As the number of COVID-19 cases surges in the country, many families and vulnerable groups continue to get exposed to the hardships posited by this pandemic. In addition to the tragic impact, COVID-19 has on peoples’ health, World Bank reports that the social and economic impacts could be long-lasting, due to the direct and indirect effects of the illness.
But even though the Coronavirus has accelerated prior economic challenges, (food poverty due to locust infestation and high rates of unemployment) companies like Safaricom have come forward to offer solutions, that alleviate the economic hurdles faced by vulnerable families.
Through a joint initiative of its employees and Safaricom Foundation, Safaricom has donated one month’s supply of food to over 2500 needy households across the country. This endeavour came to be after Safaricom’s team of 6000 staff, joined efforts and raised over 2million Kenyan shillings aimed towards COVID-19 response. Matching the amount, Safaricom Foundation then contributed 2 million shillings, bringing the sum to 4 million Kenya shillings, which was donated as a month’s supply of food to vulnerable communities around the country
Beneficiaries of this philanthropic activity include more than 1300 families in Korogocho and 1200 affected households in Kitengela, Thika, Naivasha. Mombasa and Bungoma.
In a statement, Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom said, “The team at Safaricom felt it was important to make a personal contribution, to help drive the company’s purpose of transforming lives.”
Over the last few months, through M-PESA and Safaricom Foundations, the Telco has engaged in a wide range of COVID-19 response activities, targeting affected families across the country. Such include; donating personal protective equipment to healthcare workers across 13 counties, facilitating access of clean water to residents of Kibera, Mathare, Kawangware and Korogocho; providing handwashing soaps to several counties and offering cash transfers for food support. Read more on how to support persons with COVID-19 their families, healthcare workers and vulnerable people worried about getting the virus.
In April Safaricom donated Ksh 200 million, which was directed towards providing food to vulnerable communities. Through MPESA and Safaricom foundations, Safaricom also donated thermal cameras to the Ministry of Health to be installed at various border entry points. The thermal cameras were worth Ksh 10million bringing the amount Safaricom has committed to COVID-19 response activities, to over 250 million Kenyan shillings.