Martin Luther King Jr said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Since the COVID-19 virus emerged at the end of 2019, it has spread around the world and by early April has infected over 1.3m people leading to the death of over 76,000. This one of the great challenges of our generation, something that impacts everyone around the world.
Many nations have used policies such as social distancing, curfews or lockdowns to help stem the spread of the disease. People have been urged to regularly and thoroughly wash their hands to avoid contracting the virus. These measures have proven effective, although require all members of society to take action. Following policies and guidelines to flatten the curve of infection, is relatively easy for most communities in developed nations, but what happens in places where the vast majority of the people are already living below the poverty line? That is the pandemic paradox – the survival of the fittest, yet without caring for all members of society, we are all at risk.
In countries like Kenya, a large proportion of the population live in poverty. Many people lack basic amenities such as access to clean water and live in very overcrowded conditions. This makes the major components of the recommended public health measures – social distancing and hygiene – extremely difficult to implement. Stockpiling food for a prolonged period of isolation is simply not an option, many don’t have the means to bulk buy essential supplies and people need to keep working to meet their daily needs. These highly vulnerable people face further hardship as curfews and lockdowns close places of work, exacerbating the problem.For people living in poverty, social distancing and frequently washing hands with soap and water to combat #Covid19 is extremely difficult to implement Click To Tweet
The Kenyan government acted fast once the first case of COVID-19 was recorded, calling on its people to apply social distancing and to ensure the highest hygiene standards possible almost immediately. Since then, they have imposed a curfew from 7pm – 5am and have restricted movement in certain key counties where significant cases have been seen.
These measures only work if they are followed broadly throughout the population. Unfortunately millions of people in Kenya do not have access to relevant information and the resources to follow basic guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as soap and water for washing hands.
In response to this, the Africa Yoga Project (AYP) took matters into their own hands and created a campaign called Share the Sanitiser. They created wellbeing kits, which include a wellbeing information booklet for mental as well as physical health, facemasks, washcloths, soap, hand sanitiser, disinfectant, clean water, bread and colouring materials for kids. These kits were then distributed to communities in Kenya where they are needed most. Each kit costs $10 and their aim was to distribute 1,000 kits. The public response to this campaign was amazing and within 3 weeks over 1,400 sanitisation kits were distributed to 55 vulnerable communities across Kenya.
As the situation unfolds, AYP’s response to the crisis is adapting. With greater restrictions on people’s movement, needs are changing and now basic necessities such as food, clean drinking water and medicine are also required in the vulnerable communities were AYP operates. These needs are only set to increase in the near future.
This is our opportunity to embody what Coretta Scott King noted, ‘the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members’.
To help AYP, we at Wild Rose will channel £10 from the sale of each of our shirts to their project. This contribution will help provide essential sanitisation kits, clean drinking water, food and medicine to some of Kenya’s most vulnerable people. We are also offering our customers a 25% discount using the code WELLBEINGAFRICA as a thank you for supporting this initiative.
To view our range of shirts and support AYP click here