Local Women Create the Masks
As we reported in our March update, Kenyan Schools are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our staff has used this time to develop Teacher Professional Development Programs, to prepare literacy activities and the 2020 Reading Challenge Program, to read (we have staff D.E.A.R time -- drop everything and READ), and to monitor the building of compost toilets and the growing Morninga Trees.
In addition, we are teaming up with the local Public Health Officer and officials to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. As the leading NGO in our district, we believe it's our responsibility to help our students, their families, and neighbors as safe as possible. Face masks are in short supply in Kenya, yet the Minister of Health is strongly recommending that all Kenyans wear them when going to the markets and other public places like gathering water. Boda Boda (motorcyle) drivers, who provide essential transportation to those living in the hills of Wamunyu, are especially at risk and potentially could be spreading the virus. We also know that some families in our rural community are not receiving the latest public health warnings and announcements.
As a result, Kenya Connect has been collaborating with the Public Health Officer on developing strategies and solutions to stop the spread of Covid-19 in our sub-county. Due to our proximity to Nairobi, there is concern that if the virus spreads to our rural community, it would be devastating due to the lack of health care and other challenges related to the lack of clean water and extreme poverty.
In addition to leading the way with effective hand washing, Kenya Connect has commissioned women, who make our Wings Poa Reusable Sanitary Pad kits, to make face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Using a WHO recommended pattern, the women are sewing the masks to provide the most vulnerable in the community including women in the market, community public health volunteers, and Boda Boda drivers. Others will be able to purchase the masks at very affordable amounts. Our goal is to distribute over 2500 masks.
The masks have begun to be distributed in the community. We are providing training and have included a leaflet in Kiswahili, Kikamba, and English with information on proper usage and cleaning of the masks, the effectiveness of continuous hand washing and the importance of not gathering in large groups. Along with assisting with the public health crisis, the women creating the masks receive much-needed income when the economy is collapsing due to the economic strains of the pandemic. We are proud that our masks are 100% Kenyan made with Kenyan fabric by Kenyan sewers.
These are very challenging times. We pray that you and your family are safe. We will continue to update you on how we are responding to the the challenge of the pandemic and we look forward to updating you once our students are back in school! As always, we are deeply grateful for our GlobalGiving supporters like you.
Sewing at their Homesteads
Training is Essential
Washing hands is a front line defense
Providing Masks to Boda Boda Drivers
Our students are learning and being protected too