During COVID, let us remember to call on the practices of the virtue of UNITY: "We experience our connectedness with all people and all life."
Like many who will read this report, COVID – 19 has interrupted our lives, programs, and resources. Before COVID 19, we were in discussion to train members of Christian communities and other church groups. Those are now on hold as is the training of all first-year students at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.
The program for Anglican Church of Kenya schools was interrupted by the Ministry of Education when they required to review all non – curriculum training that was being offered in schools. We have not been able to appeal our case because of COVID – 19 restrictions.
COVID 19 – VIRUS
Kenya Government put stringent measures following the COVID 19 Virus in March 2020.
- All Schools system, i.e Early Childhood all the way for the university were suspended. To date, the 2020 academic year has been lost.
- All examinations were suspended.
- All social gatherings – political rallies, church, meetings, conferences, training, sporting activities, and all other organized or spontaneous outdoor events, weddings were canceled.
- Burial ceremonies were limited to 15 family members keeping social distance and wearing masks.
- Dusk to dawn curfew.
- People were asked to stay home, keep safe
- Many civil servants do not report to work; while the private sector introduced work from home.
- Working hours were reduced
- Closure of eateries, restaurants, and bars
The government is endeavoring to open up the economy being guided by the Ministry of Health and COVID – 19 statistics. Meanwhile, COVID – 19 rules are still enforced by the government.
COVID – 19 restrictions have led to many challenges for families and community:
- Domestic violence
- Early pregnancies
These challenges are keeping us very busy in the community and at Kakamega Police Station, Children Protection Unit. We support the families using the virtues cards which I acknowledge to be a wonderful counseling tool.
RESPONSE, GAINS, AND CHALLENGES
Our trained groups used to hold meetings with Virtues Refreshers, Virtues Pick, Compassionate game, Table Banking, and other Virtues activities. This enhanced positivity. I am pleased to report that we have created Whats App groups as a way to continue to connect, and so far, we have not experienced negative reports from member groups. This indicates that Virtues are having a positive impact even during these hard COVID 19 times.
Mindfulness Youth Virtues Support Group continues to work on a project to raise rabbits and also grow indigenous vegetables using organic manure.
Members of our trained groups are positive influences in the community as well as the church. They draw strength from the Teachable Moments Strategy of The Virtues Project.
We continue to rent an office in Kakamega for our meetings at Sh 12,000/= per month.
We are operating in a community that is very poor and that cannot even raise the cost of training materials. The groups carry out small table banking programs, and, so far do not experience conflict among themselves. Three groups are still struggling to raise funds for chicken house rearing chicken as an economic activity.
When the government relaxes the COVID – 19 Control, we hope to restart Virtues Training and also find ways to enhance our income-generating projects.
We thank you for your caring and continued support. Your generosity is making a positive difference, especially during these challenging times. And we thank you for your unity, "unity comes when we value every person, in our family or in our world."Attachments: