It has been more than two months now that the world seems to have completely shut down. And while many governments all over the world try to tackle the crisis the best they can, local solidary initiatives arose especially in those areas, where people are most vulnerable.
In Kenya, The Covid19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed has left a lot of people without an income. Concerned are especially those who work in the informal sector, and today, many of them are struggling to feed themselves and their families.
But sometimes, great difficulties lead to great initiatives – such as in Kiberia, one of Nairobi’s biggest slums. Here, community members walk around weekly, loaded with food baskets and essentials such as soap or washing powder for those currently in need. You want to know who is paying for these food and essentials? The organizers of the initiative went online – they started a facebook group and a gofoundme campaign in order to raise enough money to buy the much needed food supplies. And guess what? They have already raised more than 12.000$ and were able to provide more than 500 food baskets to families in March and April.
The Karen Crusaders Touch Rugby, a Kenyan group of rugby players have also founded an initiative in order to supply slum inhabitants of Nairobi with food: “Strengthening the Vulnerable”. Having started with a group of 30 people, they now reach up to 170 slum residents per day, and have already supported more than 1800 people. The rugby players and their team do not only donate food, but also much needed facemasks, clothes, shoes, blankets and sanitary towels financed by themselves, families and friends. After weeks of hard work, they are now cooperating with Kenya’s official Covid-19 Emergency Response Team, an arm of the government.
The founders of Yoga Heart Kenya, who run a yoga studio in Nairobi and grew up in the slum of Kangemi, Nairobi, have now turned their attention to supporting communities in the two slums of Kangemi and Kibagare. Their support reaches from installing handwashing stations to the distribution of basic food necessities for the most vulnerable.
While some Kenyans lost their jobs, others continue to work – such as many security guards in the country’s capital. Because shifts often stretch from the early morning hours until the evening, and the government imposed a strict curfew between 7pm and 5am, many of them cannot reach a supermarket before it closes and thus, go home to their families empty handed. Therefore, some neighbourhoods the guards serve have decided to collect money and do the grocery for them.
While Corona confronts all of us with unprecedent challenges, a new wave of solidarity is spreading around the world. Follow our blog in order to hear more about initiatives from communities from all over the world.