This is a disturbing time for all of us. All our friends around the world are praying for you and I am sure you are praying for them.
The news from Tanzania today is very concerning. The number of cases of COVID-19 have been slowly increasing and look like they will grow rapidly in the coming days. The Tanzanian government has closed all schools this morning. There has been some messaging about the need for social distancing but our colleagues in Grassroots Tanzania tell us that the children are now playing with each other on the streets and the rest of life is going on as normal. They are trying to explain the urgency of the situation to their friends and persuade churches to close and gatherings to cease.
As you know there are normally 16 locations where Grassroots sponsored children get together once a week for feeding programmes and a number of those locations also have daily milk/porridge programmes for the youngest children. These gatherings obviously need to stop happening until the threat has past. It has been agreed that all these programmes will stop for at least the next 4 weeks, but it will probably be much longer. But there are desperate implications from doing this for the children and their families. Many of the children rely on the nutrition the feeding programmes provide. When the children are, told they will cry. We are in the process of working out how to divert the sponsorship money usually used for feeding programmes so the team can deliver food to families, but this will be far more expensive than providing a meal for a large number. We are currently ….. read more
The Tanzanian government has told everyone to carry hand sanitiser and use it regularly. Not only is sanitiser expensive but the supplies have vanished quickly. The only real solution is for everyone to have soap and to use it wherever they can find water. Bar soap is a wonderful thing and can be used for washing hands, washing bodies, washing clothes and for cleaning surfaces. We have put some money aside for a rainy day. A rainy day is now here and we are buying soap in large quantities to distribute. We will do what we can with what we have. GIVE parcels of Soap here. (£5 per parcel, but you can “buy” as many as you can afford.)