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Life in Lockdown – The Good Life Orphanage

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By Hemed Jumaa – Operations Manager Good Life Orphanage

The very first days when the Covid-19 infection was reported in China, I used to read about it and watched the news but personally I didn’t imagine that it would bring the entire world into a stand still! I know it’s tough times for everyone around the world but the key thing is “HOPE”, hope that this too shall come to pass.

On 13th March, 2020 the Government of Kenya reported its first case of Covid-19 infection. It wasn’t the news that everyone wanted to hear as we had seen what was happening in the other countries but it was the whole truth and what mattered then was coming up with strategies to reduce the risks of getting infected. Series of directives were issued by our government among them the closure of all schools and learning institutions. I have to admit that at first many people took this pandemic lightly but now we have seen how serious it is. Our daily routine and our lives in general have changed!

As an institution, we followed all the government directives and also had to come up with our own internal precautionary measures to protect everyone especially our children and staff. We took some tough decisions which included stopping some of the activities in the different departments and allowing a segment of our staff that are not mandatory to be at the orphanage to work from home while others with families proceeded with their annual leave. We also agreed with the remaining staff to board at the orphanage. Our children were also made to understand about the pandemic and more so the restriction of movements outside the orphanage until when things go back to normalcy not unless when one is sick and needs medical attention.

These abrupt and unanticipated changes were not easy to cope with but we are all learning some lessons even though the hard way. Being confined into one place and forgoing some of the important life events like House birthdays, Easter celebrations and so on  have not been an easy thing for our GLO children but we are grateful they all understand the crisis we are all in. It is the life that every one of us at the moment has to lead in order to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

However so far we have adjusted well and tried to utilise the ample time we have to teach the children more important skills that matter in their life and above all enjoying some fun just within our compound. Everyone at GLO understands that even during tough moments there is always a way out and we look forward to the recovery period after all this is over. All the children are involved in different activities that they like most in adherence to the weekly program that the older children participated in developing. The different activities are all aimed at helping them to grow cognitively, socially, spiritually and physically.

We have utilised our sewing room to make much needed masks for the local community, Zuhuru, Mary & Gloria are working in a very controlled environment. They have to social distance from our askaris on arrival and are not allowed to go beyond the gate of the Fallon Technical Building. They have hand washing facilities and sanitisers on-site to ensure they work in safe surroundings.

We are very grateful that despite the fact that the whole world is suffering we still have great people who are supporting us. Unlike many Kenyans we do not have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or having access to clean water to wash our hands in. Our prayers and thoughts are always with you.  My appeal to you, stay home and follow all the government directives, may God protect us.

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