Dear MCFp Friends
Your gift today will keep 104 former street children and teenage mothers going. Even if we are apart we are in this together…
We are because you are and I thank you for being part of our MCFP community. I know it’s a scary time. The impact of Coronavirus is being felt in every home and workplace around the world. I hope you and your loved ones are staying strong and have the support you need at this time of uncertainty.
COVID 19 has lifted the veil on the desperate levels of inequality and exemplified that the world cannot sustain such levels of disparity. The pandemic has catalyzed the dire need and urgency for a new normal, one that will remove the systemic barriers that continue to hold the marginalized back. This new reality must honor the spirit behind ensuring that we all thrive in our uniqueness and diversity. But the virus is now spreading across Africa, hitting countries with weak healthcare systems that already face challenges from access to water and overcrowded housing, making hand-washing and social distancing a luxury…in terms of health, the informal settlements are more at risk due to malnutrition, chronic respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and higher exposure to other diseases associated with weak hygiene practices, exposure to waste and wastewater, overcrowding, inadequate housing and exposure to seasonal flooding, changing weather conditions and otherrisks.
Would you imagine a few weeks, some of my constituents had their “homes” demolished!!! We have a lock down that has been extended to 21 more days in Kenya but then the powerful decide to demolish houses to over more than 5000 families leaving them hungry, no place to call their home and yet we have a curfew! That is what we have to deal with.
There are also serious economic challenges due to the loss of income as most residents rely on informal daily work to put food on the table every day. The lockdowns, curfews, transport restrictions and closure of businesses, building sites and markets mean there are few opportunities available.
We have also seen the potential for social problems. For example, the threat of unrest and violence related to the enforcement actions of national measures related to COVID-19 and the increase in domestic violence, we have had to deal with more than 23 cases of domestic violence in the last 2 months and we have 2 cases in ICU with no good end in sight.
At MCFp, we are living our vision and ethos, and embodying this new reality. We are investing in weekly care packages parcels to the most needy, providing medical needs and any psycho- social support we can offer under the circumstances while working to end this period poverty and reduce the increased financial strain on families. These care packages include dry food, face Masks produced by our teenage mothers and sanitizers to meet the essential living needs of our constituents. To date, we have reached between 1500 persons (60/70 families) every week for the last 5 weeks. "Leaving no one behind" is even more important during these times, for the well-being of all and controlling the pandemic.
As the world grapples with the pandemic, children lives are turned upside down everywhere you look. As part of the MCFpanairobi community, I ask you to remember those who are most at risk. You’ve already done so much for those who are most in need. The street children and teen mums who fall under our care are designated as the highest risk of going hungry and sickly but with your past generosity, you’ve put the right organization to take care of this.
One of the teenage mums came to me in tears “Titus, am so hungry and my kids and my siblings are so distressed and hungry... I fear we might contract the coronavirus but that’s not even important, we are hungry…” it’s put an extra burden on me and friends of MCFp to ensure we are able give them food and this is why I come to you for support my dear MCFp friend.
A few friends of MCFpanairobi have come through the last few weeks but from the look of things, we will need more support in provision of food packs, medical care and psychosocial support, please help us out if you can.
Thank you for your kindness and compassion.
Lastly I end this letter with a poem of a student whose homes were demolished for you to understand the severity of the problems that my constituencies are going through. It’s anonymous and copied.
There was a “house” here – shattered glass, wattle, wood and iron sheets – the bulldozer didn’t know…
There was living here – a flattened plastic cup, a metallic plate, banana peels, paracetamol tablets – the bulldozer didn’t know
There was hope here – school books, a bag, a half inch pencil – the bulldozer didn’t know
There was a “secure” house to protect the family from rain and sunshine – the bulldozer didn’t know.
In what used to be Monday, Korogocho/Kariobangi children – young boys and girls with their mothers walked by, picking up broken pieces, hungry, angry and determined to start again as the bulldozer dug trenches to ensure no one ever builds on that land again BECAUSE THE BULLDOZER JUST COULDNT KNOW!!!
Delivery of Food
Demolitions in Kariobangi
Receiving Food Pacakages
Children receiving food