The impact on the communities we serve

The Coronavirus has hit Africa hard. For Africa, it isn't just about the virus itself, it's about the far reaching, long term effect that this pandemic will have across communities. 

The poorest and most vulnerable will be worst affected.

This is because:

  • Clean and running water is often unavailable, making basic health and hygiene such as handwashing impossible. Protective gears such as masks and gloves are unavailable.
  • Areas are crowded making social distancing very difficult. People and particularly women and children have to go out to fetch water and firewood.
  • The healthcare systems are weak and ill-prepared. In Burundi, there are currently 50 beds with respirators in the entire country to treat potential COVID19 patients. Many people live far away from hospitals. Vulnerable people (for example those suffering from malnutrition) have a weakened immune system and will be more susceptible to the disease.
  • Prices of basic supplies are being put up by 40% or more, pricing many already poor families right out of food and health goods.
  • Confinement measures will have a devastating impact on people’s lives. With no safety net and no savings, most of our families need to go out and work each day just to get enough to eat. If not, they starve.

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Our response to the crisis

We are working with our local partners to adapt our response to the crisis and our long term strategy for recovery.

While school closures are a positive step in reducing the spread, for children in the communities we serve, the meal they receive at school is often the only one they get in a day. No school - no meal! In addition with the added pressure of food prices rising dramatically on the African continent, feeding families is even harder at this time.

Unfortunately, for some children, having their education disrupted, will also mean they will drop out and never manage to get back to school.

Our brave, hard-working project partners are doing all they can to counteract these outcomes working at the heart of communities to come up with viable solutions. It's more important than ever to not forget the small grass roots projects working around the clock to find solutions. Food parcels are being delivered, local water tanks installed to save long journeys and classrooms are being re-arranged to be Covid safe so children can return to school safely. 

We still need more help for these communities, for food parcels, water tanks and desks and chairs for teaching spaces. Longer term we need funds to build and extend kitchen gardens, build additional classroom spaces, replace school uniforms and teaching materials that have been outgrown or outworn and feed even more children a daily meal that have now found themselves even poorer. 

While we first and foremost would like you and your families to be taken care of and have access to what you need in these difficult times, if you do find you have anything left over to give then please do. The children and their families across the amazing projects we work with need our support more than ever before.

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