Working from home is the current narrative, social distancing is certainly the best shot we have to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Working from home is certainly easy for me for instance since my work depends on the internet and a laptop – at times a smartphone.
On May 5, CS Kagwe was an angry man, Kenya recorded 40+ new cases hence completely locking down Eastleigh and Old Town. This coincided with a quick tour in CBD after a long time, I went down to Kamkunji and to my surprise business was operating, as usual, no social distancing and sometimes masks hanging around the neck.
I got into a conversation with a couple of guys to understand why they’ve resumed operation despite the pandemic. “Kijana si heri Corona iniuwe kama nimeshiba?“
Survival is key!
COVID has changed our operations and paralysed learning in our institutions. The government has tried to push using electronic learning to support pupils to continue with their learning. This has certainly raised reactions, my village, for example, Kibera most of the kids do not own a smartphone leave alone a laptop. Then tune in to KBC Radio or watch Akili at certain hours to learn, which is an incredible concept but then a kid in Samburu or Turkana would not have access to any of these tools.
Clearly, all approaches that can be experimented would certainly cut out some folks. Social media reactions all indicate that the system favours the haves, as privileged families are able to continue with their operations almost uninterrupted.
I had a chat with a friend a few hours to the writing of this article, he works at construction sites and since the partial lockdown, he has not had any form of income. His savings are shrinking and he is scared of what would happen, how he would be able to put food on the table once the savings are depleted.
This is a tough situation that needs an urgent response, various people and organizations have been seen supporting individuals such as my friend and pupils to survive during the pandemic. Babu is using Facebook to offer lessons, I saw some organization at the coast donating food, Joho had some relief and the gov’t cutting taxation etc.
Somo is another organization providing support in my village through its Somo Care Package. The package is designed to provide a meal to a needy family for an entire month. These packages include staple meals and other essentials such as hand sanitizers, diapers, masks etc…
What excited me the most was the fact that all the products in the care packages were sourced from businesses within Kibera. Exciting right!! Supporting the local community in an all-round manner…
They have additionally partnered with Metis and Arifu to ensure learners get the support they need during the pandemic to successfully learn. Providing qualified coaches to help pupils learn in small groups.
Somo intends to push boundaries beyond Kibera, (the 16 communities they work with Kisumu (5) and Nairobi (11)) and reach more families, support pupils to learn, ensure families still get their livelihoods and access to basic needs.
They need your help, to see this vision actualized.
They have launched a campaign aimed at helping millions of families across the country generate income during these tough times where businesses are slow and schools are closed.
The goal is to raise US$ 20,000 (Ksh 2M) to help promote learning and livelihood in the time of Corona.
You can send in your contributions to us via Mpesa here:
Another way you can make a contribution is through GoFundMe platform.
Lastly, these new regulations suck. I am tired of staying indoors the whole day and opted for option B even without knowing what it is, but until we have COVID under control let us give Kagwe an easier time. Without a host this virus will die, don’t be a host.