I hope you and your families are all staying healthy and coping well during these strange and difficult times.
I wanted to get in touch to update you on the current situation in Zambia and let you know what we are doing to prepare to support our friends and the children there.
COVID-19 in Zambia
Zambia recorded their first coronavirus death on 2nd April and, as of today, there have been 39 confirmed cases. Although these numbers are small compared to other places in the world, it is frightening to think how quickly the virus could spread through poor, rural communities.
The president of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, has acted quickly to order the closure of all gyms, bars casinos and nightclubs. Schools and colleges have been closed for the last couple of weeks, and most international flights to the country have also been suspended.
What Baraka are doing
We can't be sure at this stage how bad the COVID-19 situation will get in Zambia, but we do know there isn't the resources and infrastructure to respond in the same way as the UK and other developed countries have to battle the pandemic. The impact of a serious outbreak in a country with poor communication, poor health care and probably little or no testing for rural communities would be devastating.
We are raising funds now to help those in the Baraka family cope and survive during the coming months. We have already begun distributing food and soap to those who need it (see pictures below). Also, we hope to be able to do important work helping to spread messages about the need for social distancing and other actions people can take to stay safe.
There is plenty we can do in a variety of ways, but it is too early to say exactly how our plans will unfold.
We appreciate that these are difficult times for everyone no matter where you are in the world. However, if you are lucky enough not to be financially stretched, and would like to give a little extra help to our friends in Zambia, you can do so by clicking the link below that will take you to our fundraising page.
Any small amount will be greatly appreciated and will be put to extremely good use over the coming months.
Stay well, keep positive, and many thanks for your ongoing interest and support.