as we all continue to stay home, we have increasing pressures upon us to support ourselves, our families, and our communities. living here in nairobi, i am acutely aware of how fortunate we are to have homes - especially homes with space, with running water, and modern sanitation. and the ability to purchase food, masks, and other necessities.
the pandemic is playing itself out here in kenya quite differently than in the us. as many of you know, the president swiftly took measures to protect people via a hybrid lock down/stay at home strategy and closed schools and borders, there has not been sufficient support for economically vulnerable populations.
the risks to people living in informal settlements is particularly concerning to me. in considering ways i could be of service during these times, i have partnered with a team of tailors from one of the settlements to manufacture masks for two organizations with which i have worked closely here - hands of love school and taka bank - and they, in turn, distribute the masks to their communities.
hands of love is a school in kariobangi that not only provides education, but two meals a day to over 180 students. taka bank is based in dandora and developed a program where waste pickers bring recyclables to kiosks managed by youth groups in exchange for points by which they can purchase foodstuffs and household goods (recycling and youth employment all in one!) since covid-19, the youth employees have been trained to go into the community to teach people the facts about the virus and collect information to provide vulnerable people additional assistance.
so far i and some friends and family have funded the manufacture and distribution of 8,600 masks.
if you are able to help us continue to provide masks like the one i am wearing to these vulnerable communities, i would be most grateful. donations go to my us nonprofit, artsfunds.org and then will be transferred to kenya.
more information can be found on my website: bit.ly/masksKE
please feel free to share this post. all of the funds go to the manufacture and distribution of masks. the more money i raise, the more people have masks.
thank you 💗😷🙏
photos by hands of love and taka bank. used with permission.