In recent months we have learnt from news reports and the medical community just how devastating the new coronavirus, COVID-19 can be, but rightly, many of us may be focused and concerned about how it impacts on us locally.
At our three branches we have adapted to the new working environment as lockdown has eased. This has included getting used to and using personal protective equipment (PPE) and the new normal, and of course we are not alone.
Whilst many countries have not suffered the same infection rates and death toll of the UK, they have all experienced the severity of a strict lockdown. The Reverend Muhoro School for the Deaf in Kenya is no exception.
Our work with the Reverend Muhoro School for the Deaf
This time last year we were making one of our annual visits to the school (find out more here), situated on the slopes of Mount Kenya in the rural district of Mukurewe-ini. something we have done for the past 17 years.
We were particularly pleased to be loaded not only with hearing aids but with all the equipment and materials necessary for making hearing aid earmoulds. This was a huge step forward for the school and allowed them to be self-sufficient and not only produce moulds for the students, but to start income generation by offering their services to the wider community.
The proceeds gained can then purchase the disposable materials and chemicals for the lab and be self-perpetuating.
Impact on Reverend Muhoro School for the Deaf
As I write this, I’m pleased to report that the school up until March this year were achieving their goal and in fact implementing other procedures to establish their audiology facilities as a centre of excellence.
Sadly, Covid-19 has put paid to this because the school and the rest of the country were placed in Lockdown in the middle of March and are still under a strict curfew compared to ours and many other countries.
It means exams have had to be postponed, but they will probably be cancelled altogether as little study has been possible. Whilst there is online and remote learning possible, it is accessed predominantly in cities and larger conurbations where internet and electricity is more reliable. The school being rural, can assure itself of that reliability.
Another problem is although mobile telephone adoption is high, very few are smartphones necessary to access online learning.
We are very aware of the mental strain caused by COVID-19 and extended periods of isolation without the usual stimulus. Imagine how this is amplified if one of our major senses is missing.
The sooner lockdown is eased the better and we are monitoring the situation closely. We cannot wait for travel to resume between here and Kenya and as soon as we deem it safe to travel, we will visit the school again to help where we can with the new intake of students and ensure our sponsored students are coping well.
The most recent communication from the school is reproduced in full which gives an idea of the impact Covid-19 is having. At least some sort of normality will return with the usual social distancing and new protocols in place.
We will continue to support the school remotely until our next visit and will update our website with any news or change in their situation when it happens.
Get in touch with us
If you would like to know more about the Reverend Muhoro School, then check our charities page, call us on 01403 218863, or email email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.