Urgent Assistance for COVID-19 Response in Zambia
取材レポート #子ども・教育 #貧困・格差 #医療・ケア #アフリカ #佐藤慧
As a non-profit media organization that reports on issues around the world, Dialogue for People is conducting a urgent assistance project in Zambia The organization has partnered with a local NGO Footprints Foundation for Children in Zambia in order to assist the street children in Zambia who are susceptible to various risks due to COVID-19. The crowdfunding was able to reach its goal amount within 6 hours. Currently, we are in preparation. Here is the detailed summary of this project.
Project: Zambia COVID-19 Urgent Assistance Project
Duration: May 27, 2020 to Late July (Footprints will follow up on after)
Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Target: Approximately 1000 street children on the streets of Lusaka
Fundraise Amount: 382,800 yen (63 donors)
As the world faces the crisis of coronavirus, in Zambia, the virus has spread exponentially after entering May. The government demands the people to wear masks when leaving the house; however, the price of masks have skyrocketed, and not everyone is able to afford them. There has been incidents where civilians were attacked because they were not wearing masks.
The street children are the most vulnerable people under this circumstance. The local NGO that supports these children Footprints Foundation for Children in Zambia is planning to distribute masks and hold workshops, but the lack of fund and support of the public is restraining them to do so.
Dialogue for People is a non-profit organization that centers around the transmission of information and the education for the next generation. However, in times like this, we would like to utilize the relationships that we have built through interviews to deliver the necessary support and spread the information of the local situation to Japan and the world.Through these activities, we believe that we could build a community of supporting one another and overcome a world of full of discrimination and conflicts
There is a probability that the virus could be transmitted through the particles in the air, and social distance is practiced worldwide. However, it is difficult for the street children to physically separate for safety reasons. They also have to go to the densely populated market to sell cigarettes or phone cards in order to make a living for the day.
There is an increase in discrimination against the people who do not wear masks. The street children are being avoided more than they have already, and they are unable to get jobs or receive aid.
The government demands the people to wear masks, but it is not distributing them. There has been cases where people are arrested and attacked by the police because they were not wearing masks.
There are approximately 1,000 children who are susceptible to these risks on the streets in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. We are partnering with the local NGO Footprints Foundation for Children in Zambia for the purchase of handmade and washable masks, distribution of masks to the children, and workshops with the supervision of doctors to teach the measures to avoid getting infected.
The masks will be handmade by the company CAROLINE DESIGNS, a company run by widows. Currently, they are hiring people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. With the increase in demand of sanitization products, the price of cloth masks have increased significantly. Right now, one mask is around 600 yen, which is more than the average daily income in Zambia (which is 400 yen, but more than half of the population live off 200 yen). At CAROLINE DESIGNS, each mask is made with a traditional fabric called chitenge, and each mask costs 90 yen.
・Purchase of Masks: 90,000yen
・Gasoline Fee： 18,000yen
・Local NGO Operation Cost： 125,000yen
・D4P Operation Cost： 80,000yen
・Others (Transaction Fee)： 37,000yen
Total 350,000 yen
*We have reached the goal amount. Thank you for your participation.
Late May: Project Starts
Early June: Order Masks
Mid-June to Mid-July: Deliver Masks, Hold Workshops
After late July: Updates from Footprints
Late September: Create Project Report
Since entering May, the cases of coronavirus has been increasing rapidly. The government is demanding the people to wear masks in public, but people are not able to purchase because of the high price. People have been arrested and attacked just because they are not wearing masks. The street children, who are already discriminated daily, are further prejudiced as “the people who have the virus”. Our foundation is here to support these children to find a job and a safe space, but we must overcome COVID-19 in order to continue the support. We are in need of support from Japan.
Footprints Foundation for Children in Zambia
It was founded by the current representative, Sevelino Vasco, in 2014. Vasco was a street child himself and has lived through a harsh childhood, and that is why he wanted to offer a safe space and support for these children who are experiencing the same thing. In Lusaka, there are approximately 1,000 street children. They walk around the city daily to check up on the children and to distribute food. They also hold workshop called the “Safe Pack” that teach HIV prevention and more to offer the children the opportunity of education.
The politics are stable in Zambia, but the fiscal deficit seems to continue. The average annual income is 150,000 yen, and more than half of the population live under the poverty line (1.9 US dollar/day). There is a high risk of HIV and Malaria. The HIV transmission rate is 11.3% for adults(*1), and there are more than 2 million annual cases of Malaria(*2). Due to these diseases, the people have weaker immune systems and are prone to be infected by the virus.
（*１）HIV transmission rate is 11.3% for adults
（*２）More than 2 million annual cases of Malaria
*The Effect of the Masks
There are still no scientific evidence of the effectiveness of the masks. However in early April, CDC has taken back their original statement, and approved the use of cloth masks in order to prevent droplet transmission of the virus. However, masks must be used on top of social distancing; basic sanitization such as washing hands for 20 seconds, not touching the face…etc is still necessary. This project is to protect children from the virus, but also to protect them from discrimination and violence. The street children make a living from selling phone cards, washing cars, begging..etc, and they cannot work right now. They also sleep in groups for safety reasons. In order to prevent the outbreak of the virus, they are recommended to use masks.
The crowdfunding has ended, but we still need your support for follow-up information. If you resonate with the project, please consider donating to the local NGO Footprints Foundation for Children in Zambia.