A New Normal At Debi Arach
The Paros Foundation opened the Debi Arach Children’s Center in April of 2015. Since then, it has grown to serving more than 200 children and young people on a weekly basis. It’s holistic approach to working intensively with children has positively altered the lives of these children. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, a number of new safety measures and precautions must be implemented to ensure the safety of the children. These include provide all students and staff with disposable masks, changing the manner in which meals are served to utilizing disposable lunch boxes and cups, creating outdoor classrooms, implementing systematic temperature checks and creating hand sanitizing stations in each classroom. These unexpected expenses were not budgeted into the center’s annual budget, but are essential to keep the children and staff safe.
1. Masks. The center needs approximately 9,000 masks to last through the end of the year. This takes into account half the number of kids until school starts and full occupancy from the start of school until the end of the year. The mask cost for this period will be 9,000 x $.26 or total of $2,340. The center has already purchased 5,000 masks, and needs an additional 4,000 which will cost $1,040. (Total cost $1,040)
2. Food containers. Food for the children will now be served individually rather than family style. This will enable the children to take their meal and go sit someplace socially distanced. We will have space both inside and out for the children to eat. It is worth noting that many of the children really do count on this meal as their primary meal of the day. The need is for 9,000 to go containers. The cost is about 10 cents each so the quantity we need to cover meals through the end of the year is $900.
3. Hand washing. Disposable paper towels will be utilized throughout the center, and the center is also are required to install hand sanitizer stations outside of each classroom. These additions will cost $500 from August to the end of the year.
4. Temperature checks. Two infrared thermometers for temperature checks will be purchased and utilized. They cost about just under $50 each. Total cost is $100.
5. Four pop up tents will enable the center to conduct classes outside until the weather becomes too cold. The cost is $75 each. Total cost is $300.
Total cost for these unexpected items is $2,840.
Reopening the Debi Arach Children’s Center requires new safety precautions. These include provide all students and staff with disposable masks, changing the manner in which meals are served to utilizing disposable lunch boxes and cups, creating outdoor classrooms, implementing systematic temperature checks and creating hand sanitizing stations in each classroom.
Short Term Impact
Upholding the center and its operation to a new safety standard will help keep the children and staff safe during this uncertain time of Covid 19. Children will learn how to best protect themselves and their families and this will also contribute to helping combat the virus.
Long Term Impact
In the long term, these safety changes are important for the overall health of the children and their families at Debi Arach. The goal is to set a high standard with the hope that children will follow similar precautions at home to combat the virus.
Sponsors of this important project will be listed on The Paros Foundation website, and on the donor wall at the Debi Arach Children’s Center, and in relevant press. Visits to the Debi Arach Children’s Center can be arranged for visitors during their family vacations to Armenia.