COVID-19 Update: In Africa, Our Worst Fears Are Being Realized

COVID-19 Update: In Africa, Our Worst Fears Are Being Realized

It is what we have been fearing for months ever since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world – the coronavirus virus making significant inroads into the African continent.

“After months in which Africa escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic as the global center shifted from Asia to Europe and then to the Americas, the number of African infections – and deaths – has begun to increase sharply,” reported the Financial Times on July 20. And with 667,000 confirmed cases and at least 14,500 deaths, that has raised concern among some experts that the world’s poorest continent may be about to enter a critical phase of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The pandemic is gaining full momentum,” says John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adding that as transmission of the virus gathers pace, the danger is that “our hospital systems will be overwhelmed.”

At Bread and Water for Africa®, thanks to our supporters, we have been working with our partners in Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe and elsewhere to ease the burden of caring for orphaned children in the midst of a pandemic, struggling to keep clinics that provide free services for the indigent, and even to provide materials to make reusable face masks.

While we are doing all we can, it is disheartening to learn that according to the World Health Organization, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have doubled in 22 of the continent’s 54 countries have doubled in just the past month alone – with Ethiopia, Kenya and Cameroon, all countries where we work, showing sharp rises.

While we remain cautiously optimistic, our thoughts and prayers are ever with our international spokesperson Phyllis Keino, founder and director of the Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya, Angela Miyanda, founder and director of the KabwataOrphanage and Transit Centre in Zambia, Margaret Makambira, founder and director of the Shinga Development Trust  and Lerato Children’s Village, and all our partners, and all those who count on them, throughout Africa in these times of terrible uncertainty

Amid the Global Pandemic, a 40-foot container of medical supplies reaches Sierra Leone

Amid the Global Pandemic, a 40-foot container of medical supplies reaches Sierra Leone

Although providing our partners with what they need has become more challenging since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19), rest assured, Bread and Water for Africa® continues to do everything in our power to make sure basic needs are met in the African countries where we work.

Recently, we shipped a 40-foot container filled with prenatal vitamins, antibiotics, and analgesics in cooperation with our longtime partner, MAP International.

“These much needed medicines will be distributed to [hospitals and clinics serving] orphans, vulnerable children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and expectant mothers in seven health facilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone,” stated MAP International.

MAP International continued:

“Our partner Bread and Water for Africa, through the United Methodist Church will help us distribute these lifesaving [medicine as soon as the shipment arrives].

 

“For the two billion people who don’t have access to even basic medicines, ensuring our planned shipments of essential, life-changing medicines and health supplies is of utmost importance.

 

“Please continue to include all the most vulnerable people in your prayers as you keep your families and loved ones safe and secure. We will all weather this as best we can.”

 

We will all get through this together.

Bread and Water for Africa® thanks our supporters during this world-wide crisis

Bread and Water for Africa® thanks our supporters during this world-wide crisis

Over the past few weeks, all of us here at Bread and Water for Africa® have been amazed by the amount of support we have received from people like you. Your generosity not only inspires us, but gives hope to so many African families, especially children, in the midst of our current world-wide crisis.

By supporting us, you’re helping us to find solutions to the problems facing communities throughout Africa. These solutions include building water wells so that families have clean water to drink and are able wash their hands. It also means providing our partners with medicine and medical supplies.

Regarding medicine and medical supplies, last week, we shipped a 40-foot container filled with prenatal vitamins, antibiotics, and analgesics in cooperation with our longtime partner, MAP International.

“These much needed medicines will be distributed to [hospitals and clinics serving] orphans, vulnerable children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and expectant mothers in seven health facilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone,” stated MAP International.

 

“Our partner Bread and Water for Africa, through the United Methodist Church will help us distribute these lifesaving [medicine as soon as the shipment arrives].

 

“For the two billion people who don’t have access to even basic medicines, ensuring our planned shipments of essential, life-changing medicines and health supplies is of utmost importance.

 

“Please continue to include all the most vulnerable people in your prayers as you keep your families and loved ones safe and secure. We will all weather this as best we can.”

 

Although providing our partners with what they need has become more challenging, rest assured, we will continue to do everything in our power to make sure basic needs are met in the African countries where we work.

We will all get through this together.

Bread and Water for Africa® Continues to Provide Clean Water during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Bread and Water for Africa® Continues to Provide Clean Water during the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus spreads across the globe, most of the headlines on the deadly pandemic have focused on China, the United States and Europe, but as the World Health Organization reported on March 12, there are more than 100 cases recorded in 11 countries in Africa.

At Bread and Water for Africa®, we are deeply concerned that virus will spread throughout the continent causing many more cases, and eventually deaths.

It is particularly worrying in light of the fact that, unlike in the U.S., Europe and China, tens of millions of Africans do not have the ability to take the most basic measure to prevent transmission of the virus – washing their hands with clean water.

Thanks to our supporters, for the past several years, Bread and Water for Africa® has been able to fund the digging of clean water wells in African countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, and this year we are working on a major clean water development project with our partner in Uganda to provide clean water to thousands.

Among the countries with reported cases is Cameroon, where last year we were able to dig a well for the village of Abomvomba serving thousands in the remote rural village.

Today, those children, men and women have the ability to drink water without the risk of getting sick from drinking from a contaminated source, as well as being able to wash their hands, which will go a long way towards keeping them from getting the virus.

In Kenya and Uganda, countries served by Bread and Water for Africa®, thankfully there have been no reported cases, so far, and the governments are taking steps to be prepared when the day likely comes.

At Bread and Water for Africa®, we have been taking steps for years to prevent illness through contaminated water sources by providing rural African communities with wells saving tens of thousands from risking their lives every time they take a drink.

With the urgency of the virus on their doorsteps, the time is now to help Bread and Water for Africa® continue our mission to provide clean water to thousands more for drinking, cooking, bathing – and washing their hands.

Yes, Lerato has light now; THANK YOU!

Yes, Lerato has light now; THANK YOU!

At Shinga Development Trust’s Lerato Children’s Home, nearly two dozen orphaned and abandoned children were living in darkness this past year. The country has struggled with crippling, rolling blackouts, leaving the children and millions of Zimbabweans without electricity for roughly 20 hours a day.

For us and our longtime partner, Margaret Makambira, who had just in the past year completed construction of the children’s home – the situation was untenable.

“Zimbabwe is experiencing blackouts up to 20 hours daily cause lots of distractions to the orphans at the home,” reported Margaret in November. “Children cannot do their school assignments, and food is going bad.

“The need of solar instillation is crucial so life can be easier for the children,” she said.

She turned to us, and we turned to our supporters, who quickly and generously provided the $3,000 necessary to install solar panels. This will ensure that Margaret and the children in her care will have all the electricity they need – and at no cost for years to come!