Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India

by HANDS AROUND THE WORLD
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Responding to COVID-19 Challenges - Africa & India
Back to school soon!
Back to school soon!

Thank you for supporting our Covid appeal. We're pleased to report that most of the children who participate in the activities run by our partners in Benin, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia and India are now back in school and college. Thanks to your support the various centres and schools we work with are able to follow precautionary measures and help keep everyone safe.


Of all the countries where our partner projects are located, it is the children in India who have suffered the longest school closures (17 months now). This has been a huge loss for the children of the New Life Centre (NLC), Sarberia - a rural area in West Bengal. NLC staff have remained busy throughout, monitoring the childrens’ progress as they learn in these exceptionally difficult circumstances; without a regular source of electricity, nowhere to study at home and, for the most part, parents who cannot help with home-schooling as they never went to school themselves. Access to online lessons has been impossible for all but a few of the older pupils who have access to a smart phone. The younger children especially have missed out on a great deal this past year and a half. Hopefully, that is about to change as schools prepare to reopen for all pupils at long last.


Mr Naskar, Founder and Director of the New Life Centre in Sarberia is putting everything in place to welcome the children back to school later this month and thanks to your support, the school will have everything they need to help keep pupils and staff safe (facemasks, sanitiser, cleaning products, thermometers etc).


The New Life Centre also offers vocational training in tailoring. This has already reopened and is proving popular with 12 trainees currently enrolled. The course offers the opportunity for girls who are no longer in school or college to learn a skill and ultimately to start a small business.


Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for computer training has increased significantly and they are also planning to start job-oriented computer training for young people. To get this started they are in the process of fixing up 4 PCs.


Thank you for supporting HATW and our partners through this difficult time, let’s hope there are brighter days ahead.

Tailoring students
Tailoring students
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Pupils at Pizz School in Zambia
Pupils at Pizz School in Zambia

Ever since its inception almost thirty years ago, Hands Around The World has been about building  friendships. We work in partnership with people we know well and seek to have a mutual understanding of the aims and challenges of the projects we support. Face to face contact through  visits from our volunteers and staff has always been an important way of maintaining that understanding and achieving a good level of accountability to each other. During these days of restricted travel we have had to rely on technology for communication, this has highlighted problems for our partners caused by lack of equipment, wifi and electricity. We have been able to identify needs and seek to meet them both in terms of immediate help and future planning. Regular video calls combined with phone, text and email have helped us to continue to offer not just practical help, but also the encouragement and emotional support that our partners have sometimes needed.

We are relieved and delighted that, at the time of writing, none of our projects has reported cases of Covid 19 within the direct community they serve. This does not mean that there has been no impact, there have undoubtedly been serious issues to address. Schools have been closed for varying periods of time, leaving children especially vulnerable to everything from malnutrition to unwanted pregnancy. In order to mitigate problems our partners have temporarily changed some of their ways of working, adapting to current needs. They have supplied food to the children in lieu of the school lunches they are missing, in some cases extending that support to families and the wider community. Food distribution also helps to maintain contact with vulnerable children which supports their general well-being.

Fundraising has inevitably been more of a challenge recently and we are, as ever, deeply grateful to those who help to finance the work of Hands Around The World. In some ways Covid 19 unifies and breaks down barriers, this is a common enemy and accentuates the need for global friendships. In other ways this disease only increases the disadvantages given to some children by an accident of birth. Being born into poverty in an area where subsistence living is the norm makes everything harder. Thank you for helping us redress the balance a little. Let's keep working together to offer better life chances to children everywhere.

Learning outside at Irindiro Special School, Kenya
Learning outside at Irindiro Special School, Kenya
Playing on the swing at Chez Papa Geoff, Benin
Playing on the swing at Chez Papa Geoff, Benin
Back to school before the latest lockdown in India
Back to school before the latest lockdown in India
Small study meet at Kaliyangile, Zambia
Small study meet at Kaliyangile, Zambia
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Without the children, the playground is overgrown
Without the children, the playground is overgrown

INDIA

New Life Centre School, Sarberia: 

The school has sadly been closed since March 2020 and whilst the Government advises online learning this is virtually impossible in Sarberia. The area has an unreliable electricity supply and with no facilities for studying in the houses that the children live in and parents who can help with only the basic level of education, online study at home isn’t practical and the children have been missing out, not only socially but with their education. Thankfully, the teachers who are receiving some pay (a percentage of their salaries through the HATW sponsorship scheme)have been producing hard copies of work, mostly for the older children, and then marking the work and tutoring the children in this way, with physical contact in small groups, as and when possible.  It is hoped that schools can reopen again in March 2021. Exactly a year after they closed.  

The Government has decreed that January and February 2021 will be spent doing revision classes online which will mean by hard copies in the New Life Centre, and then the new syllabus will begin in March when the school should hopefully be open.  Registration for school places has taken place. 

