Food, Water and Soap Distribution to families in Mathare
On the 15th March, 2020 the Kenyan government, in response to the threat of coronavirus , ordered that primary and secondary schools be closed with immediate effect. The country is in a partial lockdown after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the closure of schools, and imposed sweeping travel restrictions.
As a result of this the End of Term exams which were scheduled for April at Patmos School were cancelled. The Headmaster also had to postpone the end of term health check-ups for the children with Dr. Daniel Busela and these will now hopefully take place in May or when the schools reopen.
Since Patmos School temporarily closed on the 15th March, 2020, the Headmaster and staff have been reaching out to the families of the school children with food supplies, hand sanitisers and bars of soap. The school social workers are also providing outreach programs and teaching families about the importance of observing basic hygiene.
As there is a real shortage of water and washing facilities in Mathare, the Headmaster has opened up the school bore hole and he has made it available to families in the local community on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays of each week.
Teachers have also tried to ensure wherever possible that the children have sufficient homework to do whilst the school is closed.
The food supplies, soap and hand sanitisers provided for the families were funded by Orphan/Yatima Outreach supporters.
June 2020 Update:
Throughout June Richard and his outreach team have continued to support the families of Patmos School children and the neighbouring district by distributing food supplies safely from the school premises. There have been three separate distributions of food during this month and a total of 267 families have received parcels of food. The school has also continued to allow access to the school bore hole three times a week to the families.
In June, with a kind donation of funds from a UK supporter, Richard was able to purchase 10 large sacks of sifted maize flour. Each sack contained 12 x 2 Kg bags of flour and these were distributed to 84 families alongside the bags of rice which the school is already providing to the families.
July 2020 Update:
A total of 108 families received 2kg bags of maize flour and 1 kg bags of rice. This fed approximately 432 children in the Mathare 4B District. Families continued to access water supplies from the school bore hole.
August 2020 Update:
During the month of August Patmos School continued to provide food and water for school children and families in the community.
September 2020 Update:
In September Patmos School commenced providing a daily breakfast of porridge for at least 50 school children. They also increased the amounts of food being distributed to families in the community which take place twice a week.
October 2020 Update:
Throughout October the school provided a daily breakfast and lunch to those pupils, under the government guidelines, in the Grade 4 and Grade 8 classes who have returned to full time learning at the temporary school building. The remaining pupils have continued to be taught under the Distance Learning Program and they and their families have received regular supplies of food from the school on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week.
Yatima Outreach through Patmos School has also continued to provide clean water to families in the community free of charge.
School Outreach Program:
As well as providing outreach support in the community in respect of food and water supplies, the Headmaster together with the teachers and school social workers have also continued to try and provide a holistic approach to ensuring the general well-being of the children.
In June the school social workers and staff conducted several counselling sessions in which a total of 169 pupils received nutrition training and spiritual guidance.
In July and August both group and individual counselling sessions were organised for female pupils by the school social workers in collaboration with the teachers. The aim of these meetings was to raise the issues of gender based violence (GBV) and the risk of teenage pregnancies which are prevalent in Mathare and which have escalated during the Covid-19 lockdown. During these meetings the girls were encouraged to raise any concerns they personally had and help and guidance was given by the staff. The social workers also educated the pupils on measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Sanitary towels were distributed to the girls at the end of each counselling session.
To read about the Patmos School Distance Learning Program click here