March 27, 2020
Cat Ross, President/Founder
KIDS Initiative continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19), along with our partners overseas, and we place the health and safety of our personnel, and of the communities with which we work, as our first priority.
As of March 16th, 2020, our local board members and volunteers in Winnipeg are asked to work from home. This decision was made in order to protect our staff and community.
Although KIDS Initiative is still maintaining regular business activities, we are currently taking the following precautions in response to the health and travel concerns related to COVID-19:
- Due to current and anticipated operational and international travel limitations, we have postponed our coming in field trip to Kenya.
- We will continue to recruit volunteers and board members and match them to specific committees. All board meetings will be done virtually until further notice.
- We have postponed the selection process for the International Program Coordinator position. Shortlisted applicants will be notified as soon as the selection process is able to resume.
- At this time, we do not anticipate any significant interruptions to the Kieni Fighters of HIV/AIDS Resource Centre implementation through the FIT grant.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will update this post with new information as it emerges.
YOU CAN MINIMIZE THE RISK
Please follow guidance from public health authorities.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and especially after using the restroom and before eating. Also, as available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Avoid shaking hands and hugging.
- If you have upper-respiratory symptoms (coughing, fever, other flu-like symptoms), please stay home, and we recommend you call your local public health department or consult a doctor. Common signs include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, chills, body ache, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome.
- And otherwise, if you need to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow.
- For more information, visit the World Health Organization website or Health Canada for evolving information about risk factors and symptoms.
What does this mean for the marginalized communities we work with?
Kenya’s government has announced restrictive measures in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, including school closures, bans on entry for non-Kenyans, and instructions for anyone who has travelled internationally in the previous 14 days to self-quarantine.
We are concerned with the potential of a COVID-19 spread as many of our communities cannot practice actions such as social distancing, this comes as a privilege for those who can afford the space and time off work. Accessing more water for hand washing can even come as an extra expense and often times will require a trip to a vendor to access this. Many of these communities where immune systems are compromised by severe malnutrition are already suffering from diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, HIV and AIDS and Ebola. These individuals are at greater risk from coronavirus.
KIDS Initiative is continuing to stay in close contact with our partners in Kenya and will keep hopeful that their numbers remain low. As of March 22, 2020, the number of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kenya was 15. The ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Muthai Kagwe noted that all international flights will be suspended effective Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at midnight with the exception of cargo flights whose crew must observe strict guidelines.
For questions, please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
If you are in a position to do so, your support is more important now than ever. As you can imagine, children and families in marginalized communities are struggling with access to food, proper sanitation and educational resources. Please consider donating today to assist us in the completion of the water borehole project in the Lemolo IDP (Internally Displaces Persons) Camp to ensure their community has access to the means necessary for proper sanitization during this crisis.