without exacting a toll. Brian Wallace, ER’s America’s region director, explained the challenge in Quito, Ecuador:

“For most of the kids at the Dream Center, our hot lunch is their main meal for the day. By closing for the mandatory quarantine, the kids will experience daily hunger and struggle to remain healthy and growing.”

ER serves another 33 kids in our Fish Hoek (South Africa) Dream Center and 30 more associated with our Pathway For Hope program near Manila, Philippines. In total, we need to provide food for 109 children who will otherwise miss vitally nutritious meals.

COVID-19 Response in South Africa

Brice Wilson, ER Africa region director, shared this: “Many of the children and their families here in South Africa live day-to-day, week-to-week, so this prolonged interruption in school, work and the ER Dream Centre operations has the potential to have a severe impact on them: from not knowing if there will be enough food each day, to worrying about the safety of kids home alone in the townships, to wondering if the parents will still have a job, because most of the work is in the hard-hit tourism industry.”

We don’t want to lose the precious health and overall progress these kids have achieved. We believe God has called us to love these kids and help them escape generational poverty.

We are working to purchase nutritious food in bulk for these 109 kids to get them through this pandemic. Each region is implementing a plan to disseminate food via staff and contractors.

Purchasing large quantities of groceries during the pandemic will require additional funds to cover shopping, transportation and food preparation/delivery services to assist our staff. (We still have to cover our regular program overhead.

Buying and distributing nutritious food in this manner will be challenging. We estimate at least $2.50/meal of extra costs – a total of $8,175 for 109 kids for 30 days (update: likely longer now).

Together, We Can Do This

We can meet this need. Will you help?

I can’t remember a time when the entire world was affected by the same disaster. For some, this is a time to panic. For followers of Jesus, it is a time to respond. Together, let’s love our neighbors and care for the poor in their distress. Please help us continue to feed “our kids”.

Serving Together,

Jerry Carnill, President & CEO

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