Last March, students everywhere watched as their schools and daily routines were suddenly an existential threat. Gone were the pleasures of playing with their friends at recess, eating lunch in the cafeteria, or exploring their favorite subject in the classroom.

But for many, that was only part of the problem.

As millions of students traded whiteboards for screens, millions more were left in the dark.

Vanessa Reksodipoetro of Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM), an Indonesia-based education and health nonprofit, said students and teachers scrambled to figure out ways to continue learning during the pandemic. In the absence of the high-speed internet access required for most remote learning programs, many turned to the messaging application WhatsApp.

And although WhatsApp works for simple communication, it’s not so great for teaching entire lessons. As frustrated students sought help, many of their parents found themselves in a teaching role they didn’t have time for.

Around 60% of Indonesia’s workforce earn their living in the informal sector. That means for about 70 million people in Indonesia, the pandemic came without the security of working from home, a guaranteed paycheck, or severance pay.

On the other side of the world in the United States, educators in the GuVo District of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona were already struggling with some of the lowest graduation rates in the country. When pandemic-related food shortages wiped out the district’s grocery store, Jen McCormack of the Native American Advancement Foundation (NAAF) knew they would have to address education and access to healthy meals.

They started by turning their after-school and summer adventure programs into a delivery service. The team brought meals and school supplies directly to each student’s home. They went from serving 65 students to 122—nearly doubling the program’s reach.

Read the full article about maintaining learning during the pandemic by  Sami Adler at GlobalGiving.