SHARE Africa August 2020 Newsletter

SHARE Africa in COVID ERA

ORPHAN SCHOOLS STATUS:

The Board of SHARE Africa thanks you for your additional contributions to help our orphans during this unprecedented and difficult pandemic.  As you are aware during the school closures, we housed our children with their guardians and started providing food for the whole families. Thanks to those of you who provided additional funds we have been able to meet this extra and unanticipated expenses. As in the USA, the plans for opening schools in Kenya are constantly changing and our most recent information is that the schools will not open until January 2021. Unlike the USA, there are no technology capabilities to provide online learning in the villages where the children are housed.   However, we had purchased books in January this year which the children have at home and to supplement that we purchased a photocopying machine which is used to produce e-learning materials from schools sent to SHARE Africa office through emails and WhatsApp. These are being delivered to the children along with the food deliveries. During these visits, our social workers are then following up with the children. We are pleased to assure all the orphans’ sponsors that we have enough books and materials for the children’ at-home learning activities until January 2021 when schools are expected to reopen.

 

Until then, we plan to continue to house our orphans with their guardians and foster families and  use the additional contributions received to provide the food for the whole families, as well as masks and hand sanitizers along with training to our children and their guardians, in order to help them deal with the Covid-19 outbreakin Kenya. Further, we are attempting to negotiate with our partner schools on a partial refund of school fees paid last year. This would allow SHARE Africa to apply any funds recovered towards the considerable expense incurred during the pandemic for orphan families food, masks and hand sanitizer, as well as the SHARE Africa’s logistical staff needed to distribute it. We will keep you updated on our progress. While we know these are difficult times for everyone, if any of you can make additional donations or sponsor an orphan for $600 a year that would be an enormous help in maintaining these important programs. Please donate at shareafrica.org/donate/

 We thank all of you for your continued contributions because these have never been more needed than now.

COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN SPONSORS AND ORPHANS:

 The Kenya government has issued a lock down except for essential services. While our staff continues to travel to remote villages and bring food and PPE and other essential supplies, as well as any letters sponsors write, it is extremely difficult to ask the children to write letters to sponsors.  We ask for your understanding in these difficult times, as the children are also going through the trauma of being separated from their routines and adjusting to new homes, with no remote schooling possibility and no end in sight. We urge all sponsors to continue sending positive letters to their orphans so that they are aware that their sponsors are still with them. Those of you who have been sending additional amounts to the children, our staff is making sure they receive the monies and have the freedom to use it as they wish.

HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS:

SHARE Africa works in partnership with local public health care providers, especially in administering much needed training, procuring  and providing life saving devices and medicines.  Unfortunately, these essential local health workers are not getting the  heros treatment they deserve. In fact, the New York Times Reports:

“The crippling effects of the walkout are apparent in Homa Bay county, where for 18 days now, 64 doctors and more than 4,000 health workers have been on strike, said Dr. Kevin Osuri Jr., a union official who works at Rangwe Sub-District Hospital, a public facility.”

“Doctors in public hospitals say they have not been paid, some for as long as six months…”

“The crisis comes as infections are surging…and intensive care units in hospitals are filling up with coronavirus patients.”

“Hundreds of health workers have tested positive and some have died, while health facilities are overwhelmed… “

Our healthcare partners are all in Homa Bay County, so while we are ready to increase providing basic medical services, we are now faced with this crisis within a crisis.

 

Dr. Jeff Karasik, SHARE Africas Medical Director is in constant touch with our local partners including physicians. We are cautiously optimistic that this will get resolved soon so we can get help that is so direly needed.  It seems that those who are least able to protect themselves suffer the most. SHARE Africa is determined to alleviate this pain as soon as we are able by gearing up to provide Primary Healthcare Outreach, and neonatal  ( HBB/ECEB) and maternity training. We will keep you posted.

 

OUR 2020 FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES:

As many of you know, due to COVID, we had to cancel our major fundraiser, the Annual Dinner and Golf Outing. This annual fundraiser has been vital in supplying the incremental funding we require to continue key programs including: annual medical/dental/vision exams for the children, our Healthcare programs for the community and our plans to drill fresh water wells. We are grateful to those who have reached out to us to help us more, but the needs continue to mount.

In this time of urgent need, any additional ‘general contributions’ that you can make, would be greatly appreciated. Online donations can be made at: Shareafrica.org

In closing, dear friends, thank you for all your support. Without you please know many children and sick would not survive. Thank you for all you do!

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