COVID-19 Crisis Response

An issue greater than our own

by: George Omiro

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” Abraham Lincoln.

One thing that has always helped me thrive and mobilize amidst the most difficult situations in my life is staying optimistic, trusting in God, and believing that He cares for everyone. I always give my fears to Him and always find a light at the end of the tunnel. Even with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, I believe that this too shall pass, just like previous global pandemics.

But, what really breaks my heart is the situation back in my home country, Kenya.

In the 10th week of my visit here to the United States, I can wash my hands as many times as I want, and still have enough to drink. Yet, there is someone back at home who doesn’t have enough water to quench his or her thirst — it saddens me.

Meanwhile, the past two weeks in Kenya have been hectic. With cases of the virus increasing worldwide, the government has come up with strict measures (just like any government would do) to save its own citizens – like we are experiencing here in the US.  But the level of relief beyond that has been nonexistent – it’s “every man for themselves.”

With panic, fear and paranoia setting in, all markets and grocery stores have been closed. At least here in America, we can still access grocery stores and have a fresh supply of food. A typical Kenyan family doesn’t have a fridge, let alone have electricity. And with the current situation, many families do not have a source of income, as their only support comes from daily manual labour which has been affected with the closure of businesses.

On top of that — no money, markets closed — the price of food has skyrocketed, nearly quadrupling in a matter of weeks. Yes, the situation is devastating. In many ways, the real problem that looms is an unexpected hunger crisis, as thousands of families will barely survive knowing that the little food they have may be their last meal. I understand that the curfew is being enforced by a special unit of army soldiers who are notorious for being ruthless. I would assume that police are also assisting with this.

It’s a triple tragedy: virus, hunger and fear.

My heart goes out to all Kenyan families and children who are hungry. To couple hunger with the Coronavirus – it’s an issue greater than our own.

About the author

George Omiro is a graduate of the Royal Kids School in Kenya, and a beneficiary of e3kids international. He is currently visiting the United States on an internship with e3kids and is interested in pursuing Aerospace Engineering and Library Science — overall creating an impact in the lives of kids and people. He is a second year student at the University of Nairobi, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Commerce.

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