Updated: Aug 18
Thanks to your support over 30,000 people are now able to protect themselves from COVID-19 through the simple act of washing their hands.
Where we work in Kenya, 8 out of 10 people don't have the clean water and soap that they need to safely wash their hands. This means that the communities we serve are some of the most vulnerable in the world to COVID-19 and are in desperate need of accurate and practical advice about how to stay safe from the virus.
When COVID first reached Kenya in March, our team responded rapidly by planning a joint response with our partners in the Ministry of Public Health. 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.
I would like to introduce you to just one of these community health volunteers. This is Mercy Chabet, who lives in Sisei Village where she is the local Community Health Volunteer. It's the first time Mercy has worked directly with Dig Deep, but she knows our team as her two children attend one of the schools we have provided clean water to in the past. At the end of the training she told us ‘'I am looking forward to using the knowledge I have gained today to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in my community'
After their initial training, our team supported Mercy and the rest of these local heroes in visiting every household across 90 villages (at a safe social distance of course). They used the training they had received to give practical advice and encouragement on how each family could protect themselves. One of the key things they asked each household to do was to use locally available materials to build a simple handwashing station where the whole family could regularly wash their hands with soap (like the one in the photo below). This on the ground public information campaign was also complemented by the national awareness raising campaign taking place on radio, TV and social media.
The team went back to visit each household again to ask them what action they had taken and helped them to collate what they found. The team's initial results show that so far just over 6,000 households have constructed a simple handwashing station. This means that over 30,000 people are now able to protect themselves from COVID-19 through the simple act of washing their hands.
This has only been possible because of your generosity. Our local team led by our Country Manager Justus are already hard at work on the next stage of scaling up this vital work.
I would again like to ask that during these difficult times you consider supporting Dig Deep so we can continue to reach as many people as possible. We cannot do this without you, so as you work to keep your family safe can I ask that if you do have any capacity to make a donation to Dig Deep, of any kind, that you please consider doing so.
Thank you again for your support.
This blog post has been written by Justus Tanui (Country Manager) and Ben Skelton (CEO)