Effect of Covid19 on the Poor Masses in our Community
The Covid-19 is a period we'll never wish to occur again. This period has been a trial time for many poor families in the slums and rural communities where Whispering Hope Africa Initiative works. Hunger seems to an additional virus to the already existing virus.
Most families who depend on daily income barely feed three times per day. Their children look malnourished because they barely feed well. Most private school teachers have gone bankrupt. Crime rate is on the increase because some idle youths resorted to stealing to feed and some other crimes like rape since "an idle mind is a devil's workshop".
How We Responded to the Evolving Crisis:
Whispering Hope Africa Initiative (WHAI), a non-governmental organization, whose mission is to better lives of slum/rural youth and people living with HIV (PLHIV) through capacity building, venture creation and access to resources, worked on the project tagged "Covid-19 Emergency Food Support". The aim of this project was to provide food to the people living with HIV in the slum/rural communities.
The project was carried out in partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. 300 poor households got rice, beans, noodles, tomato paste, vegetable oil and curry. They were so elated and expressed their joy and hope of feeding well in the weeks to come.
WHAI team used same opportunity for food distribution to sensitize, educate and counsel the beneficiaries. With this project, WHAI was able to reach out to 39 communities and 300 beneficiaries.
During the project, it was discovered that most of the beneficiaries don't use Smartphone. Most of them who use/have Smartphone can't make appropriate use of the features/apps like WhatsApp and Email with their phone. Out of the 300 beneficiaries, only 47 beneficiaries use Smartphone. In other words, only 15.7% of the beneficiaries use Smartphone and 84.3% has no access to Smartphone.
This makes is challenging passing information to them, engaging with them online and to teach them how to utilize the internet to grow their small enterprise.
Chiamaka Ogham is a social media manager and works for WHAI.