Our response to COVID-19

Our response to COVID-19

Back to School Needs – How you can help

Your donation to our back to school drive will help immigrant and refugee families access
safe and equitable education when they need it most. This drive directly impacts 300
refugee and immigrant families that are working hard to access a better life for their
children. Our goal as a community is to mentor students in navigating academic and career
goals with holistic services. We have pivoted our entire approach to be adaptive and to
provide the same high-quality programming virtually. 

Here is a full list of items families need to feel confident and prepared for fall learning:

  • Technology (Scientific calculators, Lap tops, IPads)
  • School Supplies (composition notebooks, binders, paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, dry erase board and pens, erasers, markers, paint and art supplies, highlighters, desks and chairs)
  • Cleaning and Hygiene (paper towels, Lysol cans/wipes, hand sanitizer, tissue, disposable masks)
  • Educational and Culturally diverse books

If you’d like to donate any of the above items or if you have questions about what is most needed, please contact Sieng Douangdala (Sieng.Douangdala@kandelia.org)

Rapidly assessing community needs

When it became clear that Seattle World School was likely to close due to the spread of COVID-19, Kandelia, together with community partners, began reaching out to all students and families. We prioritized those receiving weekly food bags and participating in any programs. As of May 5 we’ve connected with more than 250 families, and hope to reach the entire Seattle World School community of 342 students.

What we’ve learned from our conversations with families:

  • Families didn’t know about the of the district’s 26 meal pick up sites or weekend food support bags.
  • Many family members have been laid off of their jobs.
  • Many families are in complicated living situations. The City/State’s eviction protection may not help them.
  • Families need access to food. Gift cards aren’t ideal because of transportation or immunocompromised family members.

Addressing basic and critical needs of families

Kandelia has pivoted programming to address the basic and critical needs of our families. We are also working on building virtual programs to continue delivering academic and enrichment support to students and families during this challenging time. We are responding in the following ways:

Rent assistance

We are providing direct grants and help navigating resources available.

Food access

We are delivering food directly to families and working to sign families up for public assistance.

Basic needs

We are providing gift cards or purchasing in bulk and delivering basic necessities like toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes feminine hygiene products, and face coverings to families.

Online learning

Our program team is creating online learning opportunities. For example, we can live stream and record our Family English Classes or our Guitar Class for students and families. Many families need hotspots to access the internet, so we are building a lending library for families to access these as well.

Recreational activities

With libraries and other public resources closed, we want to provide books, games, and other recreational activities that families can do while social distancing inside their homes.

Working together for the safety and well-being of our staff and community

We stand ready to adapt our COVID-19 response based on emerging needs and guidance from public officials. Kandelia’s COVID-19 response has been guided by our board with the engagement of our entire staff working together with our community partners and key volunteers. We continue to follow public health guidelines and maintain safe social distancing practices.

Key partners 

Raj and Suman Sachdeva Foundation

Seattle World School Fund



Our Programs


The most important thing is that they love us like family. It doesn’t matter where we come from or
who we are. They don’t see that. They treat us all incredibly well and they are great, unique people.

Luis Madrazo

Your support can make all the difference

3829B S Edmunds St Box 9
Seattle, WA 98118


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