Aug 18, 2020

Earning potential greatly diminished in Pandemic

Lucy
Lucy

Dear Friends,

The pandemic has impacted household finances negatively through an increase in unemployment, a reduction in incomes, growing cost of health care and an increase of prices for critical commodities, as food markets are disrupted. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the closures and reduced working hours recommended to curb the spread of the virus.  Families with dependent children are being adversely affected by the financial, emotional and physical implications of the pandemic and resultant lockdown. The negative impact has been worse for poor households, women, children, the elderly and chronically ill. 

Macheo’s cash transfers has helped to maintain access to healthcare, protect consumption, support protection and recovery of livelihoods. One of the strongest and most consistent findings regarding the cash transfer programs, and we are experiencing it now, is the contribution to reducing hunger. Beneficiary households receive monthly cash transfers that vary according to the size of the household. But despite all the challenges, we have seen remarkable resilience from our beneficiaries, who despite all the challenges caused by covid 19, they have risen up. 

One such beneficiary is Lucy who is 38 years old mother of five children.  She had been identified earlier in the Macheo intervention and a business was set for her. But when covid 19 came, the government declared a lockdown and restriction of movement for people. She could not sell or get products from the market. With time she became needy, was struggling to feed her children, paying rent was a problem among other economic related issues.

However, when the government opened up the economy again and people were allowed to move around, she picked herself again, borrowed some money and was able to kickstart her business again. Even though the pandemic negatively impacted the business, she is still able to continue to provide basic needs for herself and the children and therefore I would say that, her case is a success story to Macheo's intervention.

We thank you for your continued support in helping the needy in the slums and rural areas of Kenya.

Aug 17, 2020

Keeping the Children Fed

Rachael
Rachael

Dear Friends,

We all know that malnutrition increases the chances of individuals getting ill, staying ill, and dying. It weakens the immune system, increasing the body’s susceptibility to infections and setting in motion a vicious cycle. And just as those experiencing malnutrition and diet-related diseases face worse symptoms from COVID-19, this cycle of malnutrition, infection and death is exacerbated by the present pandemic.

The pandemic has made families face grave challenges in the forms of food price hikes, unemployment, restricted mobility and disruption to health and social services. Regardless of whether they are directly or indirectly affected by the virus – their nutritional intake, and therefore health, has been harmed and urgent action needs to be taken to address the barriers they face in accessing healthy food.

To facilitate improvement Macheo continues to provide critical community-based nutrition services, using innovative/digital delivery systems for basic services such as promotion of breastfeeding, micronutrient supplementation, and basic primary health care, including immunizations.

Macheo scaled up the cash transfer programs, using nutritional vulnerabilities as beneficiary targeting criteria and provide adequate nutrition, health and hygiene advice using innovative solutions such as digital payments and social media messaging.

In the field....

Success Stories 

Rachael is a child of a teen mum. They live in the Kiandutu slum in a rented house with Rachael’s grandmother. When she was referred to our Malnourished Child intervention, she weighed 11 lbs. at eight months old, had delayed milestone, couldn't play and had a very poor appetite. She had other health conditions which were affecting her food intakes. She was taken to a doctor where she was diagnosed with intestinal challenges which was preventing her food intakes. She continued staying in our program for two weeks and in March the government announced a curfew as a control measure to prevent the spreading of Covid 19. That meant that Racheal and other children in our intervention could not come to the center to receive the food rations that had been set for her. 

We came up with the plan of helping Racheal from home. We engaged her mother through regular phone calls for checkups and follow ups. Her mother was taught how to care for her child, prepare a healthy diet for her as well as how to stimulate her baby. She was also put in a cash transfer program where she could buy food and meet other essential needs like house rent. With our support Rachael now looks happy, improved in her health and has started walking.

These successes would not possibe without the help and trust that you have given to us, in order to help the neglected children of this world. 

Thank you and please stay safe in these challenging times.

Apr 21, 2020

Lost business during pandemic causes starvation

Feeding the family
Feeding the family

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented economic and health crisis in our country. The social distancing effected by the government is having a negative effect on small business owners which are staggering and likely to be substantial. Entrepreneurs are being forced to take drastic steps to continue operating and many are fearful about their futures. Many also cannot access markets and the economic impacts have dramatic effects on the well-being of families and communities. For vulnerable families, lost income due to an outbreak can translate to spikes in poverty, missed meals for children, and reduced access to healthcare far beyond COVID-19.

At Macheo, we continue making telephone follow ups to the beneficiaries we have financed to set up small businesses. On a regular interview with Jane* one of our many beneficiaries, she said that she felt stressed and panicked about losing her business where she gets an income from. Without an income she cannot buy food for her children, nor pay house rent.

 “My neighbors are also in panic and we feel completely helpless. “Since the authorities closed the schools to prevent the spread of corona virus, my five children are at home. I can’t stay at home as I must work to provide for myself and my children, but customers are very few. I’m afraid my kids will get sick, and if they do, I won’t have enough money to pay for health care. Macheo and the government keep emphasizing that we wash our hands with soap and water. We can’t afford to buy hand sanitizers so we just use what is available. We have been told to stay away from each other but how should I do that, yet we live in a small house with my five children. We live in a slum area which is very much filled together. We don’t have water in the slum.” says Jane.

This is what we are getting from the phone calls. Macheo, we are innovating our interventions to meet the demands as it is now. We have changed our strategies on encouraging our clients on how to cope with the situations. For instance we have started phone counseling with our clients to most of our clients now. Before more restriction were made, we used to give food rations but we have changed to cash transfer for the clients. We are also getting community support from well wishes who have heard our call and giving/donating what they have for vulnerable families. 

We are doing all we can to support our clients so that they can be strong during this time. 

 

 
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