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Hi everyone! We’ve stayed a little quiet the last few weeks, but we wanted give you a quick update, especially on how COVID 19 is impacting our friends in Kenya.
Our students and staff at Canopy Life Academy are safe and healthy. The staff are understandably anxious of the possible impact of the virus in Kenya, but trusting God and working hard to innovate around our current challenges.
Thankfully, the government took quick action to close schools and public gatherings in early March when there were only a few cases. Our students have been back home in their communities and our staff working from their homes in Nairobi. The closure came 3 weeks before the 4 week term break which gives a 7 week window for Kenyans to fight the virus and flatten the curve.
More recently, the (Kenyan) president issued a mandatory curfew from 7pm to 5am. The initial wake of the curfew was very disturbing as there was significant and unjustified police brutality as they enforced that curfew. After additional government intervention, there have subsequently been less incidents in the last few days.
The questions for schools right now is whether education will resume for Term 2 (beginning of May). We have purchased phones for our class 8 students so that they can continue working and studying for their national exam from home, but we are working on a more robust digital learning plan for all our classes in case education does not resume in May.
The bigger question is how the virus will impact Kenya as a whole. Kenya already has 110 confirmed cases and (reportedly) only 100 or so ICU beds in the whole country. *UPDATE: Data Correction: There are actually 518 ICU beds in Kenya (not 100+ as stated). However, less than 100 were still available at the time of this recording. They are entering their cooler wet season and much of the country does not have the privilege of sanitizing, social distancing or storing up resources. So, truthfully, the situation has the potential be very serious and we covet your prayers.
Financially, we are so thankful we are not faced with canceling programs or letting people go. Both Kenya and the US have started to cut expenses to prepare for a potential loss of donations and we are looking into how we can benefit from the CARES stimulus package. With so much still unknown, we are hoping and praying for the best while also being sober and prepared.
In times like these, we are so grateful that Tuka Pamoja… We stand together. Thank you for your encouragement and for sending us your prayer requests. Be on the look out for more updates in the weeks to come.