In Her Shoes
Beatrice* had heard about the virus. A man from a nearby community shared the news with her about a respiratory illness sweeping across the globe, hitting highly-populated countries throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.
She didn’t think much about it at the time because she lives in a remote community in Northern Uganda that attracts few visitors. With two little ones to care for, her focus remained on keeping her children safe and fed. Why worry too much about the future when each day holds enough concerns of its own?
However, a few weeks later, she learned that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had somehow found its way to Northern Uganda, not too far from a refugee settlement, where social distancing is next to impossible. Once it hits the settlement, it would surely spread to remote communities like hers in no time. Real Need, Right Now.
Without immediate access to adequate health care and sanitation facilities, she knew her community was especially vulnerable.
Now, Beatrice had reason to worry. A new wave of fear washed over this mother of two.
Same Virus, Different Risks
If you are a parent or caretaker, you know how terrifying it is to face a new threat. Their health rests in your hands, so you do everything you can to gather information and supplies in preparation, taking every measure to protect those you love. Thankfully, living in a developed country, we have constant access to soap, water, technology, news, health information, and medical facilities. Some of our biggest concerns are finding toilet paper and early time slots on curbside grocery pickup each week.
But imagine yourself in Beatrice’s shoes. In Yumbe District, a rural and underserved region of Northern Uganda, they lack the basics: immediate access to soap and water, virus updates, preventative information, access to adequate healthcare…and the list goes on. How can parents like Beatrice prepare for sudden dangers like coronavirus?
In the US, between 35-38% of adults over 18 are considered high-risk for COVID-19. But in Northern Uganda, almost every person is vulnerable to the illness due to lack of preventative health care information, personal protection equipment, pre-existing health conditions, and handwashing stations. Close living quarters within the refugee settlements located there exacerbate the problem even more.
Family in Yumbe District Uganda
How Can We Help?
We do not minimize concern for people across the globe and in our own communities who have been affected by this devastating virus. Two weeks ago, our team in Africa spent an entire week fasting and praying specifically for YOU and for the US. Everyone at 4africa is praying fervently for healing and protection for those near and far. But for those of us fortunate enough to stay safely at home, waiting for the danger to pass, we pray that you would prayerfully consider fighting the battle with us.
Even during quarantine, we can do more than standby and watch. God has blessed many of us with abundant resources. By joining forces quickly to come to their aid, we can drastically slow the spread and help beat coronavirus in East Africa.
You’ve witnessed how fast this virus moves. We must ACT NOW to help this vulnerable population, which includes many infants and children under the age of 18 as well as mothers who are sole caretakers of multiple children.
What’s the Plan?
Our plan is simple: focus on the essentials.
For the past 11 years, 4africa has efficiently delivered clean water and successfully conducted preventative health trainings throughout vulnerable areas of East Africa. Over the years, we’ve faced our share of difficulties, setbacks, and challenges, which have prepared us for a battle such as this. We trust in God’s perfect timing and we believe he will use our years of experience and tried-and-true practices to deliver quick aid to East Africa.
4africa’s Rapid Response Plan to COVID-19 in East Africa
- Installing 130 handwashing stationsin community centers throughout the region, including the refugee settlement.
- Deploying trained health specialiststo oversee, monitor, & maintain handwashing stations, while educating people on basic prevention measures & keeping supplies (water, soap, etc.) stocked.
- Sharing & distributing posters & handoutswith vital information about preventative measures
- Producing & broadcasting radio advertisementsto communicate important updates & preventative measures
- And most importantly, a whole lot of prayer!
We are praying we’ll be able to the raise the $100,000 we need immediately to support this effort.
Playing Our Part | Pray | Learn | Give
Here’s how you can personally bring relief to vulnerable communities:
Pray – Pray for their protection, health, and responsiveness to health and sanitation messages. We also pray for the necessary resources to reach hardest hit areas.
Learn – Follow along with us on the blog and stay up-to-date on the situation in East Africa by subscribing to our newsletter. Share our posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so we can raise awareness and funds to respond quickly.
Give – As followers of Christ, we have been sent out to represent Jesus by loving and helping those in need. This is an opportunity to extend the love of Christ to our global neighbors, right where we are. Will you join forces with us to fight this battle with them by financially contributing to our rapid response?
To contribute, please visit Real Need Right Now, Rapid Response to COVID-19. 100% of your donation goes directly to Africa and will help keep the people we serve in Northern Uganda safe and healthy.
Thank you, and God bless!
We’ll leave you with this:
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” -Luke 10:30-37 (NIV)
*Note: Beatrice is a fictional character that represents the thousands of mothers we work with in Yumbe district.