In Nairobi, food riots and fears of virus spread

“Why are you dancing and singing?” Phumzile, HOPE worldwide SA’s Provincial Coordinator, asks a mother (in yellow) of two young children. She is unemployed and lives in the crowded, disadvantaged township of Msogwaba, a few hours north of Johannesburg. It is one of 32 sites across the country where HOPE worldwide South Africa (HWSA) runs its Early Childhood Development Programs.

“My children haven’t had a proper meal since the preschools closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. That was two weeks ago. I have had to ask my neighbors for help with food and they help me where they can. I am so happy to have this food. I can now provide for my children”. 

This is the tragic reality for millions of families in South Africa. Two weeks ago, the South African president declared a lockdown in a bold and aggressive move to halt the rapid spread of the Corona virus. Millions of children have been home bound, many who received their main meal at preschools and school. Many families are hurting and struggling, especially the unemployed and those depending on casual jobs. Child hunger and abuse are on the rise. HWSA is partnering with KFC’s foundation Add Hope and with Walmart/Massmart to get emergency food relief to these families. In the past two weeks, over 6,000 families have been assisted. Tonight, the President announced that the lockdown will now be extended for another two weeks – until the end of April. We will need help in getting urgent food supplies to more families at risk and restore joy and hope to needy neighbors.

Thanks so much for all your help. Please pray for us, our programs, and the children that we serve.

Dr Marc Aguirre
Country Director | HOPE worldwide SA
Africa Regional Technical Advisor | HOPE worldwide

Photo Credit: Nina R.