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Apr 7, 2020

Food Baskets Distributed to 110 Families

St. Vincent's Food Distribution in Kibera
St. Vincent's Food Distribution in Kibera

Last week, we reported to you on the early threats of COVID-19 on our Kibera community in Kenya. Since then, while the number of Kenyans infected with the virus has remained relatively low at 122, the toll of the pandemic on residents of Kibera has been immense, as anticipated. With the majority of Kibera’s residents earning a living as day laborers, whose work has come to a grinding halt during this time, many families have been left without adequate means to survive.

March 16th marked the first day of closure of St. Vincent’s Nursery School. Without the two daily nutritious meals that we provide, we knew that many of the children we serve would be deprived of critical nutrition until our school can re-open. During the first week of our school closure, many parents shared with us their frustration and struggles around being able to provide food for their families. Too many parents reported that because of lost work, their families were living off of one meal per day in light of the pandemic. 

We knew we needed to take action. We mobilized support from our kind-hearted donor network (THANK YOU!) for an emergency food distribution, which was coordinated by our Board and Program Administrator on Friday March 27th. Over 110 families received food baskets packed by our teachers, each containing 4 kilos of maize, 4 kilos of rice, 4 kilos of beans, 4 kilos of millet flour, 2 liters of cooking oil, 2 kg of sugar and bar soap for handwashing. Recipients included approximately 80 families of our nursery school children, as well as families of children in our scholarship program and our own teachers. The food supply will last families for approximately three weeks, depending on family size. The distribution was conducted with the utmost care, with efforts made to stagger parents entering our facility to avoid crowds and a handwashing station set up outside our school gate so that each parent could wash their hands prior to receiving the food basket. During the distribution, our staff promoted messaging around hand washing as well.

Smiles of joy beamed across the faces of parents as they received their package. ‘I am going to cook a nice meal today for my family,’ one mother shared with another parent as she received help to carry the food wrapped on her head.

We know the need for additional food supplies will continue in the weeks and months ahead and we are continuing to work to see how we can best support our families, while also keeping our staff safe during this time. It is an uncertain time for everyone, but the food distribution made possible with your support came at a critical time for our children and families. We thank you for your continued involvement in our efforts to serve the most vulnerable families in Kibera.

Mar 24, 2020

Kenyan Schools Close Amidst Pandemic

We hope this message finds all of you and your families healthy during these unprecedented times. This is a very difficult time for all of us, yet we are grateful to have food, shelter and strong support systems to see us through this pandemic.  As the first cases of the virus were reported in Kenya about a week ago, we wanted to provide you with an update on the status of our own operations at St. Vincent's in Kibera and the effect of the virus on our community. 
Since the government mandated all schools closed beginning last Monday, we have mobilized quickly to orchestrate the return of children from our Rescue Center who have been sent home from boarding schools. We have made preparations to ensure that we have appropriate hygiene and sanitation supplies on hand and are educating our children about the importance of hygiene and social distancing, the latter of which is very complicated in an environment like Kibera. 
In addition to preparations out our Rescue Center, we have been preparing to distribute food/hygiene baskets for our young Nursery School families to help them bridge the gap until our nursery school can re-open. While this will mean an increase in food costs for us, as we must provide supplies to support the entire family, we feel this is a critical emergency expense during this time.  Our St. Vincent's families in Kibera live in shacks in close proximity to one another and many people are living with HIV, TB and other underlying health conditions.  In addition, almost all of our parents are day laborers and will inevitably lose all means to support their families during this time.  When our school is closed, our children miss out on the two daily meals we provide, and most families struggle to provide even one meal a day to their families under normal circumstances.    
We know that everyone across the globe is feeling the impact of this virus and that the needs are great everywhere. We are ever grateful for the support we are receiving through GlobalGiving and for this week's GlobalGiving matching campaign, which will help us to offset increased expenditures during this time.
Mar 24, 2020

St. Vincent's Pandemic Response

We hope this message finds all of you and your families healthy during these unprecedented times. This is a very difficult time for all of us, yet we are grateful to have food, shelter and strong support systems to see us through this pandemic.  As the first cases of the virus were reported in Kenya about a week ago, we wanted to provide you with an update on the status of our own operations at St. Vincent's in Kibera and the effect of the virus on our community. 
Since the government mandated all schools closed beginning last Monday, we have been mobilizing as quickly as we can to offer food and hygiene baskets to our families to help them bridge the gap until our nursery school can re-open. While this will mean an increase in food costs for us, as we must provide supplies to support the entire family, we feel this is a critical emergency expense during this time.  
Our St. Vincent's families in Kibera live in shacks in close proximity to one another and many people are living with HIV, TB and other underlying health conditions.  In addition, almost all of our parents are day laborers and will inevitably lose all means to support their families during this time.  When our school is closed, our children miss out on the two daily meals we provide, and most families struggle to provide even one meal a day to their families under normal circumstances.    
In addition to working on food/hygiene baskets for the young families,  we have also been orchestrating the return of children from our Rescue Center who have been sent home from boarding schools. We have made preparations to ensure that we have appropriate hygiene and sanitation supplies on hand and are educating our children about the importance of hygiene and social distancing, the latter of which is very complicated in an environment like Kibera. 
We know that everyone across the globe is feeling the impact of this virus and that the needs are great everywhere. We are ever grateful for the support we are receiving through GlobalGiving and for this week's GlobalGiving matching campaign, which will help us to offset increased expenditures during this time.
 
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