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  • Kenya Works

Nourish: Issue #2

Dear Kenya Works Friends,

Around the world, COVID-19 has drastically altered our day-to-day lives and created a feeling of uncertainty. We've all received information on how to stay calm, stay safe and flatten the curve, and I hope you are finding ways to stay healthy both physically and emotionally.

While media coverage surrounding the spread of COVID-19 focuses largely on Europe, Asia and the U.S., I want to create more visibility into the pandemic’s impact on Kenyan communities, households and lives. Let's make sure the idea ofstaying at home togetheris inclusive of all the world's people.

In Kenya, where millions experience vulnerability in the best of times, social distancing and hand-washing to stop the spread of the virus are luxuries that will be hard to manage. It’s now been a month since Kenya closed schools, businesses and borders and initiated a countrywide nightly curfew. This mass closure has had a significant effect on Kenyans and their ability to feed and safely harbor their families. Adding to that pressure, the school-aged population is largely nourished through a daily school meal, now nonexistent.

I am happy to report that Kenya Work’s flexibility and networks on the ground are helping Kenya’s most vulnerable families survive this crisis. We are currently responding to the greatest needs on the ground by expanding feeding programs. Our school-based feeding programs continue despite school closures and are adapting to the unique needs of the communities we serve. Some are continuing through the school facility and others are shifting to food distributions to families.If you have the ability to help, your dollars today can fund food on the ground tomorrow.

In addition to expanding feeding efforts, we are also focused on community outreach to educate on mitigation efforts; the Makini Pad production team is now also making masks; we are staying engaged with our scholars. We are also staying in touch with our human rights forum participants reminding them of the learned violence prevention strategies. We’ll share more stories in the weeks to come of the many engagement points we are adapting and utilizing.

I am proud of the work we do under normal circumstances. But I am so impressed by the way our organization has risen to this occasion with strength, purpose and innovation. We have an outstanding and committed team on the ground and amazing donors rallying in support of our efforts. 

Thank you for sharing in our common bonds of humanity and remembering those across the globe who need our help. We will get through this pandemic together, and in a way that is inclusive of those who are most vulnerable. And, we will be better for the work we do, united as a global community. Let’s do it!

Warm regards,

Julie Schaller-Schmidt

Executive Director

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