COVID-19 Assistance Program
At the end of March 2020, S3Z was in communication with the founders of Advocacy and Development for the Poor (ADP) about the adverse effects of COVID-19 on the economy and the people in Zambia. We discussed many ways to aid the Mapalo community and decided that the greatest impacts that were being felt at that time were businesses being shut down, markets and roadside stalls having to pack up and close, and people being laid off from work. We could see this happening all over the globe. These closures and lay-offs were causing families to struggle to provide for their families even more than before the pandemic. Because of this, ADP and S3Z mutually decided to begin a feeding program where children would be able to have a place to eat multiple times a week. The feeding program would allow any hungry child to come to the Mapalo Bread of Life Community school building for a meal. When the program was started in April, approximately 40-50 children a day were being fed. As of October 2020, over 100 children a day are being fed. These children are comprised of homeless “street” children, orphaned and vulnerable children, and children whose families or caregivers cannot provide for them. Often times, the children are able to take away a boxed meal to share with their family.
Photos of the feeding program
Malnourished Children Receive Nutritional Care
In the months of May and June, funds from the COVID-19 feeding program were used to help 20 extremely malnourished children who were admitted to the local clinic in Mapalo for immediate nutritional health care. These children were cared for at the clinic until they were well enough to return home. As of November 2020, over 35 severely malnourished children have now been treated. Almost all of them have been discharged from the clinic, are doing well, and are receiving ongoing nutrition care.
Family Food Assistance Project
Due to hardships such as loss of jobs and income during the COVID-19 pandemic, many Zambians are struggling to obtain food for themselves and their families. As of September 2020, with funding from S3Z, ADP has assisted 40 families within Mapalo that were in desperate need of food in order for survival. These families received 50kg bags of maize meal (approx. 23 lbs.), which is their staple food, along with other basic food items. ADP committed to assisting these families on an ongoing basis and has plans to expand their family food assistance efforts.
Digital Thermometers Purchased
In June, 2020, schools were reopening only for students that were in grades that require national exams. In order for the schools to be compliant with the new COVID-19 regulations for re-opening schools, digital thermometers were required to check the temperature of students before they entered the school. Many of the 17 schools in Mapalo do not have the financial resources to purchase the thermometers. They often rely on donations from NGO’s and other charity organizations. S3Z sent funds for three digital thermometers to be purchased at approximately $115 each. Two thermometers were donated to community schools and one was donated to the Mapalo community clinic, which was also in need of thermometers.
COVID -19 Educational Handout
In March 2020, at the onset of COVID-19, many people in Mapalo and surrounding townships did not have adequate or factual information as to what COVID-19 was, or how to help prevent it. This is largely due to the fact that many people do not have TV, radio, or internet access. In order to educate a large number of people about the virus, ADP printed out 2,000 educational, paper fliers that detailed how it was spread, along with simple practices to put in place to prevent it. These fliers were then distributed to homes, marketplaces, and small businesses.