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A new and vital requirement emerged from the COVID crisis when suddenly technology was essential to facilitate at-home learning for children. Without laptops or iPads, a barrier appeared and households that had not previously required such a significant expense as laptops and iPads were suddenly at a disadvantage.
Our BaptistCare HopeStreet’s microfinance team was able to adapt fast. From February, staff worked from remote offices and offered tele-appointments, working closely with clients to expedite applications and facilitate a quick disbursal of funds, allowing children to access this essential technology quickly.
One client, Marni*, a mum of three, couldn’t afford laptops for her children’s classes. “I was in dire straits. After being in lockdown for two months, I had the authorities come knocking, saying that my children were absent from school and needed to do their school work. It’s a bit hard to do when you can’t afford to. [With HopeStreet] …it only took a couple of days to get three laptops. One of the HopeStreet workers even worked over the weekend. It was such a blessing,” said Marni.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our team have seen how fair finance options have been needed more than ever as more people find themselves in financial stress. Beyond vital technology, purchasing essential household goods and services is still relevant. Fridges break down and cars still need registering, all while people’s employment has been in jeopardy.