TuaRes to distribute second round of food and hygiene support packages
May 5, 2020: In early April, we distributed emergency supplies of rice and soap to the families of our student participants in Burkina Faso. Our programs are implemented in low-income communities which are extremely susceptible to economic shocks.
After the first distribution, our team began surveying a sample of the recipients to discuss their current situation with the ongoing quarantine measures. Of the families we spoke with, nearly all reported that they were experiencing increased insecurity during this time. Over half of the heads of households have completely halted their income-generating activities. To respond to their increased food insecurity, some heads of households reported, among other strategies, asking friends and family for assistance, reducing daily food rations for household members, or sending children away to another family member ‘s house. Not a single family reported that they had received any support from the government or from any organization besides TuaRes.
The number of coronavirus infections continues to rise in Burkina Faso. Worryingly, in a country of nearly 20 million people, there are only 11 functioning respirators throughout the entire country. The strict quarantine measures that have been implemented are necessary because the country’s health care system easily could become overwhelmed. However, the families of the small business owners, farmers, taxi drivers, and laborers with whom we work desperately need support.
Thus, we have begun the second phase of our food and hygiene support distribution to all 707 families associated with our programs. During the final days of April, our team is working with local community leaders to distribute corn, oil and sugar to augment their food supplies. Additionally, we are distributing our TuaRes hygiene kits which include soap and other hygienic products. We know that these support packages are greatly needed and will provide a great amount of relief.
We are grateful for the continued support of the TuaRes community. Because of you, we are able to provide nearly 4,000 people in Burkina Faso direct aid during these difficult times. Likewise, we have enabled our partner organization, Afrique Decide, to distribute food to the families of our student participants in Benin.
We greatly appreciate your continued support. If you wish to support TuaRes in this outreach, please donate via bank transfer or PayPal.
Your donations will only used to sponsor project activities and will directly reach our beneficiaries. Your donations do not cover administrative costs.
April 1, 2020: At the time of this writing, there are 261 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Burkina Faso and 14 deaths, and the numbers are growing fast. Schools have been closed since March 16 and the Burkinabé government has implemented further restrictions to slow the rising threat of the pandemic by officially closing markets, commercial spaces and forbidding large gatherings. There is now a curfew, halted travel and transport in and out of the country, and a quarantine of affected cities.
These measures are putting a significant strain on certain populations. The country’s health system is weak. The social distancing restrictions are nearly impossible to apply for the majority of people who operate in the informal sector. They live day to day with the income they get from their daily activities. The crisis will affect the most vulnerable in a dramatic way. As a matter of survival, they will not be able to observe these measures. Without access to savings or a salary, their livelihood depends on their ability to run their business or commerce. This will put them at a greater health risk. As the crisis deepens, families will quickly run out of food supplies. As schools are closed, TuaRes cannot provide girls with their daily school meals.
We are focusing on basic needs NOW.
As of this week, we are distributing bags of rice, and soap to 700 families of TuaRes girls and expect to reach about 4000 persons in support of their livelihood. We are also running an information campaign, supported by local leaders, to share information about health and safety. TuaRes also sponsors Savings groups for mothers. This will be a critical safety net allowing them to purchase daily rations of vegetables. We believe that our support will make a huge difference.
We are grateful to our team in Burkina Faso, who are coordinating these distributions. All staff members will be equipped with protective equipment and disinfectants to keep them safe during this outreach. Our offices in Munich and Ouagadougou and our Girls Friendly Spaces remain closed until further notice, however all staff members continue to work remotely.