It is our sincere hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe during this stressful time. Our organization is in the business of caring for people in Kenya, a country which will inevitably be hard hit by COVID-19, but we are also keenly aware that people like you are facing new and worrisome challenges. We send you our best wishes. Please stay in touch and stay safe. ~ Dia Maurer, P4P Executive Director
What’s in our April 2020 Newsletter: Notes from the Field - The COVID-19 Situation in Kenya; A Message from P4P Board President; On the Front Lines- P4P Health Care Providers; Asante Sana to Our Wonderful Volunteers; Into Africa Auction; When Will the Show Go On?
When you stop giving and offering something to the rest of the world, it’s time to turn out the lights. ~ George Burns
Notes from the Field -COVID-19
By Nereah Obura, P4P Kenya Program Coordinator
Dear P4P Friend,
The COVID-19 situation in the country is not good at all now. As of March 24, there were 25 confirmed cases. By April 3, 122 confirmed cases with 4 deaths and 5 recoveries, and the number increases daily. Currently all confirmed cases are referred to health facilities in Nairobi. Kenyans are urged to stay at home with a 7 pm to 5 am curfew and avoid open air markets where people tend to crowd. We are living in a lot of fear.
Some county governments are trying to install hand washing stations at the major markets. Unfortunately, I did not see any of these in Migori last week when I was last there. Charles Otieno (P4P's Kenya Nutrition Assistant) indicates that the shop owners are forced to get their own handwashing stations and people are no longer allowed to gather in markets. P4P’s Water Committee has authorized the purchase of 40 handwashing stations for Kopanga/Giribe, 1,000 bars of soap and transport. The Ministry of Health will supply hand sanitizer and chlorine drops and will pay Community Health Volunteers $20 per month to monitor stations. However, that payment, we understand, is subject to availability of funds.
Social distancing is a tall order here since people live in very small homes and culturally, we spend a great deal of time together. We're struggling a lot with this.
Food stockpiling is equally difficult when most people survive hand-to-mouth. Additionally, households do not have big refrigerators, so storage is a problem.
The government is trying to encourage lockdown, but it's very difficult. Because of the situation here, we say that people will die of hunger before coronavirus gets to us.
We have a very tricky situation now with the Power of Milk (POM) program since we ran out of supplements and cannot gather to conduct health education. P4P’s Health Committee has authorized me to purchase nutritional supplements of Extra Nutriflour so we can continue to provide for the vulnerable children in POM. These children cannot survive without assistance. Charles is trying his very best to visit the children at home and he will deliver the supplement.
I hope that P4P’s friends and benefactors will continue to support P4P with your donations, volunteering and committee work.
If you would like to make a gift, please click above for payment via PayPal or send your donation check to Partnering for Progress, P.O.Box 28191, Spokane, WA 99228. Call (509) 720-8408 to gift by credit card. Asante Sana!
Dear Partnering for Progress Friends:
I recently emailed an update to you advising where things stand with our Kenya programs and staff and let you know how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In case you did not have time to read it, a condensed version appears below.
As COVID-19 develops in Africa, we will stay in close communication with our two Kenya employees, Nereah Obura, our program coordinator, and Charles Otieno, who oversees the Power of Milk program. Both will continue to receive paychecks.
We have suspended the Power of Milk meetings, which entail about 30 caregivers bringing their children to a weekly clinic for food supplements, health and nutrition presentations, and monitoring the children’s progress. We have authorized purchase of a nutritional supplement and Charles will make deliveries.
At Nereah’s suggestion, we have authorized funding for hand washing stations. We are in frequent communication to see if there are other urgent needs that P4P might be able to address.
We normally send two service teams a year to Kenya. Our next trip is scheduled for October 16, six months away. We hope the world will be at a healthier place and this team will be able to travel. Their safety is extremely important and will be the guiding determinant of the October trip.
Fortunately, all our current programs remain fully funded, so please don’t see this note as a call for donations. However, our second largest fundraiser,Funny Girl, scheduled for June 3 at the Civic Theatre, has been postponed. We will let you know as soon as we have the new date.
In the meantime, there are increasingly urgent financial needs among people in our communities. So here’s an idea: if in the next few weeks you receive a check from the government and you are fortunate enough not to need it, please consider donating it to an individual or a family that is in need or to one of the many organizations that could benefit from your help in getting us all through this unprecedented crisis.
While P4P’s focus is on partnering with our friends in Kenya, we urge you to sustain whatever partnerships you can around you and your family. It is my sincere wish that you and your loved ones will remain healthy in these turbulent times.
Sincerely, Gordon S. Jackson, P4P Board of Directors President
On the Front Lines
Many of P4P's volunteers are medical providers in our community. We salute them as heroes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their courage and dedication make the world a safer, healthier place. Meet some of the men and women on the front line here at home who have traveled on P4P service trips to Kenya in the past.
Stacey Mainer is a retired ARNP (advanced registered nurse practitioner) who previously worked as a mental health counselor for 18 years. She and Sandy Ivers are co-founders of Partnering for Progress, and Stacey is a long-standing board member. She has traveled to Kenya numerous times and is dedicated to bringing health care to communities in the Kopanga region.
Mike Mainer worked as an emergency room doctor for over 40 years and has traveled to Kopanga several times. He continues to travel with Stacey to serve refugee and immigrant populations around the globe.
Patti Krafft is a nurse practitioner who has traveled to Kenya four times and has served as a P4P service team leader providing health care to the Kopanga/Giribe community. She previously worked for Northside Internal Medicine and Kaiser Permanente as a nurse practitioner delivering medical care to people with diabetes and other endocrine disorders. This month she will start working at Providence Endocrinology.
Asante Sana means thank you in Swahili. Those are powerful words in any language, but they only scratch the surface in conveying Partnering for Progress’ gratitude to our volunteers. April 19-25 is National Volunteer Week and it is the perfect time to tell you, our invaluable volunteers, how much we appreciate and treasure you.
The simple truth is that P4P would not exist without volunteers. Our two part- time staff members carry large workloads here in Spokane, and they would not be able to accomplish all that they do without your help. We are deeply grateful.
You are the heart of Partnering for Progress, and for that we say, "Asante Sana!"
When Will the Show Go On?
We recently learned that the Civic Theatre has postponed auditions for Funny Girl. P4P partners with the Civic for a fundraising theater night, and this year June 3 was our date. The Civic hopes to reschedule Funny Girl and we will let you know as soon as new dates are confirmed. Be sure to keep your tickets and they will be transferred to the new date.
If you have not purchased tickets, we sincerely hope you’ll be inspired to join us when Funny Girl is rescheduled. This is our second largest fundraiser and the revenue it generates is vital to our programs.
Into Africa Auction
We hope you’ve saved the date, September 12, for P4P’s event of the year, Into Africa. Fingers crossed that COVID-19 will be a painful memory by then and the show will go on.
This year we’ll once again have a collection of stunning African batik prints and carvings. We are working on some exciting live items, and we have already secured a week at the luxury Snowater Condo near Mt. Baker. Fun packages for everyone include a Ladies, Take Me Away Indulgence Day, a Guys Adventure Day that will include hatchet throwing at Hebner Hatchet, and a package of Family Fun for an entire year.