Mikinduri Children of Hope now raising money for handwashing stations in Kenya

A P.E.I.-based non-profit has had to pivot to find a way to help during the pandemic, and is hoping to raise money for handwashing stations in the Mikinduri area of eastern Kenya.

P.E.I.-based non-profit has had to pivot to find a way to help during pandemic

Mikinduri Children of Hope co-chair Kathy Mutch says clean water and soap are not easily found in Mikinduri, making handwashing a challenge. (Submitted by Kathy Mutch)

A P.E.I.-based non-profit is hoping to raise money for handwashing stations in the Mikinduri area of eastern Kenya.

Mikinduri Children of Hope works with Kenyan leaders, churches, government agencies and international partners to offer a "hand up, not a hand out" for poverty alleviation, according to its website.

Kathy Mutch, co-chair of Mikinduri Children of Hope, says the community they work with is at a disadvantage when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

"Water and soap are not easy to come by, and it's a difficult situation in these rural communities," she told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.

"So we've been looking for the most economical yet effective way to provide that." 

Mutch believes they can provide the stations for about $50 each, working with partners on the ground in Kenya to distribute them.

"We just have to come up with the funds," she said.

COVID fundraising woes

One of the organization's larger fundraisers, an annual yard sale, was cancelled due to COVID-19.

"We have had difficulty with our fundraising, we have concerns about the people in Kenya. They've struggled not only with COVID-19, but they've had locust invasions as well, which have affected their food security," Mutch said.

"The world is really a pretty small place, and Kenyans are our neighbours and they do need a hand up."

Mikinduri Children of Hope also offer sexual health programs to the children in the community. (Submitted by Kathy Mutch)

She said schools in the region have been closed due to the pandemic, which spread out from the capital city of Nairobi to rural communities. 

"The ability of Nairobi to handle it has been a challenge, but you can imagine in the rural communities where they don't even really have a hospital, just maybe an outpost health clinic," Mutch said.

"There just aren't the resources to handle the disease."

Mutch says food security has been a struggle for the community during COVID-19. There have been swarms of locusts, and school closures mean meals provided through the school programs are no longer accessible. (Submitted by Kathy Mutch)

Before the pandemic, the charity had planned its annual trip to Mikinduri and was going to bring along UPEI nursing students to help train some of the staff in the community's health centre. 

The trip, which normally happens in February, was instead booked for June this year.

"[We are] extremely disappointed that we weren't going to be able to do that," she said.

Donations for the handwashing stations can be made online.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning


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