We are in Action
We are working around the clock to mobilize slum communities around the threat of COVID-19, and promote best practices that will prevent or contain spread of the virus in the 14 urban slums where we work across Kenya. Since our response began over a month ago, we have had 7,859,567 uses of our hand washing stations and screened 165,569 slum dwellers for potential symptoms.
Our approach relies on two integrated parts: direct interventions and community-led mobilization through our SHOFCO Urban Network (SUN) organizing platform that has over 160,000 members. We have launched a multi-pronged prevention and preparedness campaign focused upon community health, WASH, and nutrition interventions over the next three months.
Our Community-Based Response
Public Awareness and Community Outreach: Public Awareness and Community Outreach: Community Health Workers and SUN volunteers are going door-to-door across the slums to raise awareness, distribute soap, hand sanitizers, and informational pamphlets in Kiswahili. We have trained 97 Community Health Workers and mobilized 536 SUN volunteers.
Handwashing and Sanitation Campaigns: SHOFCO has installed 221 handwashing stations across major entry points into the 14 settlements where we work, staffed by volunteers, which serve as key access points for health awareness information and distribution of informational pamphlets, soap, and hand sanitizer. We have also installed access points at our 24 clean water kiosks and 47 community toilets throughout Kibera.
Provision of Clean Water: We have provided 1,555,640 liters of free water in Kibera via our innovative aerial water piping system. In communities where we don’t have water systems, we have distributed 7,500,000 liters via water truck access points.
Distribution at Scale: SHOFCO partnered to source 400,000 bars of soap to be distributed to every household in the 11 slums where we work. To date, we have distributed 258,316 soaps and 256,471 hand sanitizers.
Combating Misinformation: We are collecting questions, rumors, and reports of misinformation from community members via SMS or door-to-door surveys that we fact-check and address via local radio and other direct communication strategies. To date, we have analyzed 3,788 household-level survey responses.
Emergency Food Support: SHOFCO is bulk purchasing basic essentials (cooking oil, rice, etc.) that we can offer below retail costs in our sites in the event of food shortages or extreme price-gouging that would severely impact vulnerable slum residents. We are conducting targeted food distributions to ensure the most vulnerable do not starve, and have distributed food to 1,800 families to date. We have also launched a partnership with Jumia that has distributed food packages to 300 families
Direct Cash Transfer: SHOFCO is working with GiveDirectly on a cash transfer project that will distribute $25 per month for 3 months to 3,000 vulnerable families in the SHOFCO Urban Network.
We are working in alignment and close coordination with local and national government stakeholders that have expertise on outbreak response protocols and referral procedures but lack the ability — and supplies — to conduct an effective response in the slums. We are working with the UN, UN-Habitat, OCHA, and Amref, as well as the Government National COVID-19 Community Engagement task force, where SHOFCO Co-Founder and CEO Kennedy Odede is leading the informal settlement working group.
Our schools and way forward
Following government recommendations, SHOFCO has suspended classes at the Kibera and Mathare School for Girls until further notice. We will continue to take action to ensure beneficiaries, community members, and staff are protected and provided with accurate and up to date information.
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