Meet Benedetta. She is currently in class 8 at Kirichia Primary school. Her parents are Joseph and Emily who work as subsistence farmers, and Benedetta is their 13th and youngest child.
The truth is that, like Benedetta, where we work all children and their families have never known a world without a pandemic. From cholera to typhoid, they face deadly illnesses all the time. Coronavirus is just the latest addition. But where we work 80% of people have no access to clean water or soap, and no protection against viruses and diseases.
When Coronavirus first reached Kenya in March, our team responded rapidly by planning a joint response with our partners in the Ministry of Public Health to help families like Benedetta’s. In order to effectively reach as many people as possible we decided to train teams of Community Health Volunteers to roll out a public information campaign across their own communities. As a result over 30,000 people are now able to protect themselves from coronavirus through the simple act of washing their hands. You can read more about how your support achieved this on my previous blog post.
At the same time they’ve been helping key workers like doctors and nurses, bus and taxi drivers, and police and prison guards get the training and hygiene equipment they need to keep themselves and the most vulnerable in the community safe. For example, our team has now trained over 1,000 motorcycle taxi drivers. These drivers are the backbone of the local economy as they constantly ferry people and vital goods from A to B. In many areas they are key workers, because as there are so few paved roads they are often the only form of motorised transport. Our team has provided these drivers with masks, hygiene supplies and practical advice on how they can keep themselves and their customers safe.
In August the scale and quality of Dig Deep’s response to coronavirus was formally recognised at a reception and press conference with the Governor of Bomet, who praised our work on national television. As a result, numerous other county’s have asked us to help them scale up their responses to coronavirus and our Head of Programmes, Justus Tanui, is helping them achieve this.
This means that your support is now helping tens of thousands more children like Benedetta to protect themselves and their families from coronavirus, as well as the rest of the deadly illnesses they have always faced.
As we continue to be reminded in our own lives just how vital handwashing is to protect the well-being of the people that we love, our team are even more grateful for the support you have shown to Dig Deep. Without you we would not have been able to reach these communities. Thank you.
I know that everyone’s experiences this year have ranged from boredom and minor inconveniences all the way to tragedy, so I really hope you and your family and friends are all well.
We have a lot of really exciting events and opportunities coming in the run up to Christmas and it would be great to see you there - find out more on our (new and improved) get involved page.
Stay safe (and keep encouraging everyone around you to wash those hands!),