We know that in communities like Kibera, an effective pandemic response is jeopardized when people cannot meet their basic needs. There is an urgent need to support communities and families’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic — a response that recognizes the dignity of all people and the strength of communities and local organizations to lead this charge. We saw SHOFCO’s capacity to empower young people while promoting resilience in youth at a time of crippling economic realities. Change requires trust and few organizations hold the respect and trust that SHOFCO has built in over a decade of work. In addition, interruptions to education can have lasting implications — especially for the most vulnerable. Working with SHOFCO helps us to support communities and address the most pressing education priorities at each step of the way.
In communities like Kibera that are trapped on the edge of survival, an effective pandemic response is jeopardized when people can’t meet their basic needs. I’ve spoken to countless Kibera residents who are more afraid of dying from hunger than from the virus. The lasting threat to these communities goes beyond the immediate danger of illness and lies in the economic impact of the pandemic.