Coronavirus Relief: Updates From East Africa

Lahash is so thankful for these updates from our ministry partners in East Africa as they support children and families through the pandemic. With courage, creativity, and compassion our partners are coming alongside vulnerable people who are battling fear, hunger, lack of income, housing instability, and medical issues. As we stand together and join our efforts with theirs, we are seeing a huge positive impact even in the midst of a crisis. Use this button to help support their efforts, and continue reading below to see how they are reaching out to their communities at this critical time.


Tanzania

Grace & Healing Ministry has reached 185 families during the stay-at-home period, distributing nearly 200 bags of food items such as rice, beans, and maize flour. They see families struggling with hopelessness and feeling desperate due to having fewer customers at their small businesses or losing their jobs altogether. Some of the children have lost weight.

Schools have re-opened from preschool through university across Tanzania, with prevention measures like handwashing stations and requiring masks for children over 8 years old. The ministry staff is staying extremely vigilant as things re-open, continuing to visit children at home and monitor any emerging needs. Large gatherings of children in the Sponsorship Program will not resume until the team has more clarity about the impact of schools reopening.

For the Grace & Healing Ministry staff, knowing that Lahash is doing everything possible to help is a great source of comfort and strength in these trying times.

Efforts to spread out and wear masks are helpful as students in higher education resume classes.

Staff at Grace & Healing Ministry prepare bags of food to distribute to kids in need.

New handwashing stations are part of the rhythms of returning to primary school.

For our partners at Albino Peacemakers, the closure of schools presented a unique challenge because school is also home for the kids they serve. The unique needs of children with albinism make them among the most marginalized and vulnerable members of Tanzanian society. Securing safe travel and accommodations for all of them when boarding schools were closed was no easy task.

Now that the kids are back at their boarding schools, the Albino Peacemakers staff has been teaching the kids how to properly use their masks, how to recognize signs of coronavirus infection, and how to take all possible health precautions to stay safe. While there are risks with having them back at school, it is also extremely helpful for the staff to have more frequent contact with the children. They are monitoring the children’s health, safety, and development very closely, and providing for their personal care needs.

Kids served by Albino Peacemakers all received masks as they returned to boarding school at Arusha School.

The staff at Albino Peacemakers taught all the kids about the signs of coronavirus infection, as well as hygiene techniques like coughing into your elbow.

All the kids at boarding school in the small town of Same, Tanzania, received a new set of masks to wear around school.

Kenya

Our partners at Nipe Tumaini Children’s Home are doing very well. The children are all safe and healthy at the home, as Nipe Tumaini Academy remains closed. They have had successful harvests of a large variety of farm crops.

Severe windstorms caused damage to the school buildings, which are now under repair. While issues like this are more difficult to address during a pandemic, they are thankful that the children were not using the building, and repairs can be safely completed before school resumes.

Nipe Tumaini’s foundational philosophy of working toward sustainability is truly paying off these days, as they are able to eat well with the food they have grown, and are even able to share with others around them who are in great need. The Nipe Tumaini staff is finding dire situations in the local community due to lost income, especially among the families whose children normally attend Nipe Tumaini Academy. Nipe Tumaini has been distributing rice, flour, cooking oil, maize, and beans to over 30 families, and would welcome the opportunity to do more for these families they care so much about.

Proper hygiene and handwashing have been a big focus of keeping the kids healthy at Nipe Tumaini.

Crops have been growing well, helping keep everyone in the home well fed even as food prices rise in the region.

Joseph and the other kids help pick ripe fruit and vegetables around the farm.

Nipe Tumaini founder Benson Mungai helps with the harvest and has also been sharing the farm’s bounty with surrounding neighbors.

Rwanda

Rwanda has been able to mitigate the spread of the virus rather well, and yet the measures necessary to do so have left the caregivers for the kids in the Sponsorship Program without income. The lockdown measures have had the greatest impact on bicycle taxi drivers, tailors, small vendors in markets, and other casual labor and small business jobs. Many families are struggling even to eat once a day, and are living in fear of hunger with no way to pay for rent or medical care when needed.

Our ministry partners at ERM-Rwanda have reached over 70 families with rice, maize flour, and sugar to help support their nutrition, and are eager to do much more.

Staff at ERM-Rwanda purchased bulk food items to help provided needed nutrition for families during the country-wide lockdown.

Checking in with kids and families to pray together and deliver resources and assistance is central to our partners ongoing response in Rwanda.

As we celebrate the amazing progress made in the Stand Together campaign so far, let’s remember the importance of our collective efforts and finish strong!

Let’s Stand Together in prayer for the entire region of East Africa.
Let’s Stand Together to help secure food and housing for families who have not been able to work during coronavirus containment measures.
Let’s Stand Together to equip our ministry partners to serve safely and efficiently.
Let’s Stand Together to help provide the critical care needed at this challenging time.

It is such a privilege to Stand Together with all our ministry partners as they love and serve their communities and the Lahash kids. To see even more recent photos and stories, visit our Facebook pageThank you for praying, giving, and standing with us!