Due to Covid-19 mitigation measures and the country’s lockdown all our Nutrition programs had to be closed leaving over 450 children from Pumula, Ngozi Mine, Cabatsha and Woodville stranded without notice. These are some of the oldest and most remote areas with Ngozi Mine being a dump site housing over 200 households in squatter camps. Apart from being fed nutritious meals, children are being powered in spiritual and informal tutoring as well as being provided with psychosocial support. Closing down was one of the hardest decisions to be made yet so necessary for the safety of the all, children, families as well as our staff members.
At the pronouncement of level 2 of lockdown, we managed to reopen three of the programs, Wodville, NgoziMine and Cabatsha only to distribute food. A week into this mode of operation, we realized the dire need for lunchboxes and with a help of one of our generous donors, manages to secure 360 lunchboxes enabling the children to collect lunch meals and arrive home whilst it was still intact. The response from the communities has been heartwarming to see the relief and excitement from the children as they come on a daily basis to collect their lunch from our centers. The current water challenges have not made our work easy; enforcing thorough washing of hands has been most difficult. Social distancing and wearing of masks continue to be practiced and we are doing all that we can to pass on information to the communities we are working in. the Ngozi Mine program has the highest turnout of children and young adults getting meals. All other activities have been suspended to avoid a gathering. As the global environment remains uncertain, we are truly grateful for the overwhelming support that we are receiving to enable us to ensure these
Our nation has been hard hit, especially those who are self-employed and work from hand to mouth, for the group that is employed a number have been laid off or are on unpaid leave indefinitely. Out there is a large group of child-headed households whose hope is on the society. We are glad that children receive at least one hot meal per day and need the help of society to continue providing these meals. Donations of lunch boxes, sanitizers, water containers, food stuffs (maize meal, beans, cooking oil, maheu, children’s masks will be much appreciated.