We hope you are keeping well amidst the global response to COVID-19. We know many of you are experiencing school closures and significant disruption to your daily routines. Our thoughts are with you and the rest of our global teaching community at this challenging time.
Like the rest of the world, we’ve been closely monitoring information about COVID-19 and its spread. As we face this pandemic together we are especially concerned for teachers and health workers working in vulnerable communities as they are likely to be significantly affected by the far-reaching repercussions of this global crisis.
We have 1480 teachers enrolled in programs this year, working alongside 15 partner organizations. We are committed to continuing to support them in providing the best education they can to their 62,000 students. We are working hard to find ways to support them in that work throughout the year ahead.
We are tremendously proud of the work LRTT Fellows do and of this community that we have built together. We are grateful for your partnership in this work, and we are here to support you. We wish you safety and good health during these uncertain times and thank you for your continued commitment, support, and flexibility.
We understand that you will be concerned about whether you are able to travel in the summer. We want to give all Fellows reassurance around the steps we are taking to make sure that disruptions do not prevent you from being able to participate in a Fellowship.
Whilst there is still a chance many of our Fellowships could go ahead as planned this summer, there are currently a number of factors and risks that may disrupt your participation. The last thing we want is for your Fellowship plans to cause you additional stress at what is already a very disrupted and difficult time.
For that reason, we have decided to allow 2020 Fellows to transfer to a 2021 Fellowship at no cost. We are making this option available to you until 30th April 2020. If you choose to defer to a 2021 Fellowship:
This option is available until 30th April 2020 after which, our normal cancellation terms will apply. To support you in this process, we have updated your portal to enable you to log in and select ‘Transfer me to the 2021 Fellowship.’
The factors we have taken into account in deciding to offer the deferral process outlined above and the factors we encourage you to consider when deciding whether to defer your Fellowship placement to 2021 are:
Equally, we are monitoring a number of factors that could disrupt our partners’ work and the education systems in our Fellowship countries:
We understand that you joined our LRTT community to make an impact alongside other inspiring teachers, contributing to and learning from education in another context. We are still committed to making that happen, but not at the expense of the health of any of our Fellows, schools or teachers.
We have been doing this work since 2011 and we understand that making the decision to defer your place to 2021 will be a difficult one, and may feel like just another blow amidst a really challenging time. However, we are focussed on creating a positive, sustainable and long-term impact on the communities we support. To stay true to that, we must consider what action is in the best interests of our Fellows and teaching communities alike. We do not want to contribute to extra stress or uncertainty for any of our Fellows, and we also do not want to contribute to the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the more vulnerable communities that we support. These are the key reasons behind our decision to offer deferrals to all of our Fellows, and we hope they can help guide you in reaching your own decision.
If you do not wish to take this opportunity to defer to a 2021 Fellowship, we want you to understand that there is an increased risk of disruption to your plans and some of our Fellowships may need to be postponed or relocated to a Fellowship in another country. We will do our best to give you your first choice of an alternative Fellowship, however many of the factors outlined above are outside of our control, and will continue to change over the coming months.
For this reason, we recommend holding off on booking flights at this time. If you’ve already booked flights there’s a strong chance travel companies may be flexible if you need to change dates or itinerary. We recommend that you contact your airline or travel agent directly with any flight-related questions.
Because the situation is ever-changing we are unable to provide you with a specific date when you will be asked to book flights. We will continue to review the situation and take into account the latest developments with COVID-19 on an ongoing basis.
If you would like to speak to a team member, you are welcome to book a time for one of us to give you a call to talk through all your options and discuss your own personal circumstances.
As it stands, all 2021 Fellowships are scheduled to go ahead as planned.
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