Response to Covid-19
So far Covid-19 does not appear to be hitting Kibera but the likelihood is that it will. The government has an overnight curfew in place and partial lockdown making it very difficult for people to trade, work in the city and earn money. There seems to be no government safety net as there is in many other countries. The Kenyan government’s advice is social distancing, and hand washing. Considering the density of slum the first is impossible.
In addition to the worries about the physical effects of the virus, social distancing is having a huge impact on local businesses, and because most people live hand to mouth there is an immediate danger of hunger and starvation within the slum community.
Despite the challenges, our friends in Kibera remain positive and are motivated to help their community as much as they can. We are supporting them in this, by funding two initiatives:
The twice-monthly children's' feeding program has kindly released their funds to support and run a food bank at the International Christian Assemblies church on the edge of the slum. At the moment they are supplying cabbages, ugali flour, grains, rice, oil and soap focusing on families who are ‘widows and orphans’. We have also sent additional funds and will aim to do this monthly until the crisis is over.
In an attempt to widen our reach we are also sending funds on a weekly basis to our Umoja (meaning Unity) business support group to support individuals as they see fit. In each of their first two weeks, they supplied 20 needy families with grains, flour, rice, oil and soap, but are already hoping to extend this to over 40 families per week in the coming weeks. This is no easy feat as they lack transport and have to be discreet to avoid unwanted attention and theft. This is a multi-faith/no faith group working for the good of the community on the ground.