MOHI responds to desperate needs in Mathare Valley
The Kenyan government is working hard to slow the progression of COVID-19 in that country, reports CMF team member Raelyn Nicholson, and Missions of Hope International (MOHI) is also doing whatever it can to help its communities.
Raelyn, who serves as the Health Quality Assurance and Liaison Coordinator for MOHI, recently shared some of the proactive prevention measures the organization is taking in Kenya.
“If people are not allowed to work here, then they don’t eat,” she said. “People in the Mathare Valley slum are saying, ‘I would rather die of the virus than die of hunger.’ So far, the government has made decisions that have largely kept the peace.”
MOHI is converting some schools to food and supply distribution centers. They have already handed out 3,000 baskets to the neediest families. Each contains staple foods, soap, a pamphlet on virus preventions and a small devotional. Many beneficiaries are sharing the baskets with their neighbors, who are equally desperate.
“We recognize this is the best way we can help, so we are praying for the funds to distribute more than 15,000 baskets,” said Raelyn.
Community Health Evangelists
The CHEs are using phone calls to teach health lessons related to the virus and encouraging their trainees to teach their households and neighbors. Topics include handwashing with soap, social distancing, signs and symptoms of the virus, when to stay home and when to see the doctor.
“CHEs and social workers are also calling any contacts or students with HIV and insisting that they have a 12-week supply of medication,” Raelyn said.
Wearing cloth masks, in combination with good handwashing, is essential to stopping COVID-19 in Kenya. The MOHI sewing center is creating masks in bulk from leftover fabric.
“We have also trained MOHI sewing graduates to make masks in their communities,” said Raelyn. “CHEs are training on mask usage and maintenance via phone calls.”