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  • Linda Abwa

Responding to Covid in Nairobi

For those living in Kayole informal settlement in Nairobi, the last couple of months have been particularly tough.

Closed borders make food more expensive, crop destruction by plagues of locusts make food scarce, flooding in other parts of the country makes water supply in the city even more unreliable than usual. Years of living on ‘just enough’ means there are no reserves for hundreds of families on lockdown in Kayole.

The Urban Development Programme (UDP) of All Saints’ Cathedral, Nairobi has a long history of standing by self-help communities in Kayole. CMSI link parishes are perhaps most familiar with Tujisaidie School, where the UDP supports children not only with education but also with food. When CMSI launched its C-19 Response Appeal, we asked the UDP in what ways we could stand with them at this time of crisis during lockdown.

Tujisaidie School had been closed in line with government guidelines, but working together Lucy, Louise and Isabelle had already started to provide food packages for the children. They had also started to provide food packages for the most vulnerable and elderly whose families were struggling to support them. The young people of UDP associated Tumaini African Foundation (TAF) were raising whatever funds they could to prepare Saturday meals for children and also reach out to the elderly.

Our partners told us that any available C-19 response funds would be channelled into these feeding support programmes.The Covid-19 reponse fund and a generous donation from St. Marks Parish, who had planned to send a team to visit UDP this summer, have supported the purchase of maize and oil and various other essentials. These photos show the colossal amount of work that has gone in to provide this emergency food assistance in a socially distanced way for the people of UDP communities.

Lucy and her team in Kayole are expending so much energy, time and passion to help their communities get through this crisis. We feel the privilege of being able to support, and also the responsibility to pray for her and the whole UDP team as they keep on giving into the community they serve.

Thank you UDP for being church right in the centre of communities in crisis. Thank you link parishes and individuals in Ireland for demonstrating the love and generosity that marks us as a global Church. Please continue to respond through prayer for the UDP team.

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