Latest update from Sierra Leone
COVID-19 and St George Foundation update
The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on children’s lives and livelihoods. The restrictions of movement across districts, the introduction of curfew from 9:pm to 6: am, and the intermittent lockdown imposed by the government in a bid to curtail the coronavirus scourge has changed a lot of things. The coping mechanism in terms of livelihood has badly affected the children too. It has greatly affected the operations of our social workers and care givers across the board. Their working pattern has changed a bit. Most staff used to work in the office and the community daily. The restriction on movement has forced them to be working from home, more of phone calls and seldomly visiting the outside community. To many staff, this is strange and challenging.
The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the behaviour of many Sierra Leoneans including children. Greetings by handshaking and hugs has always been part of our culture. We have maintained this form of social interaction for years now. However, the outbreak of the Coronavirus has changed the greeting method by binding your elbow or placing your hands on your chest as a sign of greetings. This is especially a strange and difficult practice for children.
The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted many areas including the market for basic amenities and food. Before the crisis, we use to buy our basic provisions more often. This has however, changed completely because of the outbreak. The outbreak has impacted the prices of commodities in the market greatly. The cost of provision and food is too expensive. This is because, there are a limited supply of goods in the market and also, the fall of foreign exchange in the market. All these challenges have real negative effect on children and women, who are the most vulnerable in our society.
Since the COVID-19 health pandemic is so deadly, leaders throughout the world, in an effort to break the chain of transmission of the virus, have needed to enforce precautionary measures as directed by the World Health Organisation. Amongst the various safety precautions, the use of a face mask has been enforced most. To many people including children, hand washing is not too strange but the use of face masks and the rule of social distancing are very difficult for the children especially those with asthmatic condition, and also during play time. The measures, through necessarily being enforced in good haste, has limited the interactive freedom of the children and is, consequently, making them quite stressed.
The government has made these measures compulsory for everyone. This is especially important, since it is very difficult to determine the well-being of everyone you interact with. Most institutions including the Security Sector and Drivers’ Union have helped the government in enforcing these policies in order to help reduce the spread of the contagious corona scourge.
Children's Education in Lockdown
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The St George Foundation does not receive funds from national campaigns or the UK Government to support its vital work transforming children's lives.
To support each child costs the charity £5/day, which includes the provision of food, shelter, medical care and enrolment at a local school. However, to continue our work we need your help.
97% of your donation is spent on the actual project: achieved by very low UK overheads and no paid staff in the UK