A message from Charlie Hay, CEO of AfriKids UK and Nich Kumah, Director of AfriKids Ghana
You’ve probably seen dozens of emails and statements on how COVID-19 is affecting the organisations you know. So firstly, some good news: all AfriKids projects in Ghana are still running and we are continuing to deliver support services to children and families who need our help. As you would imagine though, we have had to change some of the ways we do this.
In Ghana, we are thankfully yet to see any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the areas of northern Ghana where we work. But with 24 confirmed cases in the south of the country, and a more rudimentary public health service than we are used to in the UK, our staff and volunteers in Ghana are preparing for the worst.
We have set up information and hand washing facilities at all our sites, and where possible, are doing some of our work “virtually” rather than face to face. We are installing loudspeakers on AfriKids vehicles so we can spread vital messages to educate and inform local people, particularly in remote communities, on how to keep themselves and their families safe.
The AfriKids Medical Centre is open. We are doing what we can to prepare against shortfalls in supplies across our projects (including drugs to our medical centre) and anticipating shortages in supplies for the general public and additional strain and hardship for families with vulnerable livelihoods.
Schools are currently closed in Ghana and large gatherings have been banned, so we have sadly had to suspend our cerebral palsy clinics and community-based meetings and events. We are instead calling the families we support regularly to check how they’re getting on, providing extra supplies to support hygiene at home. For families who really need to see us, our staff are doing essential home visits and are equipped and trained in prevention protocol.
Thanks to flexible funding and the truly collaborative way our Ghana and UK teams work together, we can adapt to even unprecedented challenges like the one we all face. While the schools are closed, we are “fixing the roof while the sun is shining”. We are focusing on activities like building works and structural improvement projects. We will continue to listen and review what people most need and how best we can help. We will be agile, ready to adapt the support we provide to meet the most critical challenges families are facing.
Keep in touch!
If you are reading this, it’s probably because you are one of our wonderful supporters so we would like to take the opportunity to say, “thank you”. It is only because of people like you that we can go on helping the children who need us, even in these difficult times. If you are not already on our email list, please sign up here, so we can keep you up to date with the situation in Ghana as well as new opportunities to get involved.
If you would like to get in touch with us you can do so here. As you would expect, our UK office is closed but thanks to the joys of homeworking we are still here for you – our supporters – and we would love to hear from you!