Moja Tu’s mission is to provide impoverished students access to a good education, which in turn can their lives, families, and communities as a whole. In this way, it is just as important to us to maintain close relationships with our students’ families as it is to help these students go to school.
Sadly, when calamity strikes, people living in poverty are the ones who bear the heaviest burdens. This was certainly the case when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt last year. All our students come from impoverished backgrounds; returning to their homes from boarding school for an indefinite amount of time was a difficult adjustment for their families to make. To support our students, their families, and communities during the pandemic, Moja Tu delivered food supplies to informal settlements in Nairobi, Naivasha, Laikipia, and Makueni. Our support didn’t stop there; a water project to support families in Lang’ata and Kibera was also initiated. This support meant so much to our students’ families; most parents had lost their jobs, and with children back home due to the closure of schools, it became even more difficult to put food on the table.
We recently caught up with some of the guardians of Moja Tu students who benefitted from this support during the pandemic:
Virginia’s two grandsons, Leon and Travis, were among the first students to enroll in the Moja Tu program. Leon is currently in university while Travis is in high school.
“Moja Tu has had a huge impact in my life by sponsoring Leon and Travis and giving them an opportunity for a better tomorrow. When the pandemic hit, not only was it hard for me to feed them, but I also had a difficult time accessing water, masks, soap, and sanitizers to protect ourselves from the virus,” she says. Moja Tu came to her aid in the thick of things and supplied her and her neighbors with food items, such as cereals, flour, and cooking oil, among others. “I also received masks, handwashing soaps, sanitizers, and access to clean water, which really helped,” she explains.
In Naivasha, Josphat, a father to one of our students (Jairus), was at the forefront of coordinating food distribution in his area. When COVID-19 struck, he was struggling to make ends meet, as there were no jobs for a day laborer to take up. He says the help his family and community got from Moja Tu regarding food supplies and protective equipment gave them hope of surviving the pandemic.
Moja Tu also used the opportunities for ongoing contact to educate our students’ communities about COVID-19 and the preventive measures recommended by the country’s Ministry of Health and the WHO. Josphat says this idea was a masterstroke and lauded the information relayed to his community regarding the then little-known virus. He also hailed the Asante Project zero-contact food distribution app that made the process of retrieving food for families safe, seamless, and efficient.
“Thank you, Moja Tu, for the support given to us during the pandemic and for going beyond just providing education to the students but also being involved in their daily lives and ensuring their families were okay,” he says.
Mugo, a father to one of our students and who is also in charge of coordinating the organization’s programs in Laikipia, tells us he first learned about Moja Tu through another sponsored student living in the area. He is a farmer and does day jobs on his neighbors’ lands. When COVID-19 hit, he couldn’t find any jobs, and putting food on the table was a struggle. When Moja Tu delivered foodstuff to the Laikipia families, he was really grateful as the burden of providing for his family was lessened.
These much-needed items were delivered to them using the Asante Project, and he says the process was fast and convenient since they just had to go collect their food supplies from a local supplier. He thanks Moja Tu for lending his community a hand during their time of need.
On behalf of our students, their families, and communities, we would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all the Moja Tu sponsors, donors, and supporters for their incredible generosity during this ongoing crisis. Your support has meant the difference between life and death in some cases; we can’t overstate just how profound of an impact your help has had on our students and their communities.