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May 7, 2020

Coronavirus in Kibera and our response

Handwashing point provided for the community
Handwashing point provided for the community

Kenya recorded its first case of coronavirus in March 2020. In a bid to slow the spread of this virus, the Kenyan Government temporarily closed all learning institutions. This meant we also closed our programmes for the time being.

This abrupt turn of events also caused a sudden shift in the lives of our beneficiaries. The measures taken to curb the spread of the virus have adverse effects in their community. The closure of schools has meant that our beneficiaries can no longer rely on the feeding program offered in our programmes. The work from home directive translates to a loss of income for most of our parents who rely on casual work.

We have, therefore, shifted our focus to support our beneficiaries and the community during this period. Our current activities are geared towards reducing hunger and promoting health amongst vulnerable families worst hit by the pandemic and reducing the spread of coronavirus in Kibera.

We’ve set up a food voucher system to support the 150 vulnerable families that we serve. We provide a weekly food voucher that enables families to purchase essentials from the local shops we have partnered with. This system ensures that our beneficiaries don’t walk long distances to do their shopping and we also support local businesses in Kibera.

Funds that would normally be used to run our free primary school are being put towards these food vouchers. It’s a lot cheaper to buy food in bulk and cater for a school than to provide food for individual households so we’re also raising additional funds to make these vouchers go further, you can support our coronavirus response directly through this GlobalGiving project page

We are deeply concerned about our students who are now out of school due to the pandemic. Our teachers and social workers are checking in with each family regularly. We also have plans to support the children to continue learning at home. This is a real challenge as the majority have no internet access, but we are finding creative solutions!

Regular handwashing is one way to slow down the spreading virus but in a community with no piped water, where residents have to purchase water daily, in an already strained economy, this is a challenge. Our solution has been to set up handwashing stations around the community and provide soap and water at no extra cost. This activity is also creating an income for some of our parents and community groups that supply us with soap.

Social distancing in a densely-populated area is not possible and the use of face masks cannot be downplayed. We are currently providing face masks to our beneficiaries and their households. We hope that, with your help, we can be able to provide masks to more community members at no cost. These masks are made by our parents who have tailoring skills and they are therefore able to earn an income. We have also partnered with an organisation that has trained some of our parents to provide kid-sized masks.

We look forward to resuming all our normal programmes soon. Until then, your giving ensures that the families of the children we returned to school this year remain healthy and safe. We've been blown away by our friends' support for this so far, we are so grateful for the community of supporters standing with us at this time.

“None of us is safe until all of us are safe and no one is left behind” Ahunna Eziakonwa.

A student's mum whose been making face masks
A student's mum whose been making face masks
Feb 6, 2020

Hope Restored

The new academic year kicked off in January and it’s always an exciting time for us as we get to welcome new students into our program. However, the excitement is always laced with a hint of sadness as we listen to stories of children who come to seek a place in our education program.

One notable story is that of Cynthia, Cynthia grew up in Nairobi and lived with the father. The father was a provider and this meant that Cynthia had access to education and everything she needed to lead a healthy life. Unfortunately, the father got badly injured during a robbery incident and got hospitalised for a long time. This one incident changed the life of Cynthia; her mother left, she dropped out of school and had to go live with the father at their rural home.

Out of school and with no one to support her, Cynthia’s hopes to have a healthy life appeared to be slowly fading, until her auntie paid them a visit. Moved with compassion, her auntie travelled back to Nairobi with Cynthia. However, her spouse did not support this move and Cynthia did not report to school as the year started, leaving her auntie distraught.

It is at this point that our paths crossed and Cynthia was brought for admission at our transition class. A few weeks into the term and she is slowly adjusting to being back to school. Her presence in school has had a ripple effect; her father can now rest easy knowing her daughter is back in school, her auntie no longer feels like she made the wrong move bringing Cynthia to Nairobi and since Cynthia is paying no school fees and receives two meals in school, her uncle who is a casual labourer doesn’t feel the strain of taking care of an extra child.

Stories like this are reminders of the impact we create through our programs and though Cynthia’s journey is just beginning, we already see the impact of hope restored.

Jan 8, 2020

Growth

 

January is considerably a hot, dry and dusty month in Nairobi but this year it has started off with rain and with rain comes growth. We are excited to be back to school for the new school year and If we had to pick a word to describe the new year at Fountains of Hope Primary School, we would pick growth.

Growth because we all get to move to a new class, turn a year older, learn new things, make new friends and even take up  more responsibilities at school and home.

As we move on to a new class, we celebrate the 21 students transitioning to high school. 76% of the students scored over 250 Marks and the best student scored 368 points out of the possible 500 marks. We are proud of their achievements and we will continue to walk with them, encouraging them to achieve more in high school.

One class exiting means that we get to receive new friends and this year we welcome 12 new students from our Transition program. They spent the past year being prepared to join and re-join primary education and we celebrate this milestone with them.

We plan to not only grow in numbers but also in the academic and extra-curricular activities we engage in, our partnerships and our impact in the community we exist in.

Thank you for supporting us in 2019. We are excited that you still believe and support the vision of our work.

Growth, we hope you also experience growth in this New Year as you walk alongside us.

Happy New Year.

 

We welcome you to share in the moments we create this year by following us on social media:

Instagram:@tptrustkenya

Facebook: The Turning Point Trust

Twitter: @tptrust

 
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