The Coronavirus impact and responses to it are changing daily. The PeaceWise board met last weekend and will meet again next week to make important decisions in particular in relation to our training and how we can best respond overall to the current circumstances.
Central in our thinking is the well-being of all of you, the PeaceWise community. We also wish to be salt and light to the world, and show true love and peace during this time filled with much fear.
Here’s what we can say right now…there’s a fair bit of detail, because we believe that full and open communication is paramount at this time.
How does it impact upcoming training events?
We have made the decision to postpone some national training events till later in the year. This decision applies to all May and June national training events initially, as this is when the virus is currently predicted to peak in Australia.
Anyone booked into training already will be offered the choice of a refund, rollover to a later training or to consider donating their registration fee to us to help with the financial challenges we are now facing.
Dedicated training events will currently continue as planned (most such events are under 100 people), and we are in regular discussion with the organisers of each event and with our trainers to consider what is best for all.
How does it impact PeaceWise’s finances?
More than 60% of our annual revenue comes from our training. Almost all our national training falls within May to September. We are therefore anticipating a very significant cash flow challenge, as these funds are now unlikely to be received.
There is approximately $100,000 in income which we had budgeted for but are now far less confident of earning through our training events across the country.
These funds go to paying for key parts of the ministry, such as staff and course development – and in particular support the development of PeaceWiseKids, speaking of which…
What about the PeaceWiseKids project and team?
The simple truth is that this lack of income will, if not replaced, make it very difficult to proceed with production of the next course for PeaceWiseKids – for Kindergarten.
Our decision at this stage is to TRUST God and proceed! A key element in this thinking is that the PeaceWiseKids team comprising Steve Wickham, Sally Pilgrim and Angie Conroy is currently ‘on fire’ and producing a course every six months.! We cannot assume that we could put this team on hold and simply reform it again – so there is a real risk if we were to stop production at this time.
We know that many of you are already supporters of this world-changing project to help thousands of children learn to become peacemakers.
As we depend on God to supply all our needs, we ask you to prayerfully consider if you would be able to become a monthly (or one-off) supporter of this project to enable us to be able to keep going despite the anticipated loss in training revenue.
Every dollar will make a difference to our ability to keep going, as we press in to trust God to enable this to be possible at this uniquely challenging time.
There are also opportunities: Using PeaceWiseKids for remote teaching!
As more and more schools consider the need ‘go remote’, the wonderful thing about PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth is that our online courses can be taught remotely!
They can be used to teach PDHPE/Health subjects, as the courses are mapped to Australian curriculum outcomes.
Online courses are available NOW for years 3-10, with the course for years 1-2 available from 1 April. 😉
We see this as a unique way in which PeaceWise may support schools and families at this difficult time.
Please do join with us in prayer for the project and team, and that we can keep going to help grow more Peacemakers for life!
Where to with everything from here?
Central to what the future holds is that we firmly believe God has ongoing plans for the future of the ministry – and they are exciting!
In next month’s Peace it Together, I (Bruce) will share with you by video the exciting future we believe God is calling the ministry into as we serve the Lord.
In the meantime, please be assured of our ongoing prayers for you during this time of unprecedented challenge.
Let’s be light! (Matthew 5:14)
Bruce Burgess – National Director
Jeroen Bruins – Board Chair