COVID-19 In Africa
Major African stats as of May 11:
- Confirmed cases = 63,293
- Number of deaths = 2,290
- Recoveries = 21,837
- Infected countries: 53
- Virus-free countries: 1 (Lesotho)
Updates from where we work as of May 11:
- Burundi: 15
- Malawi: 56
- Tanzania: 509
- Zambia: 267
- Zimbabwe: 36
VOH Africa News: Launching HOPE Packs!
Tuesday, May 5th was #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving in response to the need caused by COVID-19. For Giving Tuesday, we launched our new HOPE Packs!
In the countries where VOH Centers are located, movement restrictions and school closures due to COVID-19 have made caring for the VOH children more challenging and yet more important than ever.
HOPE Packs is one way we are responding to this immediate need.
These care packages will be distributed to VOH children and will provide them with a supply of nutrition and health support for themselves and their families.
Each package contains:
- 1 bottle of liquid hand soap
- 2kgs of nutritious porridge
- reusable face masks (with use and care instructions)
- children’s multi-vitamins
- a COVID-19 safety handout
Each HOPE Pack costs $20 and provides immediate and necessary care to the children and families of VOH Africa.
We’ve already raised $2,000, that’s 100 HOPE Packs! Support this initiative by donating a HOPE Pack today!
Bwiza (Burundi): Taking Steps to Prevent COVID-19
In Burundi, the government has not closed schools and so at VOH Bwiza we continue holding classes while ensuring we are doing all we can to keep our children safe.
It has taken a lot of extra effort to put preventative measures in place. Some of the things we are doing include: setting up hand washing stations and ensuring the children wash their hands multiple times throughout the day.
We also space the children at a safe distance for all activities and have only one child per desk instead of the usual two or three.
We regularly remind the children about the current COVID-19 pandemic and provide updated information as well as ongoing reminders about how to protect themselves at school and at home.
Kitwe (Zambia): New Blankets!
At VOH Kitwe, the children in our Children’s Homes received warm blankets from Fwebi! Fwebi is an international student from Namibia and was introduced to us by a local pastor’s wife.
Fwebi donated the blankets as a celebration for her birthday. Fwebi’s generosity offered a great lesson in sharing. The children were reminded “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
During her visit, while practicing social distancing, the children were given their blankets and treated to snacks and sweets.
Fwebi’s gift reminded the children that even during COVID-19, they are not forgotten and there are still people thinking of them.
Luongo (Zambia): First Aid Training
This past week at VOH Luongo, we conducted a refresher First Aid course for the teachers so they can stay on top of their training.
Although the children are not attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic, they do come to the centre for the daily feeding program and they know we are still available to provide first aid and initial medical assistance should they need it.
Part of our training was to check our First Aid boxes and ensure they are well stocked with the necessary supplies
Malawi: Supporting Vulnerable Families
Recently the government of Malawi called for a 21-day lockdown throughout the country. This led to some concerns because the majority of the population lives hand to mouth and relies on their daily income to put food on the table. In other words what one earns in a day in Malawi often puts food on the table for that day only. This means the possibility of a lockdown had a lot of families worried.
In response to this, VOH Malawi prepared and distributed emergency food relief to several of our most vulnerable families. We were able to do this because of generous donations made locally and abroad.
Each family was surprised to find VOH personnel safely dropping off the food items at their homes. We are so grateful to be able to support VOH families during these difficult times!
Maramvya (Burundi): COVID-19 Prevention
At VOH Maramvya we have regular meetings to assess our efforts at protecting children and staff from COVID-19. The government has not called for a shutdown, but we still follow WHO guidelines and doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.
From time to time we invite community members to join so they can be a part of our update and informative discussions. Their attendance allows them to learn ways to help curb the spread of COVID-19 throughout their homes and community.
Mongu (Zambia): Staying Active At Home
While the children in our VOH Mongu homes are staying home, they are filling their time with crafts and new games!
This year, we have a volunteer who is a qualified occupational therapist. Her name is Tanya and she has been working with the children on different activities that will keep them busy but also help them with their fine and gross motor skills. She has them paintings, playing with play-doh, colouring, and playing with toys. She also taught them how to wash and disinfect their toys.
The children are having so much fun and are making the best of things!
Mwanza (Tanzania): Distributing Hope Packs!
Recently at VOH Mwanza, it was time to put together and distribute our Hope Packs. Hope Packs are nutrition packages for the children who live off-site.
Each pack contains 2kgs of nutritious porridge mix along with other items. We want to ensure when the children come back to school they are healthy and strong.
Our team worked together to get over 200 packages weighed and ready for pick and delivery. Even some of our resident kids who live in the children’s homes gave their time and energy to help prepare these packages, which will help their friends out in the community.
We are grateful that we can still provide nutrition and valuable resources to the VOH children and their families during these difficult times. It was wonderful to see the smiles on their faces when they received their packs!
Zimbabwe: Making Masks
The children at VOH Zimbabwe have started making masks for themselves and their fellow children in the community!
This is a very ambitious project for them because they are using the skills they learned just last year in their Clothing Technology class just before the onset of the pandemic.
They do not have an instructor in this project; instead, one of the girls who has graduated from high school and is taking a design course is the one who has been teaching them.
They want to do their part in preventing the spread of the virus in the community and amongst themselves. The target is to make 1,000 washable masks!
These masks will come in handy because they can be washed and reused.
We are so proud to see them take so much initiative and work to keep themselves and their community safe!