Impact of COVID-19
Although we have had to put a temporary hold on sending volunteers to some countries across the Pacific due to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainties, we’re continuing to recruit and build our talent pool of prospective volunteers so we can return to supporting our partner organisations and communities in the wider Pacific as soon as we can.
The medical advice over COVID-19’s risk factors, based on international, science-based evidence, is that certain groups of people are much more susceptible to more serious symptoms if they contract COVID-19.
These higher risk groups include people with certain existing medical conditions and those who are aged 65 and over.
For example, international evidence from the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention has shown that people 65 and over are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s.
Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may require:
- intensive care, or a
- ventilator to help them breathe, or
- they may even die.
Based on this information, we have made the difficult decision that people in these susceptible groups (including people who would be turning 65 while on assignment) will not be sent on assignments overseas while the pandemic continues or until a vaccine is developed and widely available.
We have not made this decision lightly. We have done this to ensure the health of our volunteers and to ensure we do not place extra burdens on the communities where we operate.
If you are unable to travel overseas, we have established a programme where volunteers can work remotely from New Zealand, called E-volunteering. Find out more about our e volunteering programme here.