Since the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we have witnessed radical efforts by countries across the world to secure their population’s health. Kenya is already reeling under the weight of deep economic cracks among the classes and majority of city dwellers live hand to mouth. This reality challenges the World Health Organization (WHO) best practices such as wide testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine in stemming an outbreak.
Community ownership has been used successfully in Kenya with HIV and other health epidemics however there is an absence of initiatives directly engaging the poor as critical stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19. We believe that by building on the lived experiences of the population to create programs that enhance their capacities and tap into their agency and resilience, the government can share the overall responsibility of preventing the spread of COVID-19 to her citizens.
The ordinary Kenyan citizen wants their family to be healthy and safe, if we give them a chance to be a part of the solution, we can all heal as one.
When families have access to cloth masks they can stay safe while still living their lives, despite COVID-19. The Family Cloth Mask Initiative (FCMI) aims to provide re-usable, 3-layer cloth masks to families living in poverty. The masks can be washed and can be used for up to six months.
By working with a team of seamstresses from different informal settlements in Kenya, the FCMI also supports the livelihood of women living in these communities.
We have developed several visual posters with educational material around best practices for staying safe from COVID-19. These materials have been developed in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the National Police Service, and the Ministry of Interior.
Using pictures, the Hood Series documents how different communities in Kenya are living through Covid-19. It focuses on how individuals and leaders are working for and leading their communities during these uncertain times while still maintaining a sense of normalcy in their day to day lives.