You will no doubt be preoccupied with the challenges of living through this global pandemic. It is an unprecedented time and difficult for everyone. So this is no more than a brief update on how things are unfolding in Africa and how our clients are being affected.
Africa is now facing the same crisis we are experiencing in Europe and I am deeply concerned about what may be ahead. For vulnerable people already disadvantaged by poverty, millions of lives could be lost. Life for the people we serve is already fragile and there will be no Government safety net – small businesses are suffering, and families with inadequate savings will have no support to see them through.
Many of our activities, such as financial group training, trust group meetings and providing access to school finance, have now been suspended for the safety of our clients and staff. We are working tirelessly to support our clients in different ways throughout this time by staying connected and providing support through our digital channels and banking services where possible.
Joyce Owusu-Dabo, is Chief Programmes Officer with our Sinapi Aba partner in Ghana, here she gives an outline of how they are supporting clients during this time:
“Here in Ghana we are in continuous communication with our clients over the phone to identify how we can support them in this challenging time. We continue to encourage and educate our clients through our digital finance platform where they can easily do transactions with us and with others to help them meet other critical financial needs.
For many they share poor water and sanitation facilities so social distancing is a challenge. Where possible we are sharing important public health messages and advice when we connect with them.”
Our work needs financial support more than ever before. We are planning to partner with institutions to secure the immediate money needed but, if you would also like to help at this time, please donate.
When the full impact on our clients across Africa becomes clearer, I may write again appealing for support. But until then, please know that we are committed and focused on minimising the impact of COVID-19 on our clients and their families across all the countries we work in.
Thank you for your ongoing support; it has never been more needed.
May this Easter be filled with hope for you and your family. Stay safe and keep well.