For the past few months, I have travelled through Africa. I feel grateful for visiting many beautiful countries and even more so for meeting all the helpful, joyful and welcoming African people. It is painful to see that these beautiful people and countries are now being majorly affected by the coronacrisis. I want to give something back by informing people of what is happening in Africa and offering the possibility to support the people in need through local organizations. I got to know these local organizations during my travels and I have managed to stay in contact.They have told me about the help they currently provide during the coronacrisis. Each organization has its own background in supporting the local community, so I will provide more information about these organisations to give a better idea of what they do. If you have any questions, please let me know! Thank you in advance! :)
CARSA (Rwanda): https://gogetfunding.com/carsa-coronacrisis/
Slum Child Foundation (Nairobi, Kenya): https://gogetfunding.com/slum-child-foundation/
Stilts Backpackers (Diani Beach, Kenya): https://gogetfunding.com/save-stilts-diani-kenya/
Nairobi during the coronacrisis
Kenya was one of the first African countries to be affected by the coronavirus. Recently, the virus has spread to the slums of Nairobi. In the slums, it’s not possible for people to keep their distance from each other or to stick to hygiene measures. Moreover, one of the biggest dumping sites of Africa is localized in these slums. Peoples lungs are very weak due to the toxic smoke of the dumping site. This makes the people in the slums more vulnerable for the coronavirus. Furthermore, there is a lot less capacity in the healthcare compared to the Western countries and there aren’t enough resources to prevent the virus from spreading. To prevent Kenya from an epidemic disaster, the government decided to go for a lockdown. However, the lockdown also has a lot of consequences for people living in the slums. Many of them earn their money by, for example, selling fruits next to the road or driving people around on a motorbike-taxi. Because of the lockdown, these people are not able to work and therefor completely lose their income. As a result, people in the slums are currently in a huge need for food and water. Due to the lack of these basic necessities, crime and violence has increased in Nairobi. A couple of weeks ago, people tragically got injured and passed away because of fights during a food distribution in the slums (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85pO6X6i8Fc). The government now forbids food distribution by organizations. Only the authorities are allowed to distribute food and water, but unfortunately the aid is insufficient. Kenya depends on tourism, as it is one of the largest sources of income. The stop of tourism has a major impact on their economy. It’s partly because of this reason why it’s so difficult for the government to help out the local people, businesses and healthcare during this crisis.
Slum Child Foundation is currently distributing food vouchers to families in the slums, with which they can buy food and water. The organization has handed out foodvouchers to at least 90 vulnerable families (among them are children, disabled and sick people) and they strive to extend this. The families get handed out 1 food voucher a week with a worth of €8,50. With this, the families are able to live for 2-3 days, depending on how big the family is. Normally, a family in the slum spends around €21,50 a week on food and water. Furthermore, Slum Child Foundation is trying to educate people in the slums of the hygiene measures. Because of their WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Project they have knowledge of the various ways to inform people about hygiene, for example by painting the instructions on walls. Finally, the government tries to educate children online during the coronacrisis. In the slums, people don’t have the materials or the money to buy mobile data to connect with the internet, which stops them from having access to education. Slum Child Foundation is working together with schools to educate the children in the slums in a different way during the coronacrisis, for example by printing papers.
Background of Slum Child Foundation (https://www.slumchildfoundation.net/)
In 2006, George Ochieng Odalo started Slum Child Foundation; a non-profit social services and community based organization. He used to be a street boy born in the slums of Nairobi. Because of the hardships and hunger he experienced and because he had seen many of his closest friends lose their lives in despair, he felt his calling was to help other children to cope with similar experiences, avoid drugs and crime, and acquire knowledge and positive life skills to protect themselves in order to improve their chances of survival. More recently, George spoke at the United Nations on behalf of all the African children that are at risk. The organization developed several programs that not only provide love and support, but also inspire children from the slums of Nairobi, through community outreach programs.
A couple of the projects:
- Toto Club: This is a weekly program that brings children from the slums between 6 to 15 years old together for mentoring, artwork, natural talents development and psycho-social support. This keeps them away from street life and substance abuse.
- WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Project: This project is an outreach program as a series of sessions that they conduct in schools from the informal settlements to sensitize children on the importance of hand washing and being in a clean and safe environment.
- Table Banking & Counseling: This project focuses on helping the mothers and caregivers of children with a group funding strategy, where members of a particular group meet once every month, place their savings, loan repayments and other contributions on the table then borrow immediately either as long term or short-term loans. The women then use the money borrowed as capital for their livelihood projects.
(Thank you and welcome, again and again and again)