Covid-19 changed plans! UK trustees were due to visit Mukinyai from 13-27th March 2020 but due to quarantine rules for incoming flights from areas affected by Covid-19 introduced on 12/13th, the visit was postponed.
The two weeks since have changed life dramatically in the UK and Kenya. Thanks to technology we have been able to communicate well with each other across the 6580 miles that separates us.
Although Mukinyai Primary school, along with all schools in Kenya, is closed, it is important that staff in Kenya continue to be paid and supported throughout this challenging time.
One immediate focus was to ensure a way to achieve the highest standards of hygiene possible for all the partners in the community. This required sharing the concept of TipTaps with as many families as possible. TipTaps are made by individuals to allow hand-washing using a foot pedal thus avoiding touching taps where viruses can live for some time.
A TipTap demonstration on the demo plot.
Another priority was the health and safety of Feeding Futures workers in Kenya. In line with Kenyan health ministry advice, social distancing has been introduced and wherever possible travel has been restricted with the advice to work from home. The staff will communicate with as many people from the community as possible to provide telephone advice and support about maintaining the conservation farming methods throughout the pandemic to ensure there is a food supply later in the year.
A planned visit to Care for Creation (a Kenyan station accredited by Foundations for Farming) took place without the UK visitors. The visit was really helpful for Joseph, Naomi and Sam who learned a lot and have provided excellent feedback about actions that will help the ongoing development of conservation farming. An example is a vegetable bag or kitchen garden.
A vegetable bag
Given that there may be some time for more study, we are encouraging each other to spend time researching information about community development and school feeding programmes to assist in future plans for developing new partnerships.
As the school kitchen is closed, the cooks have been redeployed to care for the demonstration plot at the school. Covid-19 changed plans for us all!