Like most companies, Global Connects has had its difficulties caused by the effective closure of the UK and world economies. However, our translation and interpretation teams have been kept busier than might have been expected, with much of their work involving translation of documents to do with the coronavirus.
We in the west have been, understandably, critical of our governments’ responses to the crisis, but our situation is as of nothing compared to the poorest in Africa. There, they don’t care whether the translation on the food parcels is accurate: they just care that it contains food.
Just before the pandemic and lockdown struck, we decided to support a remarkable charity called Educate the Kids, who built Joluarabi School from scratch in order to give some of the incredibly poor children in this part of Kenya an education they could otherwise not afford. We sponsor this little boy, Luther Mdasia. In normal times, many of the children walk miles each day to get to the school, where as well as the classes they are given a uniform and also food they might not otherwise get.
The school is near Mombasa and the entire area has ground to a halt. At the minute, the village where the School is situated is not receiving any food aid. Because it’s close to the coast, most of the people work within the tourist industry as cooks, gardeners, taxi drivers or serving on the beach. The school has had to close, the shops have closed, the bars have closed, the hotels are closed; without tourists no-one has a job. They have all lost their livelihoods. To make matters worse, the people living the village are not allowed to move to the nearest town because of the government rules.
They don’t have the virus in the villages, but the Kenyan government extended lockdown till 7th July, meaning nothing changed and there was no hope of businesses re-opening. Even now, as the situation is easing, the current nationwide curfew between 9pm and 4am has been extended for a further 30 days. As a result, they are all suffering from hunger far more than they are from the disease. They are a proud people who want to provide for themselves and it’s hard for them to understand why they are in lockdown. Yet many are going for days without food.
This is a brilliant charity. They take NOT ONE PENNY for admin and management charges. All money raised goes to Kenya, originally to pay for the buildings, the teachers and, of course the kids, but now every penny is going to pay for food for the people who live in the villages around, whether they go to the school or not.
If you’d like to know more about Educate the Kids or would like to make a donation to help them buy food, please visit their website.
Fiona Woodford, Global Connects