The current pandemic has resulted in unexpected challenges for the Watu Kwa Watu Charitable Trust.
With all schools closed, the children and young people, whom we are assisting with their education costs, many of who normally stay in the school dormitories, needed to leave and “go home”. This meant, of course, additional travel costs, often over 3 times higher than the normal costs for the same travel (given Government’s distancing regulations, to prevent transmission of infections, bus companies need to leave the majority of seats not occupied). In addition, those of our beneficiaries, who are full orphans, do not have “homes” to go to. Luckily, so far all have found some solutions. In one case, for example, a sponsor, friend of Watu Kwa Watu, paid for building a three-level metal bed, for the bedroom of a former High school teacher of the three University students, who gave them a refuge at his family home. Very recently, 6 April, the new difficulty is added. Nairobi, as the main center of infections, has been made closed city. No travel outside is possible. This has made those of our beneficiaries, who did not go home yet, not being able to do it anymore.
Since the Universities and Colleges continue to function in distance learning mode, via Internet, via ZOOM or GoToMeeting apps, with the use of digital learning tools, some additional payments are also needed to make it possible.
Also, some beneficiaries, who have finished their schooling, and were offered employment or apprenticeships, cannot take advantage of it, until the current pandemic is over. They need at least a minimal support for living expenses, So far, luckily, the sponsors are able and willing to assist.
Our special program Draw your Dreams, on which we work with 14 primary level schools and one hospital (children cancer ward), is also now suspended until the schools are reopened, and the access to the hospital is safe and allowed.
We do not know what more challenges we still have before us.