Shinning Hope amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

The unprecedented Corona Virus Disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed how people interact with each other, with shaking hands and hugging their loved ones being a thing

of the past. Most people are currently adjusting to the new normal life of wearing face masks and observing social distancing when visiting public places.

Life took a different twist for most Kenyans after the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in the country early this year, with the numbers skyrocketing daily. The move by the Kenyan government to close borders and limit the number of people visiting public places has left people hopeless and miserable.

Those living below the poverty line had a hot nail on fresh wounds after the government made it compulsory for everyone to wear face masks when visiting public places. An
essential that left many people contemplating between putting food on the table, and purchasing a face mask, which goes for less than a dollar.

Buckner Kenya comes in handy to distribute free face masks across all its programs in Cherangany, Nairobi, Kitale, Busia, and Bungoma. A move that has seen more than
2000 households protect themselves from contracting the virus.

"The gap between the rich and the poor in the country is huge, therefore, those living below the poverty line cannot afford a facemask that goes for less than a dollar. Buckner Kenya is here to protect the vulnerable by providing them with food, facemasks, hand washing soaps as well as buckets, during this pandemic," said Dickson Masindano, Executive Country Director, Buckner Kenya.

Mulumia Okumu is a 72-year-old resident of Busia county, who solemnly depends on farm produce and dairy farming to make ends meet. However, life has taken a different angle,
following the government's move to enact curfew between 4 am and 9 pm. A situation that has limited his movement and sells of his produce, outside his area of residency.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has made life very difficult for my family. Most of them depend on me, yet I have nothing to offer. My children's jobs have been affected, hence
forcing us to take a meal a day or even sleep on an empty stomach," said Mulumia.

His life turned into a new leaf after Buckner Kenya's Busia Family Hope Centre donated facemasks, food supplements, and handwashing buckets.

"We are glad that his life has been transformed. His grandchildren are happy and can comfortably play with other children. Buckner Kenya will continue offering them
the support, where need be," said Steve Gumba, case manager, Buckner Busia Family Hope Centre.

Mulamia's family is now a happy lot. They received information about Covid-19 and how to prevent themselves from contracting the virus. His family no longer lives from hand to
mouth; his grandchildren are happy and can comfortably sell milk to his neighbors without fear of contracting the virus.

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