It’s incredible to think we’ve managed over a year so far, trying to navigate our way through the new COVID way of living and working and as we aim towards returning to some form of normality.  It has not been the easiest of times trying to manage this on an international scale, with constantly changing rules and regulations for each different country where we work. While we have had step by step processes here in England to follow and observe, things have been very different elsewhere and as you can imagine has provided unique challenges in each of the countries we work in. 

We remain in regular contact with our teams overseas, continuing to work remotely with them and providing support as they follow their own country’s guidance at this time. Some of the countries have been in lockdown at different times to England and each other and rules and approaches understandably vary according to each country.

Schools are slowly but surely returning to a new form of normal in the countries we are working in, not every school is back full time yet, but it’s a process and one that takes time. It depends upon different factors such as resources, staffing and COVID related health concerns. Providing free reusable face masks has been a massive help in getting as many children as possible back to school, in the communities where we work, now they have the masks provided by Smile.

Our Face Mask Project continues to go well and the production of these masks has increased considerably, now that our tailors have even more experience in making the masks. The more they have become familiar with the design and requirements, the more they have been able to make, therefore aiding the efficiency of the process. Also, due to the kind generosity of our supporters who have donated towards this project, we have also been able to provide more sewing machines, which again helps to speed up production and therefore distribution. For anyone looking for ways to help further this project, we are still looking to increase the amount of sewing machines which are £200 each and for financial contributions towards materials and resources, which are greatly appreciated.

Our Feeding programmes are continuing too but we have seen a considerable increase in the number of requests for food supplies as you can imagine. We really do need more regular support and we ask you to please consider signing up for a monthly Direct Debit for as much as you can, as this is such a lifeline to many people in need at this time.

The palliative care team in Kosovo are continuing to serve the community with their skills and resources which are needed as much as ever. Provision of medicines is always high on the requests from both patients and our team alike, as they make such a difference to someone who is suffering with extreme pain.

The pastors training in India, through our Empowering programme, started back earlier this year and we are thankful that it has resumed, as this is a great help for those on our skills training programme and also for the opportunity to tell more people about Jesus.

Thank you for your prayers for all our teams and beneficiaries overseas during this global pandemic and please continue to pray for all those working hard to help the vulnerable and needy. Although we are still experiencing challenging times as a charity, we know the Lord is with us and we continue to trust Him in all things.

If you would like to donate online to help with this ongoing situation, please visit https://www.smileinternational.org/donate or if you would like to donate through the post, then continue to use our postal address PO Box 1414, Peterborough, PE1 9WG.

Thank you to those of you who are already giving through sponsorship, regular giving, or one-off gifts.  We really value and appreciate every donation.

Thank you again for your support and we pray you and your families stay safe.

Tim Doubleday

CEO