The impact on the communities we serve

The Coronavirus has now arrived in Africa. Although it is difficult to predict how the virus will spread on the continent, we know that the confinement measures are already having a negative impact and that the worst is yet to come.

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.
  • 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.

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.

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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