We have been supporting the fantastic charity Building Schools For Africa for over 10 years. Our latest support comes at a very important time.
Strategic Humanitarion Services (SHUMAS) is currently very involved in the distribution of food, non-food items, SHELTER and WASH items for the UN and the World Food Programme to communities around Kumbo, where the fighting has been the fiercest and people have been hardest hit. It has been negotiating hard with both the army and the Non-State Armed Groups to get humanitarian assistance to these people and has been doing a lot of work on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Although the virus is in the NW region, small numbers of Internally Displaced people (IDPs) are starting to return because COVID-19 is widespread in the cities where they fled to. We are hoping that we may be able to use some of the Gompels donation to provide drinking water to Kumbo as all supplies have been destroyed there. But we have to be extremely careful to not put any projects or any staff in danger with the ongoing pandemic. Kumbo is very dear to our hearts as we have spent a LOT of time up there and have built many of school projects over the years. We would love to help this poor ravaged community, but we will have to wait and see if this is the right time.
We also have in mind to use the donation to provide extra IDP classrooms and water at schools in the Littoral region around Douala - where Gompels previously funded the science lab and borehole at Sodiko. But as with Kumbo, we will assess the situation before making a decision on where is best to use the donation funds.
In the meantime, SHUMAS is also busy constructing two new 'pop-up' schools at newly founded hard-to-reach IDP communities in the bush. They will be recruiting IDP teachers who will get training in the provision of psychosocial support as well as catch-up for around 400 children who have missed school for almost four years now. It is an amazing and such a resourceful and adaptable organisation - and we can continue to work together with Gompels fabulous support.
Here are some pictures of the fantastic social distancing measures, temperature checking and PPE being used.