African Great Lakes 

Transforming Community for Social Change Steps Up Prevention of Covid-19 Virus in Kakuma Refugee Camp

TCSC Local Initiative Intervention Support Program, PETER SERETE -KENYA

Family members even keep 1 m away from a close relative member who shares one bed. Photo: TCSC Msoshi Wabawa

Two brothers help wash their hands with clean water in the camp Photo: TCSC Msoshi Wabawa

As the number of cases of Coronavirus disease continues to rise in Kenya, Transforming Community for Social Change (TCSC) volunteers through Friends Church in the Kakuma refugee camp are stepping up efforts to protect vulnerable men, women and children.  Despite a shortage of running water, families and small businesses are being encouraged to put in place simple, life-saving practices to stop the spread of the disease.

Kakuma’s refugee camp began as a home for former child soldiers from Sudan’s civil war, but it subsequently became a safe haven for people fleeing from other conflicts in Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and South Sudan as well. Today, the Covid19 pandemic has brought about a new order of threat, and as an organization, with support of our partners, we are trying to reach out.

TCSC, with support from African Great Lakes Initiative, African Great Lakes Peace Trust and our donors from Global Giving, has been the lead implementing partner for peace work in the camp since 2008, focusing on psychosocial support in trauma healing, Alternatives to Violence Program, women empowerment, and sustainable livelihoods programs. Together with the neighboring Kalobeyei Settlement, TCSC volunteers, mainly our peace program facilitators, are now working on the front line in hard-to-reach areas which are poorly equipped to deal with a potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. Most people there have very limited access to medical aid, clean water or accurate information about prevention and precautions to help stop the spread of infections.

To help dispel myths and false information about COVID-19, TCSC resource persons are now targeting families living in villages and communities in Kakuma 2 and Kalobeyei, including in the most remote areas. TCSC will share accurate news and information, hoping when we get basic equipment to help prevent the spread of the disease in these vulnerable communities.

We are appealing for funds to continue providing support and save a household. With these simple items that can sustain a household, our teams of volunteers can be better equipped to provide vital awareness-raising and training in hand washing and hygiene, Covid 19 meal kits, and sanitation procedures to thousands of vulnerable families.

Kids from Kakuma 2 show how proper hand washing with soap can prevent the spread of COVID19 virus. Photo: TCSC Msoshi Wabawa

Homemade liquid detergent made by a member of USFW Kakuma Friends Church who was recently trained in Nairobi. Photo: TCSC Msoshi Wabawa