As most people struggle with economic recovery from the effects of COVID 19, many breadwinners for families in our network in Kibera rely on informal labor markets to support their families; some of these families are unable to provide a minimum of two meals to their children we teach. Many people live hand to mouth, unable to build financial safety nets and thus unable to provide food and basic necessities for their children. We are raising funds for food assistance during our classes.
Project Elimu works with children who mostly attend community-based schools in Kibera. Their families rely on work in the informal labour market. For example, mothers may work in other people's houses and fathers may work in construction. The lockdown because of COVID-19 means that they are not able to go to work and are therefore not being paid. The situation is the same for teachers, cooks and cleaners at the schools where our children learn. Children will therefore be going hungry very soon!
We want to provide food packages for families in Kibera to see them through the next few weeks. Our menstrual health programme involves local shopkeepers taking responsibility for distribution. Children are linked to a local shop where they can pick up free sanitary towels. We want to use this system to enable children and their families to access food packages close to where they live. The shop gets a small donation and the children have easy access to much needed supplies.
This is not a long-term project, but a means of giving families the means to survive the COVID-19 lockdown. The provision of food aid will enable children and their families to eat while their parents are not able to work, preventing ill health linked to hunger and giving them the best possible chance of survival should they become infected by the virus. Food aid will also prevent the children and their families from taking risks and becoming infected because they need to go out to find food.