AFRICA 

Zambia: Pizz school, Monze 

Pizz School has continued to offer practical support to its pupils, and some past pupils, through the pandemic. During the periods of enforced school closures, a feeding programme has been implemented to ensure that the absence of a school lunch does not impact too adversely on the children.   

The periods of school closure have been a challenge, with many suffering through hunger and poverty. The cost of food and other essential supplies has increased with limited availability. The latest return to school date’ this year has again been delayed by another two weeks, with the latest news for schools is that they will open 1st February.   

Throughout the school closure the school staff and volunteers have remained committed to the wellbeing of the children, ensuring that contact is maintained wherever possible and that the most vulnerable children receive donations of food to prevent hunger and malnutrition.   

Zambia: Kaliyangile Vocational Training Centre, Chisamba  

Sadly Kaliyangile Training Centre hasn’t been able to continue their training work for the community due to the local COVID-19 restrictions. However, the months have been used productively to ensure that the Centre is ready for full and extended use once they are able to open. Much needed support has also been given by the Centre to those locally, as poverty levels have increased with many losing their source of income to provide meals and clothing. With your help food and clothing distribution has been a vital and key component of Kaliyangile’s support to the community during this long and difficult period of COVID-19 restrictions. 

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Zambia is 46,146 (6,847 currently active – 25 Jan 2021) with 660 recorded deaths¹.  

Benin:  Chez Papa Geoff Orphanage, Affame: 

There have thankfully been no reported cases of COVID-19 at the orphanage, Chez Papa Geoff and they remain reasonably isolated and therefore continue to function well as a ‘safe family unit’. 

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Benin are 3,643 (278 currently active – 25 Jan 2021) with 48 recorded deaths. ¹  

Kenya: Disability Community centre, Maua  

DCC staff continued to visit children in the programme at their homes and provide COVID protective equipment and food to their families over the past months of lockdown. Thankfully, the special schools supported by the DCC have now been able to open again but are understandably cautious and keen to ensure that all COVID precautions are taken.  Again, your donations have helped to facilitate the safety of children here through the provision of facemasks, sanitiser and food for distribution at home during the periods of lockdown. Thank you. 

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kenya are 100,193 (14,818 currently active – 25 Jan 2021) with 1,750 recorded deaths.¹  

HATW support for all projects: 

Volunteer involvement to help with practical tasks, as well as in advisory and support roles, have always been a vital component of the success of the overseas projects that HATW are involved with.  Sadly, with the necessary COVID-19 travel restrictions, volunteers have been unable to visit to undertake this supportBut thanks to the technology now available to all (albeit with hugely restrictive internet and often electricity outage issues, in the project locations) support has continued remotely with all our volunteer project co-ordinators, that are based in the UK and in Jersey, actively engaged and helping the project managers and their teams through this difficult time.  Financial support, as and when needed, is also a vital and very necessary part of HATW’s support to each of the projects and we are grateful to you for your help with this.  Finances are stretched for the majority of charities at this time and without you, this much appreciated and vital network of support for our overseas projects would not be able to continue.  Thank you. 

¹ Data source: BBC resources/Coronavirus in Africa Tracker.  25 January 2021 

Kaliyangile - food parcels for families in need
Kaliyangile - food parcels for families in need
At Pizz, extra food is given when needed
At Pizz, extra food is given when needed
DCC Physio gives Emmanuel a facemask and handwash
DCC Physio gives Emmanuel a facemask and handwash
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Sept 2020

Great news for Pizz School in Zambia!  The children are able to go back to school! Thank you SO much for your support which has helped HATW to provide some assistance for COVID-19 safety measures in be put in place for the pupils to return.  The school successfully passed an inspection conducted by officials from the ministry of health prior to reopening.

Zambia’s National Education Coalition Executive Director George Hamusunga says "We are glad that the president has listened to our call in a timely manner and we are positive that the action taken by the government will help in mitigating the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the education sector."

Many precautions and changes have been put in place at Pizz to accommodate the opening of the school, such as:- 

  • Lots of hand washing (This was not something they had focussed on particularly before, other than in the middle building where there are sinks and running water. Usually just water was used.  Now they use soap and thorough hand washing is being actively taught and monitored).
  • Each child has a mask to wear whilst at school.
  • Social distancing is encouraged, although difficult with a large number of children in each class.
  • The temperature of all children is taken daily on entry to school and if their temperature is high, they go to an isolation room, whilst the school calls the healthcare unit who will visit, carry out an assessment, and put a plan of appropriate action in place for the school/child, if required.

HATW were also able to send funds for the sponsored secondary students in Zambia to buy masks to enable them to return to school as well.  Thank you!

More details from our other projects to follow ….

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HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

Location: MONMOUTH, MONMOUTHSHIRE - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Bridget Higginson
MONMOUTH, MONMOUTHSHIRE United Kingdom
$3,158 raised of $7,744 goal
 
65 donations
$4,586 to go
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