Cecily’s Fund was formed during the height of the HIV virus and AIDS pandemic in response to the number of children who were left to cope alone after parents and carers passed away because of HIV/AIDS. As the Coronavirus takes hold over Africa, we find ourselves facing another imminent challenge that will be as devastating to families across Zambia.
In the communities where our support takes place, families live side by side with little space or adequate sanitation and healthcare provision. We know from our own experience in the UK, that the impact in Zambia will have life changing consequences for thousands of families if we don’t act soon and help our partners to share vital health information and provide essential provisions for the poorest and most vulnerable children who are supported by us.
‘Bwafwano’, the name meaning ‘Helping One Another’ is one of our longest standing partners and I am now turning to you to act on the meaning of Bwafwano and support the most vulnerable children under the care of Cecily’s Fund’s feeding programme.
The high risk of the Coronavirus in our Zambian communities, has forced our feeding programme in Lusaka to stop. This would usually provide over 600 orphans and vulnerable children with their only meal of the day. Other children who live in severe hardship and supported by Cecily’s Fund into school in the Copperbelt, are also suffering, as schools are closed for the foreseeable future.
The reality is that we have a very small window of opportunity to react and put in place support systems for the poorest children and their families before the virus takes over Zambia and the country goes into full lock down. When this happens, police are likely to enforce this strictly, food will not be available, and the inadequate health system which is already at breaking point will be overwhelmed. Zambia risks having thousands more orphans and vulnerable children.
Cecily’s Fund is in a strong position to use its expertise to put in place preventative measures that will lower the risk of contracting covid19 in the communities in which we operate. We can directly reach those most in need because our local partners know the families and children who are the most vulnerable. Longstanding and reliable partners enable us to avoid bureaucracy and respond quickly and urgently to protect children and their families.
I am turning to you, as a supporter of Cecily’s Fund to ask if you can help give an emergency food parcel for at least one of our CF children. A gift of £15.00 will buy an essential emergency response food and health pack that will last 4-6 weeks and provide a child and his/her family with flour, beans, dried fish, oil, soap and vital health information about how to stay safe and not contract the virus.
Acting now will save lives. Anything you can give will help; and you can trust Cecily’s Fund that we will get this to those children most in need. We have already begun to work with our local partners Bwafwano based in Lusaka, and CHEP based in Kitwe to get this support underway. Please do what you can to help and I look forward to being able to keep you informed over the coming months, how your support has helped during this exceptional period.
The impact of the Coronavirus in Africa is likely to be devastating as you will see from the link to a short explanation below:
A simple thank you cannot express enough the gratitude from our beneficiaries but I know from speaking to young people and families supported by us, their appreciation goes beyond words and I am constantly reminded by them that ‘Cecily’s Fund is like the parent we have lost’.
Wishing you and your loved ones, continued good health and positivity.