Living under lockdown in Kenya

by ACT

  • Posted on May 8, 2020

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“We are grateful to God for allowing us to be his hand’s and his feet in this way,”

– Anna, I-Afrika

Anna Cuthel of I-Afrika and Bishop Wanyama of Jesus To All Nations Ministry (JTAN), ACT partner organisations in Kenya, give us their insight of how life is for disadvantaged children, orphans and widows that ACT support who are living under the Covid-19 lockdown in Kenya.

‘It all began slowly with distancing from one another, and now the whole nation is in complete lockdown.’ The situation in Kenya that Bishop Humphrey Wanyama describes is at the moment a universal plight that everyone can relate to, as country after country are now looking for ways to reduce the impact of the global pandemic on their citizens. The reality for our partners and volunteers in Kenya, and indeed across Africa, is that currently they are facing a greater challenge than ever to support the most impoverished in need in their communities. Whilst the actions taken by the Kenyan government are focussed on protecting the population from the pandemic, poor people already at risk are now in a more perilous situation than before. Kenya is currently been ravaged by locust and famine, and reports of police brutality whilst enforcing the lockdown is making a bad situation worse. In the rural communities where ACT work, lack of essentials such as food stuff is compounded by isolation from access to support. In this uncertainty, fear of the unknown with hardship is the reality for the children and widows we support in Africa.

JTAN

According to Bishop Humphrey Wanyama,  “Life is hard for the children and widows in Webuye, but they are praying regularly for the sponsors and donors that support ACT, through which they receive the funds that enable children’s school fees to be paid and widows to be assisted with income generation projects”. They are forever grateful for these acts of kindness. The strict closure of places of worship in Kenya has critically reduced the capacity of the JTAN to mobilise and help the children and women most in need. Bishop Wanyama’s frustration is evident in his letter to us. Tragically the lockdown measures together with the effect of locusts devouring farmlands in his community has led to shortage of food. He is grateful for ACT support between March and April which has been more important than ever for the families. He longs for the easing of lockdown measures so that he and his congregation can resume their work and ‘supplement the support that ACT is providing to the orphans and widows!’

I-Afrika

I-Afrika meanwhile is focussed on relieving hardship for the street children in the most at risk slums of Nairobi who they rescue and bring to their refuge in Lusagetti, just north of Nairobi. They work to prevent the streets being the place of choice for children. But with the lockdown this is proving ever more difficult. Children are being forced to consider life on the streets in search for their next meal.

According to Anna, I Afrika is taking a more frontline role to ease the impact on those most affected. Although the precautions taken by the government have been useful in reducing the spread, Anna emphasises that poverty is feared more than the virus by most people, as food shortages and cramped living conditions in the slums pose serious threats. We have provided 85 families with food hampers and responded to calls for help from those in desperate need. We hope to be able to deliver food and supplies to those in need throughout May and June.

In these very challenging times, our need for your support has never been more crucial. The Coronavirus has increased the need of so many, not only in Kenya, but cross the 8 countries of Africa where ACT operate.  Both JTAN and I Afrika are hugely thankful and pray for the health of ACT’s donors, expressing how now more than ever they are thinking about your kindness and generosity in these trying times.

Please consider making a donation to ACT to help us through this difficult time. Any help we receive means a lot to us. To visit our donations page please Click here.

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