Hello to all! We think about how different the world is from our last update to you, and hope all are healthy and well in these challenging times. Covid-19 is affecting us all, including our friends in Zambia. We have stories of the challenges from this past year, and also many great stories of positivity to share. Thanks to you, our donors and supporters, our programs have continued and we have good news to share!
When Covid-19 hit Zambia in the summer, the predictions were worrisome. Numbers rose rapidly, and with only 800 registered doctors for a population of 17 million, the country had a limited ability to test and treat serious cases. Our on-the-ground volunteer, Rabson Kambwali, in co-ordination with Jocelyn Banyard of Malambo Grassroots, helped protect the people in and around Monze where we are based, mobilizing early and providing much needed preventative supplies and information. Rabson’s role was, and continues to be, extremely important, given the challenging medical situation in the country.
To date, we have distributed:
· 9,000 bars of hand washing soap
· 8,000 units of hand washing liquid
· 13,000 facemasks
· 200 water buckets
· 5,000 units of hand sanitizer
The supplies have been donated to seniors, vulnerable people, clinics, schools, community churches and our local hospital. As the donations are delivered, safe practices in a village setting are discussed as well as explaining what Covid-19 is to empower the local communities.
The women we work with have sewn thousands of masks made from chitenges to distribute to those in need. We applaud and thank them for their amazing help during this difficult time.
The chiefs and villagers in our area are now embracing initiatives to mitigate climate change because they understand the correlation between the recurring droughts and deforestation. One of our main priorities is to support efforts to educate the community about conservation farming, drought resistant crops, the importance of tree planning, and water conservation in village and township settings.
Thanks to our wonderful donors, old and new!, in early 2020, we started planting trees in villages and around schools. Our volunteers and students planted about 1000 trees in total.
It’s time to restart tree planting so that the seedlings can benefit from the full rainy season. The news has spread—Rabson is getting a lot of requests for trees. Planting trees is an important part of our climate change action plan.