May 8, 2020

A Coronavirus Giving Tuesday

BARKA staffer delivers soap and sensitization
BARKA staffer delivers soap and sensitization

Dear Friend,

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burkina Faso is experiencing a perfect storm.

Burkina was having a full blown humanitarian crisis even before the start of COVID-19, which it is exceptionally ill-equipped to handle. Almost 1 million people are already internally displaced due to insecurity and being forced to leave their homes, more than 2000 schools and more than 300 health clinics were forced to close by terrorists, much of the nation was already in a state of emergency and under curfew. Well, the rest of the world quickly caught up as we now all face eerily similar conditions.

The lockdown and economic collapse caused by COVID19 hit nonprofits very hard. We'd like to thank all those who have been thinking of BARKA and the Burkinabe we serve and made donations in recent weeks. It touches our hearts. In honor of this unprecedented crisis, the NGO community quickly reacted to take the unprecedented step of creating a Giving Tuesday in May to remind everyone that the organizations doing life saving work around the world also need support.

It's difficult to ask you to support our work at a time like this. We understand too well that everyone has been adversely financially affected, that you may be experiencing grief at the loss of a loved one... this is not a time when BARKA Foundation would normally ask for financial support. We almost did not participate Giving Tuesday on May 5th. However we realized that reaching out now presents an important opportunity to inform you of what's happening on the ground in Burkina right now. It also offers a way for you to be more involved, to be a partner in this work, to share in its successes and to help ensure its continuity.

Right now, BARKA is doing all it can to ensure the health and safety of thousands of people. We have shifted our focus to combat the coronavirus by delivering hand washing sensitization and liquid soap to 3000 people, while supporting a local women's organization which produced the soap. If we raise more funds, we can reach more people. 100% of funds raised today will go toward this action.

Even though Giving Tuesday has passed, please consider making a donation today to help some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. BARKA serves as a conduit between you and the people of Burkina. In that spirit of reciprocity, we want to thank you for your financial support which makes our ability to support Burkinabè possible. We can't thank you enough. All we can do is say the biggest thank you we know how to say... barka.

Liquid soap ready for distribution
Liquid soap ready for distribution

Links:

May 8, 2020

A Coronavirus Giving Tuesday

Village Chief Receives Soap from BARKA Foundation
Village Chief Receives Soap from BARKA Foundation

Dear Friend,

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burkina Faso is experiencing a perfect storm.

Burkina was having a full blown humanitarian crisis even before the start of COVID-19, which it is exceptionally ill-equipped to handle. Almost 1 million people are already internally displaced due to insecurity and being forced to leave their homes, more than 2000 schools and more than 300 health clinics were forced to close by terrorists, much of the nation was already in a state of emergency and under curfew. Well, the rest of the world quickly caught up as we now all face eerily similar conditions.

The lockdown and economic collapse caused by COVID19 hit nonprofits very hard. We'd like to thank all those who have been thinking of BARKA and the Burkinabè we serve and made donations in recent weeks. It touches our hearts. In honor of this unprecedented crisis, the NGO community quickly reacted to take the unprecedented step of creating a Giving Tuesday in May to remind everyone that the organizations doing life saving work around the world also need support.

It's difficult to ask you to support our work at a time like this. We understand too well that everyone has been adversely financially affected, that you may be experiencing grief at the loss of a loved one... this is not a time when BARKA Foundation would normally ask for financial support. We almost did not participate in Giving Tuesday on May 5th. However we realized that reaching out now presents an important opportunity to inform you of what's happening on the ground in Burkina right now. It also offers a way for you to be more involved, to be a partner in this work, to share in its successes and to help ensure its continuity.

At this moment, BARKA is doing all it can to ensure the health and safety of thousands of people. We have shifted our focus to combat the coronavirus by delivering hand washing sensitization and liquid soap to 3000 people, while supporting a local women's organization which produced the soap. If we raise more funds, we can reach more people. 100% of funds raised today will go toward this action.

Even though Giving Tuesday has passed, please consider making a donation today to help some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. BARKA serves as a conduit between you and the people of Burkina. In that spirit of reciprocity, we want to thank you for your financial support which makes our ability to support Burkinabè possible. We can't thank you enough. All we can do is say the biggest thank you we know how to say... barka.

Liquid soap lined up for distribution to villages
Liquid soap lined up for distribution to villages

Links:

Mar 26, 2020

Responding to COVID-19 in Burkina Faso

Girls in class before school closures from COVID19
Girls in class before school closures from COVID19

Dear Friend of BARKA,

We hope this email finds you safe, healthy and following precautions to shelter in place and limit social interactions in order to reduce exposure to COVID-19. In the light of the global Coronavirus pandemic, it has never been clearer how fragile life is, how interconnected we all are to one another, and how collaboratively we must work
to overcome the grand challenges we face. It is our sincere hope that we emerge from this crisis with increased awareness and resolve to ensure that everyone has clean water, food, shelter and healthcare.

CORONAVIRUS IMPACT IN BURKINA FASO: Burkina has now confirmed 146 cases of Coronavirus; 4 Ministers and the Ambassdaor of the United States, who has been very supportive of BARKA's work, have been infected, and there have been 5 confirmed deaths. There are more cases of COVID-19 and more deaths in Burkina Faso than anywhere else in West Africa. The Burkina government has prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people, bars, restaurants and markets have been closed in Ouagadougou, a nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am began on March 21st, all schools are closed until April 14, the two national airports have closed and land and railway traffic has been suspended.

We are particularly concerned about the virus' effect in Burkina because its national health infrastructure is so ill-equipped and vulnerable. In addition, Burkina was experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis before this due to insecurity which could disrupt humanitarian aid flow. To make matters worse, nearly half the country lacks access to clean water, making the Coronavirus an even bigger threat. Combine this with poor hygiene, handwashing without soap, and low awareness of the vectors of disease in rural areas, and the result could be catastrophic.

For further details about the situation in Burkina which BARKA is monitoring daily, please visit our webpage devoted to our response to COVID-19 in Burkina Faso.

BARKA'S RESPONSE: During a Board Meeting on March 21st, BARKA’s Board of Directors determined to immediately focus its efforts to sensitize the population of our village partners and internally displaced people currently taking shelter in Fada N’Gourma on the critical importance of frequent handwashing at this time.

In the process, BARKA will support several local women’s organizations in the Fada area by purchasing locally produced soap made with shea butter.  As markets, sales and revenue have dried up for local sellers, this will provide a much-needed income generating activity for dozens of women in several women-run associations.

BARKA's staff is all healthy and taking necessary precautions such as limiting travel, avoiding large meetings, and focusing its work in the Fada commune, which has no confirmed cases as of yet.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: We realize that everyone has been hit hard economically by this sudden life-changing situation that we all face. We'd like to emphasize that as difficult as things may seem to us in developed countries, the situation is far more grave in Burkina. If you're looking for ways to help those less fortunate and more vulnerable, making a donation to assist BARKA's in utilizing its WASH expertise to reduce Coronavirus transmission in the bush of Africa offers a great opportunity to participate.

Thank you for your generosity of spirit, your big heart and your prayers. May we all come through this crisis together with greater strength, resliience, wisdom and love in our hearts. Barka.

Handwashing with soap is key to halt transmission
Handwashing with soap is key to halt transmission

Links:

 
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